If you’re an indie author, you may have considered joining an author association. Is there any real benefit from joining one and if so, which association should you look at? Read on to discover whether you should join an author association.
What are author associations?
Author associations, much like many other professional associations are typically non-profit organisations that provide support, education and advocacy for its members and the author profession.
Author Associations often specialise in specific categories of authors such as independent authors in Australia, or non-fiction authors. So, there’s a high chance that there is an author association out there that specialises in the type of writing that you do.
Why join an author association?
As an independent author, it can sometimes be hard to justify the yearly fee to join one of these associations. A lot will depend on your writing goals and how many books you’ve published or plan to publish. Regardless here are some of the reasons why you should join an author association.
Support and networking
The first reason to join an author association is to have access to a large support network. Being an independent author can be a lonely profession and having a group of likeminded authors to lean on is not something to be underestimated. Particularly if you’re a first-time author, you’re going to come across many hurdles and roadblocks and having a solid support network will ensure you won’t need to learn things the hard way.
Most author associations also run networking events and writing retreats for their members, which are fantastic opportunities to meet other authors in person while working on your book.
By joining an author association, you get access to a wide range of educational resources to upskill yourself. Access to templates, checklists, reports, and webinars are just some of the resources that you can access as a member of these associations.
In addition, some author associations offer courses on different areas of the publishing process, in particular, the writing process and on marketing your book after publication. So, if you’re looking to upskill yourself as an author, then author associations are a good place to start.
If there’s one area that many independent authors struggle with, that’s marketing your book. You’ve published your book and now how do you sell it? Luckily most author associations have resources just for that.
Most marketing you find online is not very specific to selling books as a self-published author. These author associations do a great job at giving you the knowledge and tools to ensure you make a profit on your next book.
Discounts from partners
Author associations partner with a number of organisations who offer services for authors. Writing courses, publishing services, printing, even business operations and legal procedures. Most author associations have a range of partners with discounts for their members.
This is incredibly useful for independent authors looking to do most of the publishing and distribution themselves. If you already planned on using these services, then the cost of signing up for an author association will be made back by the savings you make through using their partner discounts.
When you shouldn’t join an author association
We have many authors come to us asking if they should join an association to get a specific discount code, namely the free title setup for IngramSpark. The question then becomes what do you need it for?
If you are only planning on publishing one book a year, then it won’t be worth joining an association just to get the discount code. If you are planning on publishing multiple books per year, then we highly recommend joining an association that offers IngramSpark discount codes as the cost of joining the association will be offset by the savings you make when you set up multiple books through IngramSpark.
Another factor to consider is your skillset and preferred education methods For some authors it’s just not necessary as there are plenty of free resources out there on the internet as well as many free online author communities. It comes down to what value you place on having all those resources given to you as opposed to doing your own research.
What if you don’t want to join an author association?
Another option is to hire an independent publisher to do all the work for you. Working with a publisher is the best option to ensure you get the right information and guarantee your vision is carried through to your book. Here at Old Mate Media, we coach you through the entire process and only work on the areas you need help with so that you have the flexibility to keep costs down. You can find out more about how we create world-class books here.
Author Associations we recommend
Here are some great author associations we recommend.* As an Australian independent publisher, we are a member of the Small Press Network.
- Small Press Network (Australia only)
- Alliance of Independent Authors
- Independent Book Publishers Association
- Association of Authors and Publishers for Special Sales
- Non-Fiction Authors Association
* We are not affiliated with any of these institutions and have not been paid to promote them.