Friday, September 11, 2009

Guest Blogger--Sarah M. Eden

Sarah is in my ANWA writer's group that meets once a month. She gave a great lesson about self-publishing and I asked if she could guest blog it for us. She has self-published about 9? books. You can find her books on I have read "Seeking Persephone" that was nominated for a Whitney Award. I couldn't put the book down. I definately recommend her books. She also has good news. Because her self-published book was nominated for a Whitney Award, she was able to meet someone that introduced her to an editor, who just bought a new manuscript of hers. I will be sure to update you on when her new book will be out. So when it comes to self-publishing, Sarah knows her stuff. For more info check out her website at

Traditional Publishing vs. Self-Publishing:
the ultimate literary smack-down

In this corner, the odds-on favorite and reigning heavy-weight champion of the literary world, Traditional “Big Guns” Publishing. “Big Guns” looks confident and strong, boasting an impressive arsenal of industry weaponry:
Established relationships with distributors, retailers, reviewers and prestigious publications
In-house publicity, marketing, design and editing staff
The financial resources to completely fund the release of new titles
Lower creation costs
Higher profile and visibility
Total Street Cred

In the other corner, our under-dog and the publishing method voted “Most Likely to be Shoved into a Locker,” Self- “I Get No Respect” Publishing. S-P has a few unexpected strengths hidden in its scrawny limbs:
Complete author control of design, editing and final product
Newer technologies to keep the costs lower – Print-on-demand, e-books
Faster turn-over time
An excellent fit for works with a limited audience (family histories, cookbooks, poetry, etc.)
Absolutely no authors are ever cruelly rejected by a self-publisher

This is shaping up to be the match of the century. Of course, no commentary would be complete without a little suspense thrown in to heighten the drama. Just for kicks, let's examine the weaknesses of self-publishing. After all, what's the point of having such an obvious underdog if we can't rub a little salt into its fresh, painful wounds?Self- “I Get No Respect” Publishing continues to jump into the ring time and time again despite some obvious drawbacks to its role in the industry.

Books that are self-published are almost immediately dismissed and nearly always looked down on by the members of the “Big Guns” entourage.
Without professional editors/designers/marketers, self-published books often look “amateurish” and will inevitably have more typos, some snarky and up-tight reviewers will take exception to this – not that the announcer knows personally
Price is always higher per unit and often makes retail sales unprofitable if not impossible
Sales of self-published books do count as a previous sales record for an author and can be detrimental to an author's attempts to eventually defect to the “Big Guns” side of the arena
Constant abandonment by fans and supporters who know that any real career advancement lies with the champ
Self-published authors spend long hours devising clever ways to make them appear traditionally published without having to resort to actually lying about it.

So, fight fans, grab your soda and popcorn and that enormous foam finger that seems such an essential part of any sporting event and settle-in for the end-all grudge match. Who will be crowned the winner, and who will walk away in defeat?

-- "If I don't write to empty my mind, I go mad." -Lord Byron


  1. Thanks Sarah! This was very informative to me. My husband has always been leaning toward self publishing but I really needed this lesson to be truly informed about self-publishing. if anyone has questions, she is definately the girl to ask!

  2. This is a great post Sarah, very informative.

    MMW Girls....I need a guest blogger for tomorrow (Saturday), so if you know of someone that would be interested, go for it. Sorry for the late notice. I'm tempted to put a silly video on there, but thought one of you might have some great words of wisdom you might want to share instead. HUGS

  3. Sarah!
    First off can I say how seriously cute you are? Sheesh, red hair and everything. Thanks for being a guest blogger. Our guest bloggers totally rock! And what an exciting topic--it's nice to see it from someone so successful. Good luck!



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