Guest Post: Self-Publishing vs. Publishing – Ellen Cardona

Brownie Fix

I’m very pleased to welcome Ellen Cardona to the blog today, as part of her tour with CLP Blog Tours.

Self-Publishing vs. Publishing – Ellen Cardona

Writers are often faced with the decision now to self-publish or land an agent, who finds a publisher, or just find a publisher on their own. For my book, Brownie Fix, I landed a publisher, which turned into a complete nightmare.

You know those red flags that you hear about when divorced people talk about their former spouses, well think of the relationship between a writer and a publisher as a marriage. Oh boy, did I have red flags. Oh yeah, I ignored them.

I’m pretty loyal, and I tried to stay loyal and in the writer/publisher relationship even when the publisher started to take over the book and insert her voice in every single page. I remember she told that my book was her baby. Red Flag.

What she didn’t know was that when she took over my book and when I basically became her copy editor, correcting her grammar mistakes, I finally got pushed to the point of developing a backbone. I took back my voice and deleted the majority of her stuff. Out of complete rage, I was driven to make my book better. I noticed that I had dropped some strings and connected them, and I changed some scenes to bring the book into focus. Out of complete rage, I became a better writer.

She backed off, and I thought all would be well. It was the calm before the storm.

What I didn’t know was that she didn’t have a clue on how to publish a book, soft copy and ebook. She was basically using the same tools as any self-published writer would use. I remained loyal and tried to send her articles after articles on how to format the soft copy and how to format ebooks, but in the process, I started learning how to publish, and she didn’t.

The end result was that I let her go and self-published Brownie Fix. The first draft that was released had typographical errors, which completely shocked me. It was because two people had been writing Brownie Fix, and I had spent most of my time trying to get rid of the publisher’s voice that I did not see the errors. I finally found a very good copy editor.

The hardest part of self-publishing is the marketing. I had to learn marketing. I established a blog, Facebook and Twitter accounts, website, but that was not enough. That’s only the tip of iceberg. As a writer, you have to sell yourself and get out there. You have to put yourself out there for appearances with book clubs, social clubs, and anywhere you can sell your book. It’s been a learning process, a huge learning process.

For my next book, Raven’s Return, I’m on the shelf on whether I want to self-publish again. I already have a cover artist, a copy editor, and publishing tools, plus I have an online presence and an audience. What’s putting me on the shelf is the marketing.

If I do decide to go the traditional route with an agent and a publisher, then I won’t ignore the red flags because I won’t be desperate for a publisher. I know that I’ll be all right self-publishing, too.

Raven’s Return is due out in the fall, which means December for me because I’m always two months behind me deadline. I’ll be finishing up my edits by the end of July and forwarding the manuscript to my copy editor and test readers, while the artwork is being completed.

I guess I’ll have to make a decision at that time what route to choose. Whatever way I go, I’m wiser with all the lessons I’ve learned. That’s good. I’ll take it.

About Brownie Fix (2011)
Brownie FixChocolate. Love. Sex. Really, what else could a woman want in life? For Persey, the heroine of Brownie Fix, her days are fun-filled until what is normally one of life’s most fulfilling experiences, the birth of her son, leads her straight into a dark state of postpartum depression.

Wandering in her own postpartum hell, Persey meets people that are absurd, like the swinging neighbors who want a little more than a cup of sugar and a group of mothers who become whipped up in worship to a climactic furor. On top of the madness, she keeps seeing a yellow-toothed old man who acts like he wants to breastfeed from her. Or is it her imagination? Add the voices in her head that become louder and louder, and it’s little wonder that Persey reaches for brownie mix to soothe her insanity.

Buckling under the pressure and lack of sleep from motherhood, Persey experiences the five stages of grief that lead her to uncover a buried secret, and gradually she begins to heal with the help of her family, friends, and, of course, brownies.

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About Ellen Cardona
Ellen CardonaEllen Cardona wrote Brownie Fix to help deal with the postpartum depression she experienced after one of her pregnancies. Through her writing, she found that postpartum depression was real but conquerable, especially when one has the help of some dark chocolate and even darker humor. When Ellen is not writing, she teaches literature to college freshmen and attempts to help them understand the writing process, though they think she’s crazy because of her love for literature and writing.

Ellen graduated from the University of Texas at Dallas with a PhD in Humanities with a specialization in Literature. Even though she has published several academic works on Ezra Pound, she could not ignore her true passion as a fiction writer. Ellen lives in Richardson, Texas and continues to learn daily from her husband and two children. In good times and bad, she still enjoys her brownies.

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Dave Brown

I was born in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, England and have always been a bookworm and enjoyed creative writing at school. In 1999 I created the Elencheran Chronicles and have been writing ever since. My first novel, Fezariu's Epiphany, was published in May 2011. When not writing I'm a lover of films, games, books and blogging. I live in Barnsley, with my wife, Donna, and our six cats - Kain, Razz, Buggles, Charlie, Bilbo and Frodo.
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