Fashion Blogging

Already Pretty Joins The Blog-To-Book Trend

Sally McGraw, personal stylist and blogger, joins the ranks of Cupcakes & Cashmere and What I Wore by producing yet another blog-turned-book.

According to the announcement of her self-published effort, Already Pretty: The Book is supposed to teach you how to dress your shape and give you self-esteem through clothes or something:

The book is packed with enlightening exercises, mix-and-match figure flattery techniques, and effective tutorials that illustrate how personal style can foster self-love and self-respect.

Because as everyone knows, self-respect is based on wardrobe choices.

Well at least this is a self published book, which means I don’t want to yet again yell “WTF” at the publishing industry. But frankly these blogger books are getting a little tedious. It’s as though bloggers think print = legitimacy, and getting something in a book form seems to be the ultimate goal of most bloggers these days. It sort of lays dead the typical blogger argument of “I’m a REAL WRITER! Just because it’s a blog doesn’t mean I’m not a REAL WRITER!” when they are trying so hard to get in print.

I just feel that having something that you have basically already published for free on the internet bound and printed seems like nothing more than an exercise in vanity. It doesn’t increase the validity of your words, it doesn’t make you more authoritative. It just means you can puff yourself up by adding “author of” to your About page. And in my opinion, that’s really not a good enough reason to put a book into the world. But what do I know, I’m not a writer.

  1. avatar Shrug Bitch


  2. avatar Miss Noir


    She hasn’t learned to dress well.

    • avatar Nikks

      Exactly what I felt like typing…..

    • avatar twisted pearls

      I hate to pile on but that outfit is so damn meh.

      Ok don’t we all already know about the different types of figures and how to dress to accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative etc.???

  3. avatar JFA

    “After weighing various publishing options, I chose to do it all via CreateSpace and am extremely pleased with the results. Selecting this path allowed me to have total creative control to execute my vision for the book, and made it possible for me to present my ideas exactly as I wished.”

    Bitch? Absolutely NO ONE would give you a book deal. You fail harder than Stupid Bitch Quirk.

    • avatar JFA

      “In addition to writing her daily style and body image blog Already Pretty, she has blogged for The Frisky and Glamour and been published in US Airways’ in-flight magazine. ”

      She’s too sad to make fun of honestly.

      • avatar KERFETUS

        In-flights typically pay their writers quite well and demand a high level of quality work. That said, there’s a big leap between in-flights and The Frisky, and I know the pay scale difference, too. Let’s just say she’s not making a living on blogging for a women’s vertical.

    • avatar twee

      After weighing various SELF-publishing options, perhaps? ;)

    • avatar WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot


    • avatar That Girl

      Ugh. While I do support self publishing and small presses, editors do exist for a reason. I hope she at least got someone, even a student, to edit it for her.

  4. avatar GetMePizzaYouOldTroll

    learning to love your body by learning to dress is well ? since when does she dress well? WUT


  5. avatar Albie Quirky (No Relation!)

    That photo of her is better than La Quirk’s cover photo, I’ll give her that.

    But apparently she hates her head because she dresses it in a succession of hideous hairsuits. Note: I also have ridiculously fuzzy white-girl hair and it is not simple to find a good hairstyle, but she should fucking KEEP LOOKING.

  6. avatar Fat Freddys Cat

    Oh JESUS…she’s got…she’s got something…what is that?…GROWING up her leg! Something GREEN and alien looking!! OH HOLY F*CK…it’s wrapping around her ankle!!!

  7. avatar KERFETUS

    “Published author” is totally gonna be the term she uses, which is used by exactly no one with credibility. What the fuck else kind of author would you be if not published?

    Not sure we wanna get into this debate here, but I’ll be the first to say that pretty much no real writers (yeah, I’m one, what of it?) think self-publishing is awesome. I can think of maybe two writers off the top of my head who have had publishing rights revert to them after the first few years of having their book published. Only then did they put out their once-properly published book out as an ebook because they wanted to make a little extra cash and keep their stuff in circulation. But aside from those outlier examples of E. Lynn Harris, J.A. Konrath, or Darcie Chan, most people make jack shit doing this and only embarrass themselves. Or at least I find it to be horribly embarrassing. But what do I know? I’m just a professional writer who works in her jammies and hangs with her cat all day. All these bloggy book bitches would be horrified that I don’t hop up and dress for me first thing every day to have self respect. I do dress for me. Me happens to not currr how I look.

    • Yeah I work in publishing and self publishing is a last resort. We help people self public, but make sure they know they probably won’t make a profit really.

      • avatar Hater Face

        And that is why you industry is dying. See you in the graveyard along with newspapers and the music industry! These old beacons need to realize it’s evolve or perish.

        • avatar KERFETUS

          You’ve also got (to some extent) people like Sal here mucking things up for everyone. She probably won’t make a profit and probably doesn’t care. “Real writers” who don’t care about actually earning a living aren’t to blame for the industry’s collapse, but they sure as hell don’t make it any easier for the rest of us who pay the bills this way.

          It’s worth pointing out that publishing a book has never been a goldmine to more than a handful of writers. Most books do rather poorly and authors tend to make high four figures or low five if they’re lucky. If you think about how much work writing an entire book takes, your hourly or even monthly income goals go right out the window. Writers I know do books for one reason only: the cred. And if non-professionals know this, I guess they figure not making any money is fine. Doesn’t mean I have to respect someone who doesn’t believe in making any money from their work or getting the cred of a real publishing deal.


          • avatar maibukkit

            Word. It’s not the profit, but the accomplishment of landing an actual deal. I remember Franzen writing about how his first two novels came out to great reviews but no real “noise,” which left him feeling like he’d gotten an A on his report card: something of a meaningless accomplishment.

    • avatar Little Orphan Lilly

      Woo, real PUBLISHED AUTHORS represent!

      I mean, I’m a poet, so in my circle “self-published author” = I am pathetic and also insane. And it’s not even a question of money because there’s pretty much no money in poetry ever; being published by a reputable press is completely about legitimacy.

      My impression is that people are a little less horrified by self-publishing if you’re doing something like writing niche fiction and publishing it for Kindle, but even with that I think the trajectory is publish something on Amazon, get some good sales numbers, then use those numbers as leverage to get yourself a real publishing deal.

      For a book like Sal’s, though? You publish with a real publisher so you have access to designers and photographers who can make your book look nice. Judging by the pic above she needs someone who can lay out a cover design just as badly as she needs someone to dress her. Yeesh.

      • avatar seasecrets

        i completely agree, a lot of times it’s about marketing, design and the distribution channels a publisher has access to, so the book has exposure and legitimacy. but i’m sure it’s a sad sack of a book so whatevs.

      • avatar maibukkit


        If you’re a writer, you’re going to write because you need to write. You don’t self-publish just to have a book out there; you get a deal to get the cred and the sense of accomplishment — that your words were worth paying for, binding, and being sold. If your book sinks, it sinks, but that’s how it goes. I’m sure there are some self-published books that aren’t crap, but since I’m not a genre reader, I don’t know the odds. I do like to know that what I’ve paid money for has gone through some kind of quality-control process, however, which is why I tend to stay away from self-publishing… for every non-insane self-published author, there are hundreds of BUYER BEWARE cases.



          I’ve had short stories and poems published in some pretty reputable places, but the last novel I queried to agents went nowhere. I’m not going to self-pub it. I’m about to query the next one, and hang on to the other in hopes that one day, it gets its chance. I’m a good writer; however, that doesn’t translate to skill with every other piece of the puzzle. My book deserves better than my “creative vision” for its layout and cover, my marketing skills, etc.

          Well, actually, maybe Already Pretty isn’t wrong… I’m not sure blogs-turned-print deserve more.

    • avatar FattyMagoo

      Self publishing can have credibility if you’re working in a niche that is reeeaaaallly fucked up when it comes to pay. Traditionally published knitting books and knitting patterns pay horrendously, and self publishing can actually pay better so a lot of well respected people self pub.

    • avatar Albie Quirky (No Relation!)

      Self-publishing is useful and in many cases the best choice by far for publications that appeal to small, well-defined markets: local histories, books of interest to very focused hobbyists, books on non-fiction topics that are going to be sold in conjunction with workshops or seminars led by the writer, books on special interests where there are few or no reliable publishers (knitting patterns, historical costuming, niche BDSM topics, etc.)

      For a general-interest topic like “how to dress yourself” it’s absolutely an admission of failure.

      • avatar Reeda

        And if you want to write a book on historical BDSM knitting patterns, self-pub is the only way to go.

        I kind of dig the whole self-pub movement. It reminds me of indie music or indie movies. Yes, you pay up front when you self-pub, but even authors who get picked up by publishing houses “pay” because they don’t get nearly as much from the sale of each book (if they get anything at all–a lot of times authors don’t earn out their advances anyway). Self-pub authors just have to arrange their own marketing and publicity, which, while not easy, is not impossible if you know your market.

        • avatar New Year New You

          “historical BDSM knitting patterns” lawl. I wanna read this, someone make it.

        • avatar KERFETUS

          I totally want to be down with self-publishing as some DIY statement of ethics, but as a writer who actually makes her living this way, I cringe when I see hobbyists act like their self-pub’d mess is the same as being signed by a hot agent who can get you a HarperCollins deal. I know how rare those are, but I’m not sure if I could get up and do what I do every day if I didn’t dream of getting one. But that’s just me. Dream big or go home.

          (And if I worked on a niche issue, well, I might think differently. I also might not make a living as a writer. Catch-22 forever.)

          • avatar Albie Quirky (No Relation!)

            I don’t think self-pub is a good way to make a living for 99.9% of people who do it, but I also think the projects best suited to self pub (like the local history) aren’t projects people expect to make a living from.

            No trade publisher is going to publish A History of Smalltown Lake because they’re not going to sell 5,000 copies of it (especially if Smalltown’s population is 1,200!) But self-publishing A History of Smalltown Lake might be a lot of fun for the author, and something nice for people to get their grandmas for Christmas, and if the author sells 500 copies or so they’ll probably have the money for a nice vacation so they can get away from goddamned Smalltown Lake for a change!

            • avatar maibukkit

              I love you. This comment is beautiful.

              Though there was a Dear Abby or similar question about a relative who self-published the family’s history and was demanding everyone fork over 50 USD for a copy, regardless of the household head count.

              • avatar Albie Quirky (No Relation!)

                Yeah, that’s just not on. I would flip if someone wanted me to fork over $50 for their crappy family history!

                I have worked with editing clients who did self-published things like local histories, guides to playing certain styles of bluegrass violin, and so forth, and it was absolutely the right choice for them.

                A trade publisher isn’t going to publish anything they don’t think they can sell at least 5,000 copies of. This makes good sense from their perspective. However, there are lots of books that are well written, well researched, and yet still not going to be of interest to anywhere near 5,000 people, and those are the books for which self-publishing is invariably the right answer.

                However, a general fashion book is a terrible choice for self-publishing. Terrible.

          • avatar Samson

            I do see the appeal of self-publishing, but I think it cheapens the work of those of us in traditional publishing.

            “I cringe when I see hobbyists act like their self-pub’d mess is the same as being signed by a hot agent who can get you a HarperCollins deal” Yeah, like my friends who tell me they’re writers too. No, being published on OpenSalon is not the same as my actual hardcover books. Sorry.

            • avatar The Fattest Fat Who Ever Fatted

              Sal self-publishing her book in no way cheapens your work. If self-publishing has the capacity to cheapen works that come from a traditional publishing method, the works must be weak as hell and the industry failing on an epic level. Full stop. A model of amateurs doing their own thing, regardless of how deluded they may be to its value, cannot harm a 100-year-old model unless that model is very flawed. There are two ways to interpret this statement and I don’t care which one you choose.

              As someone who worked for Holt, Rinehart, Winston, then Harcourt, then HMH, I have seen the so-called professional side of publishing. I have encountered editors who make Koko the signing gorilla seem literate and urbane. I have witnessed human idiocy on a scale that would make any dedicated writer shit blood if they had any idea of what goes on behind the scenes. Niche publishers give more of a shit, but to be perfectly blunt, having worked for a big dog, I will DIY or Die with any manuscript I produce.

              And if I do, I will be able to maintain control over my text, market it properly and a 21-year-old intern who does not understand the difference between “its” and “it’s” will not be making so much work for me on the galley that I cry when I make my suggested changes. I may make less but in the end, I was gonna be fucked anyway (someday ask me about how Barry O’Callaghan almost cost me my house with his excellent stewardship of HMH). Traditional publishing just offers the perception of lube before they bend you over.

              • avatar Albie Quirky (No Relation!)

                Amen, Fattest Fat. Also, self-publishing has been going on all the time since the commercial publishing model came into being. It didn’t “cheapen” the works of Dickens and it didn’t “cheapen” the works of James Joyce and it didn’t “cheapen” the works of {insert your favorite 1950s writer here} and it doesn’t “cheapen” anyone’s work today.

              • avatar Angela

                John Grisham self-published his first book, “A Time To Kill” because no one would publish it. Worked out for him.

              • avatar Samson

                Dude, don’t think I don’t know what goes on in book publishing. I too have worked there for many years: Penguin, St Martin’s, S&S, and so on. While standards have slipped over the years, of course, it’s still not the laughable mess self-publishing mostly is.

              • avatar AQNR

                Grisham did not self-pub A Time to Kill. It was first published by Wynwood Press, a small New York house that went out of business. I have no idea where this non-fact comes from and why it won’t die.

              • avatar KERFETUS

                Sally McGraw =/= John Grisham.


              • avatar Little Orphan Lilly

                Hey man, knock publishers if you want, but LEAVE KOKO OUT OF THIS. (God damn I love that gorilla.)

                I’d say the equivalent of an indie scene within publishing isn’t self-publishing, it’s small presses–you get the legitimacy/credibility of having gone through submitting, editing, etc, but odds are you’ll also get a lot more attention and communication with your editor.

              • avatar meme


    • avatar rosieposie

      A colleague of mine has resorted to self publishing because her books are simply not mainstream. They deal with controversial issues, are long (LONG) and there’s no commercial audience so she just can’t get picked up.

  8. avatar Franish

    I think it all comes down to $$

  9. Um this is going to be a bigger trainwreck than What I Wore. Sally, just give it up.

    And I guarantee there will be no profit made from this book…at all.

  10. avatar Already Pantless

    Seems like a way to cash in on those free internet words. Maybe she’ll be able to afford some pants.

  11. avatar Redrah

    Can I judge the book by the cover? What a bland, bland cover. She blends right into the background. She has hundreds of insane colorful get-ups! Why didn’t she pick one for the cover?

  12. avatar Already Pantless

    Also, what is mix-and-match figure flattery? “Oh, what darling ankles!” “Where did you get that neck?” “Those hips are so YOU!”

  13. avatar Hater Face

    I don’t find self-published books to be as annoying as ones published by publishing houses (have I said publish enough in 1 sentence?). If her readers want to buy it, they’ll buy it. I don’t know if it will open her up to a new audience. Whatevs *Shrugs*

    • avatar Albie Quirky (No Relation!)

      I don’t think I follow your comment. Do you mean that you find commercially published books, in general, to be “annoying”? Or do you mean that you find it even more annoying when bloggers get commercial book deals than when they self-publish books?

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