(Otherwise known as Trad versus Have, Part 2)

I love it when I get comments on my blog (Discounting the offensive ones). Receiving comments from my readers (all three of you), not only shows me that people actually read the stuff I churn out, but the people who write them are intelligent, have excellent taste and are incredibly smart when they urge me to carry on writing (thank you, Kathy).

When I wrote ‘Trad versus Have’ part one, I guess you could say I was bias towards the benefits of traditional publishing. I stated that if you had spent over a year writing a masterpiece, then I believe you should pursue the Trad route and get something back for the hard work you’ve put in. If on the other hand you’ve spent months knocking them up, and keeping up with your speed of delivery, you should choose the self publishing route so that you can get yourself out there.

There are varying degrees of that opinion and I’m about to tell you what they are. Take a seat.

First of all, my opinions are biased and I’m not always right (as you have discovered reading my blog over the past few months and have laughed your arse off at the things I have said). Secondly, I don’t always mention everything that should be taken into account, because as you know, I often get sidetracked.

I am in touch with a 94 yr old, online, who has written his memoirs of his time in the war telling snippets of stories about his family and neighbours during the blitz. The work is very interesting as you can imagine, but (and he won't listen when I tell him) it's too long winded. He gets all upset with me, goes off, has a sulk for a couple of months and then he comes back for more. I'm really mean to him, but he loves me.

This wonderful old man has been writing his book for years, he's at an age where it is possible he will never see his book in print and yet he is determined to go down the Trad route. Why? Because it's what he deserves. A story like that, where he has given his life and soul to putting it together in a bound manuscript, why shouldn’t he get what his heart desires?

Yes, I’m a romantic with my head in the clouds, and I suppose there is the argument that if he self publishes, he could at least see it in print before he goes on to a place far greater than this. However, when you're 94 and you're determined never to give up, like he is, it's a bit hard to argue with. Is it not?

Self publishing is great, but it is the easy option and I have to wonder if some of us don't just give up too easily after a few knock-backs, when, if we had tried harder, for longer, we could have secured that deal with a publisher and watched our treasured manuscripts become a proper book; smelling like one, feeling like one, looking like one, and distributed...world wide.

There are benefits to be had with self publishing, but for the serious amongst us who intend to earn a good living as a published author, shouldn't we keep trying just that little bit harder?

What would have happened, I wonder, if Tolkien had the option to self publish? Yes, he would have had less heartache and it would have been a much easier route than the one he actually took, but would Lord of the Rings be as famous now? Maybe. Maybe not. But the guy actually created his own language, would it have been fair to him and his genius to have knocked it out on kindle? I don’t think so.

It's a hard decision to make. You have a manuscript you have put years into. You can press a few buttons and self publish on-line, whether it is an eBook or paperback format. But will you one day wonder, after flogging your kindle version alongside thousands of others, that if you'd taken the Trad route and tried, just that little bit harder, could you have secured a publishing deal?

Ask yourself that before you take the easy route.

That’s all I’m saying.

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