I find myself in a dilemma. I am sure that twenty years ago, authors did not have to worry about publishing methods. Now, it seems that it is as real as writing the manuscript. E-Publish or T-(Traditional) Publish? What with the flood of e-readers and online books on the market, this could be my break into the literary world. But is this the step I want to take? Other authors didn’t seem to have a problem sacrificing to the world-wide web, their beloved manuscripts, for the hordes to sample. On the other hand, I am not willing to wait out the rest of my life in the hopes of snagging a literary agent and then enduring the mind wrenching process of editing till I no longer recognise the story or my characters.

I read an article about e-publishing. Apparently Kindle through Amazon allows authors to upload their novels. It’s all above board I presume. I didn’t see a hint of shady business. The author gets to set the list price. Cover art could be provided at the author’s discretion or it can be left in the capable hands of the website’s artists. The percentage of royalties that one can expect will differ from country to country.

Sounds good doesn’t it? So what am I waiting for? I’m not much of a salesperson first of all and self publishing means that I would be out there, facing the internet masses with no possible way of knowing how to sell a book I took eighteen years to carefully craft.

However, the good thing about online publishers is that they don’t require physical space to store books, so a novel can stay on the web shelves for as long as required. This way the author can build a following, retain an established readership that could be used as leverage to make a break into traditional publishing after all – if he or she so desires.

More and more agents and publishers are looking for authors who already have a substantial online presence and/or following. They require an author to have a ‘platform’ to sell novels. My problem is, I don’t have a specific platform. I have many interests and I write what comes to mind rather than what is selling. I mean, just take a look at my blog. Call me foolish, but writing just to make money is sort of robbing myself of the joy of creating a new world, if only on paper.

There are risks in both. It’s a gamble either way. In the event that I do have some success with publishing the T-way, what are the chances that my precious novel might end up getting worm eaten in a publisher’s warehouse? It could go the other way too. It could become a bestseller and my literary agent will sing my praises. The same could be said for e-publishing I suppose. It’s either or. One way or the other with very little middle ground.

Oh well, there is still some time to consider. How things have changed indeed. I never thought that writing would become a business. That is what it seems like. Come what may, this novel will see the light of day. Whatever it takes.

© Reshma Mituram and WordCupid 2013. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Reshma Mituram and WordCupid with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.