I finally finished writing my second novel, Portrait of Woman in Ink: A Tattoo Storybook on Saturday. Yes, hooray. No, hold the champagne. Now is when the *really* hard work begins: engaging my beta readers, rearranging stories, revising, and editing, editing, and more editing.

Not to mention, deciding how I want to publish, revising my shameless query letter, and beginning the soul-sucking process of sending out queries to publishers. As faithful fans of the Kelly Hitchcock literary flavor know, I self-published my first novel, The Redheaded Stepchild. I don’t have anything against traditional publishing, I just grew tired of the querying (and rejection) process and believed what everyone turned around and said about it – that it wasn’t marketable enough. Yes, this was a nice way of saying “Your first book is about you, which is a little self-indulgent, don’t you think? Plus, you know no one gives a shit about you, right?”

Portrait of Woman in Ink is quite a bit more marketable, I think, and has a much more focused appeal (for those not familiar with the literary adventures of Kelly Hitchcock, it’s a collection of short stories about women and their tattoos). As such, I think it’s more geared toward a more traditional publishing road to perdition. Since this site is wholly my personal ramblings, I feel no shame in saying that it is my personal opinion that authors should not limit themselves to one method over another: self publishing versus traditional publishing. How can you extol all the virtues and bitch about all the drawbacks of each form if you haven’t done them both?

I’ve traditionally published shorter works – short stories, poems, essays, but I have yet to traditionally publish a book. I want to give it a try with Portrait of Woman in Ink, even though I know it’ll be a soul-sucking process full of rejection and self-loathing. Why? Because it’ll be worth it. And yeah, when it goes out of print and I am 80 years old (but still hot), I’ll turn around and self-publish it. By that time, I’ll have a rabid fanbase of no less than 37 people who crave the Kelly Hitchcock literary flavor with a ravenous bloodlust, except for word blood.

Also, I turned 30 last week. Go me.

What do you think? Is it truly an “Us V Them” (indies vs. traditionals) world out there, or should all serious authors dip their feet into both?