Jeff Russell on Indie vs. Trad Publishing

The romantic in me wants to believe that most authors suffer from an incurable passion to create. Scenarios, characters, dilemmas, conflicts, resolutions, happy endings, etc. are all aching to get out, to be heard, revised, edited, revised again (and again and again) and then, in due time, to be shared with the world. And it doesn't stop – before one story is done the next is crying to be heard. 

It is certainly that way for me. Three novels are complete – each of them an exhilarating experience of which I am quite proud – the fourth is soon to be released and numbers five and six are banging on the door pleading for some of my undivided attention. Therein lies the problem ... time. There is never enough and I can no longer justify spending any of what little I have trying to interest an agent. 


For that reason I walk the indie route. Don't get me wrong ... it's not that I haven't tried but after an infinite number of polite rejections and even more unanswered queries I've come to the conclusion that the return on that investment just isn't there for me. I can spend my time composing query letters and chasing down agents (with little actual hope of attracting their attention) and then spend countless hours attempting to build a vast social media following (because today even traditionally published authors must be their own marketing department) or I can spend it writing and creating and enjoying the fruits of my literary labors. 

Not a wise career move, some might say, and I agree with them. But for me writing is a labor of love, it is the end and not the financial means to some other end. Again, don't get me wrong – I'd be happy to be paid – but for now I'm content to give my stories away to whoever wants to read them, and if those readers are kind enough to post a review I would be grateful for their comments. Knowing where I fell short is invaluable feedback and knowing that I've pleased someone is reward enough.


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For more from author Jeff Russell visit his website:


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