2013 was a big year. My wife started clinicals, my son continued to evolve into a hyper-sentient manifestation of energy, I switched jobs, and…oh, yeah, I published my book.
That has been an amazing experience. I’ve lost count of how many books I’ve sold, probably some where around six hundred. An extremely modest sum, sure, but a hell of a lot more than I thought and I would with self publishing.
Honestly, it was a lot more than I ever thought it would be period. For something like three years, I looked in from the other side, reading everything everyone had to say about all forms of publishing. I read agents, publishers, and self pub authors with a smattering of everything in between. I thought it was going to be one of those fantasies that I would always be on the outside of, one of those things I got excited about and then found out I didn’t meet this qualification or it would cost too much or a dozen other things that would make it easy to give up on. I went through a cycle two or three times, writing a ton then trying to learn what I could do with it and giving up when I was daunted. Sometimes it was the writing that made me give up, other times it was the industry.
The world of self publishing I first read about changed every time I checked back in. At first it was a no mans land, a barren place for only the wannabes and hacks, where authors went to die when their words failed them or the industry left them behind. When I checked in again it was a gold rush, with authors (and service providers) making millions while people screamed back and forth about publishing and paper and price. I didn’t take a long break after that last time but by the time I came back the gold rush was settling, New York was beginning to begrudgingly accept self published authors and the industry was leveling out.
The only thing I regret is that I didn’t do it sooner, that I let my own doubt hold me back. A lot happened in 2013, but more will happen in 2014, for both myself and publishing. Amazon will continue to tweak KDP and Select, Barnes and Noble will continue to struggle and thrash, authors will make headlines, and publishers will scramble about.
Authors have lauded self publishing for all that it offers them, for the ability to control their work or work in a way they couldn’t before. To publish as many stories as they can churn out, to genre hop, to construct series in ways they couldn’t before, to tie things in when they wanted to. My dream has always been to make my own world, my own Middle-Earth, my own Shannara. Maybe I’ll find some stories that take place outside of it, but for now I’m making the series I want to make, exploring the world I always wanted to make. That doesn’t mean it ends with Virgil though, I want to write at least two books this year and as many short stories and novellas as I can churn out. That means introducing you to a world in which Virgil McDane is a very, very small piece. A world bigger than Wizards and Sorcerers, bigger than all the things you saw in Sorcerer Rising. I want to introduce you to the WyrmLords and the Vampire Courts, the Hollow World and the First Men, Grendal and Nod, werefolk, the Fay, the great creature so many mistakenly call Gaia, the Whisperer, the jungles under the surface of the moon, Nidia all the other worlds of the Aether, Order and Chaos, the Myrrdin, the Curwen Clan, Dirty Dan…a whole world of monsters and myths and magic.
Here’s to 2014 and watching our worlds continue to change.