I’m not gonna lie to you, internet stranger. It’s been a rough stretch. I have been in a state of relatively arrested development for about three years now. And now that the world is returning to some semblance of normalcy after our sojourn into Pandemic Hell, it’s high time I broke my personal stalemate.
I have been chasing the dream of being a published full-time author my entire adult life, and for a good deal of adolescence too. I still believe it is an admirable goal. I respect everyone who sincerely pursues that aspiration. And to those who have already succeeded? You’re heroes. But over the past decade, I have written three books, queried the hell out of two of them, and came away with nothing to show for it except the stories to tell. And as I geared up for round three, I found myself choking. I always assumed that I was scared. Afraid that if the third time wasn’t the charm, it would break me, and I would be back to square one.
But recent events have made me reflect on what I really want out of life, and how I’m going to achieve it. Where my craft is concerned, the answer is simple: I want readership, and I want a livable recompense so I can keep on writing. The path to publishing isn’t merely the scenic route to achieving those goals–it is the grand tour of Mordor, and even if I manage to chuck this goddamn ring into the volcano, there may not be any eagles coming at the end.
Okay, that metaphor went kind of sideways, so let me rephrase: I don’t want to spend another 5 years waiting for the broader world to read my stuff. I don’t want to adjust my content or characters to make editors comfortable with how they square with whatever’s trendy or topically safe. And above all, I do not want to achieve my dream of getting published, only for the series to get axed after book two, depriving me of the IP. Because those things, dear reader, would break me.
So contrary to earlier plans, I won’t be querying Amagia. I plan on self-publishing the first novel digitally some time next year. And this winter, I will invite readers to take my world for a test drive.
January of next year, I will begin posting a free text serial set in the Amagiaverse, which will update twice weekly until the novel is ripe for release. These brief, episodic installments will be hosted on a Patreon with a basic “pay what you can” model, and a couple subscription tiers offering extras like remixed Deviant Art short stories, in-universe excerpts, and access to an Amagia discord.
Do I really think that this will be easier than querying? Absolutely not. I will be doing all the work myself, without the guidance of experienced professionals or any kind of supplementary staff or budget. Let me be clear: I know this is the stupid thing to do. But I have always been better at working hard than working smart. And I am done betting my career on the whims of capricious markets and jaded strangers. I am declaring this my rock bottom. And I am already over it.
Cool stuff is on the way. Stay tuned.