This day two years ago, I published Apocalypse for the first time. Since then, it’s been a crazy and rewarding journey of self-publishing. Since then, I’ve written and published seven books with an eighth on the way. Since then, The Wasteland Chronicles books have seen over 50,000 downloads. Most of those downloads have been this year.
It’s crazy to imagine how self-publishing has allowed a lot of people to publish books on their own, and not only that, do much better than they would had they signed with a traditional publisher. It’s not just the much more generous royalties, though that is a big part. It’s the control over your vision. No one is going to care about the story as much as the writer does. It’s amazing to me that I’m completely unhindered in how much I want to write. I can write as many Wasteland Chronicles books as I want, and I’m not beholden to anyone but myself and my readers. It’s amazing that I have the freedom to write another series set in the far future after the the main series has concluded. If I want, I could write side stories for some of the characters in the old series. I could write about about any time period in the Wasteland universe.
Even in the days where I wasn’t earning enough to support myself, I was still making something low three-figures every month. Then, as I kept publishing books, the checks got a bit bigger until I was paying my rent with them. Then, it reached critical mass when it got an important BookBub feature and since then, I’ve been earning to support myself and write full-time.
I’m not the only one, either. There are hundreds of writers out there – and probably even thousands – making decent money from self-publishing, whether that’s a few hundred dollars a month or even into the tens of thousands. Never a day goes by that I don’t think about how lucky I am to be doing this, or how lucky I am to have such amazing readers. The Wasteland Chronicles is a bit weird. I try to think of what genre it is. The obvious one is sci-fi, but more specifically, post-apocalyptic, but there are also strong elements of fantasy and a dash of horror. There are zombie-ish things in it, but it’s not a zombie novel. It’s its own thing. It’s hard to imagine that there would be a publisher that would have taken it, just because it is kind of weird, genre-wise, but I think what I like most about self-publishing is it lets the readers decide what they like and what they don’t. There have been plenty of people who haven’t cared for my series, but there are also many that have loved it, and it’s for those people that I’m writing.
All I have to say is, I wouldn’t be here unless without the people who have supported me. That’s my readers, friends, family, mentors, other writers, and anyone else I’m not thinking of. If any of us stands anywhere, it’s because someone helped put us there. And a lot of people – thousands, if you count every person who’s read my series – have put me where I am today.
All I can do is keep writing, and hopefully keep writing the stories you guys want to read. My current work in progress is the longest thing I’ve ever written. By the time I’m finished, it will probably be twice as long as a typical Wasteland Chronicles book. It’s taking a few risks, but after working on it for months, I think I’ve found the main storyline that’s going to be the heart of the series, along with the twists and turns along the journey (as there will be quite a few).
The first draft will probably be done within a couple of weeks. I plan on working on it every day until it’s finished (and I also plan on adding a preview section to my blog for those interested, that describes the world a bit).
Thanks for reading, and here’s to another year!