Into 2024, and Beyond

2024 was a rough year.

You might have divined as much from the sudden drop in output over the past half-year. Real Life circumstances have conspired to force a sea change in every aspect of my life. With so much more to handle than ever before, my writing time has been reduced by half. Or even two-thirds.

5000-6000 word days were my norm. Now, on a good day, I barely manage 2000 to 2500 words. This might be acceptable had I made enough money from fiction writing to justify it, but I do not.

I knew from the beginning that indie authordom would be an incredibly difficult career. I also knew I had no choice. No publisher in Singapore would pick up my stories, and neither would a good many publishers overseas as well.

I was still in school when the first wave of the indie revolution arrived. I was too late to establish my reputation as an early mover. The stories I wrote did not fit neatly into any genre, and so I was overlooked by the algorithm. When the LitRPG and cultivation genres took off, I was, again, late to the scene. Everything I did was drowned out by the noise. I lacked the funds to purchase the advertising space needed to be heard over the crowd, and I won’t degrade myself and my readers by resorting to writing porn.

Despite all that, I saw a modicum of success in an unexpected direction, and I intend to exploit it.

The Babylon series is my worst-performing series—if you look strictly at royalties alone. But if you count total earnings, including cryptocurrency and prize awards, it is my best-performing series.

Babylon was conceived as a webserial. While webserials were—and are—hot, it is held back by two key factors. The first is a lack of platforms that provide a native reading experience and allow authors to easily monetise their works. Usually one would have to post on Royal Road to gain visibility and Patreon to earn income. The second is that webserials are by and large poorly written. Authors dump a huge amount of words every day at the expense of quality.

I can bring output and quality. And now there are platforms that allow visibility and monetisation.

I was late to so many trends. I cannot afford to be late again.

For all that, barring a black swan event, my writing time is still limited. I have 9 books on my backlist awaiting publication. As if that’s not enough, the rights of The Covenant Chronicles—my very first series—have returned to me. My readers have indicated that they want to see the return of The Covenant Chronicles, so that means 3 manuscripts to be published, plus at least 2 new ones to conclude the series.

I have 14 manuscripts to publish (or re-publish) before I can publish new material. It will take at least 2 or even 3 years to work through them all.

Time is life. I cannot afford to delay my plans by 2 to 3 years.

This shift to webserials will have to take place concurrently with publication of my backlist. There is going to be a degree of friction while I try to work things out. But better friction now than languishing forever. I expect to begin work on webserials after working on the final 2 manuscripts of The Covenant Chronicles.

Regardless of how things turn out, 2024 is going to be an interesting year. It will define my career trajectory for years to come.

As always, I appreciate your readership and your support. Massive changes are a-coming. I’ve been lost in a labyrinth for the past six years, but maybe this time, there is a way out and into the light.

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