Hard to believe 2020 is a year that can end: It’s been one hell of a year! Technically, it’s not over yet, and I’m entirely ready for one final M. Night twist to hit us before the clock strikes midnight. Even so, it’s also been a great year in other respects, so I wanted to take a few minutes to recap my year as an author.
While I started writing the “Restart Again” series in March of 2019, I didn’t publish it until March of 2020. Originally, I had no intention of ever sharing the project with anybody, apart from maybe a few close friends. However, when I had finished what became Volume 1, I decided to look into self-publishing, and found it was incredibly easy through Amazon’s KDP program. I commissioned some art from an artist I had followed for a long time, got it formatted, and after a few weeks of fighting with the formatting system, I was a published author.
With that said, I never considered the possibility that people would actually read what I had published. I was perfectly content to share it with my friends and family, and was pleasantly surprised to see a sale or two every day during the first month of release. But then something changed. In the middle of April, I saw a large spike in readership, out of nowhere! I’ve wondered about it ever since, and I don’t think I’ll ever know what happened. Perhaps people were just REALLY into reading during those first months of quarantine, and I published at exactly the right time. Whatever the case, I appreciate it!
It’s been a very strange experience to get used to reading criticisms on my writing. I know people tell you not to do it, but I read every single review between Amazon, Royal Road, Audible, and Goodreads. In the beginning, it was a bit difficult to read the 1* reviews, whether or not they were constructive or not (most weren’t). I think it was good for me though, because now they don’t really phase me! Most of the mean ones are rather entertaining at this point.
Beyond all that, I’ve learned a lot from my first experience with self publishing! Formatting, editing, commissioning artwork, and hopefully, just getting better at writing in general. I was able to do a prerelease for Volume 2’s eBook, and I was blown away by the support! People seem to be enjoying the series, and I’m having a blast writing it.
So, fast forward back to December 31st, 2020. Three hours to midnight. As of right now, Volume 1 has over 200 reviews on Amazon. That’s crazy! The audiobook is at 108 reviews, and Volume 2 is up to 60. I’m continually impressed by how many people leave reviews; whether they’re positive or negative, it means my writing was impactful enough to get them to say something about it!
As always, an update on my current progress. Volume 3 is now over 140,000 words. And it’s not done! I believe I have two chapters remaining before the story is wrapped up and Volume 4 begins, so we’re probably looking at a 150k+ story! With Volume 1 ending up around 88k, and Volume 2 at 118k, I’m continually surprised that I’m still going on this one. They will DEFINITELY not continue to be this long.
If I manage to keep up my pace of publishing two books a year, this series will last for at least another…3 years, at least? I’m still not sure. I’m much more of a gardener and less of an architect when it comes to writing; I have the faintest idea of where things will end up, but the story evolves as I write it. I suppose we’ll see where we end up!
Until then, one final thank you to everyone who’s stuck with me so far. I’ll continue to keep writing if you continue to keep reading, and that’s a promise! I’m not sure what 2021 holds for us, but I hope part of it is more writing. We’ll find out together, I suppose. I hope you all have a happy and safe New Year! Thanks for reading.
P.S. I tweeted out this new artwork, but I have to post it here as well. This piece was initially intended to be published in Volume 2, but my scheduling didn’t allow for that. Please enjoy it now! Lux finally gets his due in this piece, drawn by the fantastic Alice Catrinel.