I just finished serializing Seven Thunders on Wattpad. (You can read it here.)
I made it available this way mostly because I'm still uncomfortable about self-publishing it, even though I've since done so for a Space Corps novella (Terrestrial Affairs). Obviously I've self-published a lot of stuff. So what's the deal?
I started serializing Seven Thunders back in January (apparently; seems like a long time ago now!), posting chapters about once a week (sometimes more, like this week), taking the time to edit them as I went. The editing was really the big achievement here. If you've read one of my self-published books, you'll know that. I fixed things, and I took things out, and I added a thing here and there, and hopefully generally made the story better than when I started the process.
Seven Thunders is important to me, as the story I've dedicated the most time to, and spent the most time developing, and anticipating the most and being most significant in a backdrop (Space Corps) that I have spent even more time working on over the years. I've written about it before and chances are I'll write about it again, if I ever decide what to do with it.
Seems in some respects by posting it on Wattpad I made my options shrink, because publishers consider Wattpad as a publishing venue, regardless of how many views you get there. Yet I found that I had to do something with it, because Seven Thunders had become almost too precious to me. (Again, anyone who's actually read my self-published books will scratch their heads trying to figure out how that's even possible.) I needed to find some perspective on it.
Writing other Space Corps stories, of varying lengths, over the years has helped. Some of them I posted to my writing blog (Sigild V), and some of them have appeared in various anthologies (and in Terrestrial Affairs). Just getting Space Corps itself out there is a kind of relief. But having Seven Thunders itself, which I originally wrote in 2012-2013, be seen is entirely different. This one's the most personal, this one I've invested everything in. That sort of thing.
And now it's all there. Waiting to be judged. Or not. I just entered it into Wattpad's "Wattys" competition, where it has a chance to be awarded one of several honors that may not may not help find readers. At this point I have a little over 200 views across individual chapters, most of them for the first one. Heavy readership on Wattpad is in the thousands. I'm nowhere near close. As far as Wattpad is concerned, Seven Thunders still barely exists.
It's scary and exhilarating at the same time. You always want to believe lucky breaks are possible, even though they're one-in-a-million. What if, right? But it's out there. It's finally out there. That's what it's really about...