When I started writing my fantasy novel series, the Sitka Saga, I knew it was something I wanted to share with the world one day, but I wasn’t exactly sure how I was going to do that.

At first, I was dead-set on going the traditional publishing route. This was, after all, how “real” authors sent their books into the world. Then I learned the troubling news that even most traditionally published books sell fewer than 5,000 copies.

When considering how much effort goes into querying, going on submission, and everything else needed to be accepted by industry gatekeepers, jumping through all those hoops to sell fewer than 5,000 copies didn’t seem worth it.

Self-publishing? While self-publishing offers much more creative control and can be a successful model, the statistics for self-publishing success can be even more dire, especially for authors who don’t produce high volumes of genre fiction.

But as I thought about it, I came to realize that the problem with the publishing models we’ve seen so far is that they’re based on selling as many copies of your book as possible, which is a challenge for authors who have small to no platform.

But what if there was another way–a way to publish that involved finding a smaller but devoted following of readers?

sitka-world-art

These questions led me to the concept of serial publishing. Instead of trying to market your books to as many people as possible, with serial publishing you can have a much smaller following paying a certain amount per month. If you had 1,000 fans paying $5/month, you could make $60,000 a year from your book. (Even if your traditionally-published book did well and got into the hands of 5,000 readers, with typical royalty rates you could expect to make about $15,000 by comparison.)

And not only is serial publishing potentially more lucrative for authors, it also brings another aspect that greatly appealed to me: rather than selling books to readers you will never know and meet, serial publishing gives you the chance to grow a community and actually connect with your readers, and for readers to connect with their favorite writers.

And so when I was looking into publishing options, I came to realize that I wanted to do serial publishing…with a twist.

Sitka world art

You see, one of the drawbacks of serial publishing is the fact that authors can endlessly extend their books if they’re making money. (A practice that has a longstanding tradition–if you ever wondered why The Count of Monte Cristo is so long, it was published serially and attracted a large following. Why give up that income if people are reading it?)

But for many readers, having no knowledge of when the book is going to end is frustrating, and it can be irritating to lose access to a story that you’ve already sunk money into if it’s starting to drag on too long.

In fact, the lack of true ownership is one of Web2’s biggest problems. And it’s not limited to subscription services either; if you’ve ever bought a digital version of a movie through a platform like Amazon, you may be surprised to know that you do not “own” a copy of that movie. You’ve paid to license it, but if the movie studio ceases to cooperate with Amazon, you could log into your account to find that the movie you paid for is gone.

Sitka World art

But what if there was a way to utilize a combination of indie publishing and serial publishing with Web3: a way to combine the independence of self-publishing with the community of serial publishing and the true ownership of Web3?

Enter Sitka World.

The world is constantly changing, and with the Sitka World project we aim to be the go-to hub for Web3 storytellers.

What started out as a way to publish my series has turned into something much bigger than that. Sitka World isn’t just a book series: it’s artwork, royalty sharing, and joining a community of other writers as we work to create the future of publishing together.

If you want to learn more, check out our Sitka World website, read some of my articles on the future of publishing, or sign up for our email list.

Artwork by Nate Crandall