Publishing is a dream for many authors and worldbuilders, and maybe for you it’s already a reality! In this article, five authors shared their experiences with publication (and some tips), and how World Anvil helped them on their journey to publication!
Amy Winters-Voss, author of the Liminal Chronicles
Amy Winters-Voss is the Amazon-bestselling author of Rise (book one of the Liminal Chronicles) and is currently working on the upcoming book 2, Guardian! Before joining World Anvil in 2019 her worldbuilding was in a mess of notes that were difficult to sort through—her characters and setting changed as she wrote, but the notes didn’t evolve with it. But World Anvil changed that!
Since then, worldbuilding has become a hobby I’m passionate about. I enjoy creating details and adding the occasional map, finding or creating images to add to the feel of the article, and sharing secrets for readers. Liminal Chronicles is a much richer world because of the tools, World Anvil community, and contests that push me to think beyond just the surface details.
After joining World Anvil she was able to publish her debut novel, Rise, thanks in part to the support from the lifelong friends she made here! Rise is an urban fantasy book about Umeji Tatsuya, an ex-mobster who vows never to return to the yakuza life. When he rescues a kitsune, a fox spirit, he must choose between breaking a promise to his parole officer—which will send him back to the slammer—or revealing the identity of and angering a powerful supernatural being. Faced with an impossible decision, will he find a way to forge a path to redemption?
She had some advice for you—regardless of if you’re a writer, a game designer, or another type of creative:
We are all nervous. The idea of sharing what we put our heart and soul into is both intriguing and terrifying for every creator, whether author, artist, musician, or creator by other means. It’s part of the process, part of what it is to be human and share what you make. Don’t let that stop you. You won’t know what you’re capable of if you don’t try. So, DO THE THING!
Jaime Buckley, author of the Wanted Hero series
Jaime (also an Amazon bestselling author!) had been writing and worldbuilding long before he found World Anvil—but when he did, his way of working completely changed! Not only could he organize his work more efficiently, but he also used it to spark interest in his projects and present his worldbuilding to the public.
My mind is creative by nature and I come from a family of storytellers, but I look at the platform and community as unlimited fuel to that creativity. When you have tools that help clarify your thoughts, you can expand and dress up your stories far beyond mere pen and paper.
He shared with us a comparison between his notes about the same species before and after World Anvil:
And being a Sage on World Anvil (he was one of the first to get the tier!) inspired him to publish the Advanced Worldbuilding Journal, a book with tools and resources to craft your worlds—and the Master Creator Journal is its sequel! That is, of course, in addition to his book series Chronicles of a Hero. As someone with so much experience in the writing and publishing world, we asked him to give you some advice—and that’s what he had to say:
You’ll never reach your full potential UNLESS you fail! So don’t sweat it. Take each and every part of this journey as opportunities to grow your skills, grow your confidence and practice your craft.
More than anything else, however, is to create for yourself first. Fall in love with your projects, your characters, your worlds and stories. Because when you love what you do, readers can tell. They can feel your passion, your anger, your sadness and hope, and that will dramatically increase your chances of gaining readers.
E. Christopher Clark, author of the Stains of Time series, published on World Anvil too!
Chris is not just a published author, but also a writing professor! Nevertheless, he told us that after publishing his first novel (Missing Mr. Wingfield, 2018) he didn’t know what to do next. Even though he had a sequel in mind, he had 20 years’ worth of unorganized notes, which made them quite unwieldy. He also had grand ambitions for another project, a fantasy series, but he needed to find a way to better organize his worldbuilding.
World Anvil has helped immensely with both of these ambitions. I’ve not only completed the series that Missing Mr. Wingfield began, but I’ve built up a solid foundation for the fantasy series I aim to write next. Everything’s neatly tied together with World Anvil’s robust linking system, my timelines are finally in order, and I even have a map now! Plus: I wrote the first draft of my latest novel, The Dance of Dreams, exclusively with World Anvil’s Manuscripts feature.
And he’s made it! The Stains of Time series now spans five entire books! The series is a suburban fantasy set in New England in the late 1990s and the first twenty years of the 21st century. It centers on the Silver Family, a clan of frustrated artists trying to strike a balance between familial obligations and dreams of striking it big. As the series progresses, they travel through time, confront the ghosts of their pasts, and try their darnedest to right the wrongs of generations gone by. Check out the Stains of Time on World Anvil!
Looking to get into writing? Well, Chris has some advice for you too!
You are the only you in the universe, and we have never heard your particular story. So, please: write it! It doesn’t need to be perfect. You can perfect it later in revision. Remember: you can’t revise a blank page. So, as George Washington tells us in that one song from the musical Hamilton, “Pick up a pen, start writing.”
Check out Chris’ world on World Anvil!
BasicDragon, author of Idyll
We’ve read about people with messy notes—but BasicDragon took it to the next level. They used to worldbuild partially on the back of bus tickets! If that’s not dedication, I don’t know what is… And then, in 2018, they joined World Anvil and now have 25 worlds (did I mention their dedication for worldbuilding?)! They’re currently working on Skywell and Urskoga, but they’re well-known in the community for their world of Idyll and its associated Choose-Your-Own-Adventure (CYOA) zine, Surviving Idyll.
Idyll is a ruthless world hidden behind a beautiful landscape. Step outside a village without a team and you’re toast. You are not in your kitchen anymore, you’ve woken up in the middle of a forest and now you have to survive!
And yes, they also had some advice for you if you aren’t sure about publishing your work!
“Just do it!” Is the best advice I can give since were people should start depends on them. I did my first zine/CYOA during Kickstarter’s ZineQuest, which can be fun to try out. But you can also just make a tiny one for friends and family at first. If you want help with a CYOA you can always join the CYOA chapter on WA’s discord as well.
Wordigirl, author of Secret Agent Someone
WordiGirl is the author of Secret Agent Someone, which she has published both as an ebook and an audiobook! Before World Anvil (she joined in 2020), she already used digital tools for her writing—but, as she puts it, “it wasn’t ideal for creating an entire one-stop-shop for worlds like World Anvil is”. And the main thing about World Anvil that helped her was our lovely community!
Having lots of people exposed to my work, supporting each other and cheering each other on is very beneficial. I used to be a little shyer about self-promotion, but now I am better at it, thanks to World Anvil’s lovely beans! Challenges also help me to get things out of my head and onto the page. At times, I have so much story and worldbuilding in my brain, but I don’t know where to start. Contests and prompts help me to pinpoint certain topics and say, “Hey, let’s write about that now.”
Curious to see what the results of her efforts look (or sound) like? Check out the trailer for her audiobook!
The stories of her Secret Agent Someone take place in the world of W.I.L.L.O.W.I.S.P., which she describes as having “intriguing mysteries, hidden histories, spies, lies, surprise, and a man with malachite eyes”. If you’re considering writing or producing an audiobook, take a look at her advice about this topic!
Don’t be intimidated. Do what you can with what you have. If you don’t have a fancy studio now, it’s okay. Record on your phone. If you don’t have a big budget to hire professional voices, use your own voice, friends, family, and even text-to-speech apps. Maybe try thinking of audiobooks or audio dramas that you enjoy. Why do you like them? What entertains you? You also have to remember that, unlike a television program, your listeners will not be able to see anything. Sometimes, I adapt scenes from my novels to have people mumble to themselves or narrate their actions so there aren’t awkward bits of silence where nobody knows what’s going on. Well-placed sound effects can also help people imagine things happening. When writing these kinds of scenes, especially if you don’t want a narrator, this is critical.
Check out Secret Agent Someone on World Anvil!
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