I’m not super consistent with these posts, as many of you know. But here it is, a 2023 Year in Review Post.

Let’s do a quick update on what I actually wrote this year and what it looks like compared to previous years:

2017* (published and mostly written) |  334,589

2018* (published) |   445,260

2019* (published)  |   403,611

2020* (published)  |   429,371

2021 (actual written)  |    667,555

2022 (actual written) |   719,439

2023 (current as of 12/30) | 685,596

Again, this does NOT for the most part include words deleted while writing, edited words that are added or taken away (well, sometimes I manage to get edited words in), co-author works and most of the business publishing words.

Yeah, this year was down again, because of a lot of travel. I’ll get to that.

Like last year, this might be more of a stream of thought.

2023 in Review

  • We had very few releases by me (as a sole-author) this year, mostly due to, well – a lack of focus on my writing. I’ll go into that in a bit; but it meant that we only had 2 A Thousand Li releases, Climbing the Ranks (at the end of the year) and the Nameless Restaurant. Technically, I guess, the Sundering Blade came out too (though only on Starlit Publishing).
  • We had even fewer co-author releases too, with only 2 co-authored works coming out (Apocalypse Grit (Relentless 3) by Craig Hamilton and Fool’s Play by David R. Packer). We did have the anthology release at the end of this year, but outside of that, it’s been a pretty quiet year overall.
  • So, non-focus. Ooof. That’s a big thing for me and it means I have a ton of half-made projects but not a lot of releases. For example, I have like about 100k words written in a new LitRPG that is 1/3 of the way done; but needs to / needed to be edited for its stats. I have another 30k project started that is a REALLY cool LitRPG concept; but because of other pressing needs for editing and writing; I had to abandon. And finally, I have nearly the ENTIRE 220k book for Climbing the Ranks written.
  • Oh gods, Climbing the Ranks is killing me. I signed a multi-book deal on it, and it’s sitting in my brain. So I have to write it, but because of the way it’s set-up, I can’t release it till all the chapters release; so I’m writing well ahead of its release schedule.
  • And ATL is well ahead of it’s release schedule too. The first draft of ATL 11 meant to release end of next year is written. It still has to be edited, and then it’ll go to Travis for recording but we’re mostly ahead of where we want to be. I’ll be working on ATL 12 soon after I’m done with ATL 12 which…
  • Is partly the reason for the lack of releases. I can’t find the time to work on any of these other side-projects; because my brain is filled with Climbing the Ranks and ATL and not on getting these other side projects done. Which is frustrating; because I need to get them done so that I have another major KU series. Because…
  • Well, with so few releases and so few of them ‘big’ releases, we saw revenue drop significantly by about 20%. At the same time, we added some expenses on the backend to help with some other projects that won’t happen till 2024 and, well… we basically treaded water. Don’t get me wrong, I’m doing very well (treading water means the company had $0 profit, after my salary is taken out).
  • It doesn’t help, of course, that last year was a VERY busy travel year. I worked out that I was probably only in Toronto for like 8 months of the year. I did 6 different conferences last year, and then I had my holilday to Malaysia to see family and do research for Climbing the Ranks and that hurt how many words I put out.
  • On the other hand, some of our projects have garnered some decent returns. Starlit Publishing is seeing a lot more traffic now, as people come in and buy ebooks and audiobooks and pre-order works. Also, read Climbing the Ranks for free. Patreon has become a stable and decent source of income for myself, though it does mean I’m a little shackled to writing ATL constantly. And our wide income continues to grow steadily, which is really nice.
  • On a personal note, the last part of this year has been a bit of a struggle. I caught some nasty bugs and it has laid me a little low, making some things harder. I seem to be recovering, though it’s somewhat shaky at times. Trying to keep focused and healthy is going to be a big thing for me next year.
  • Overall, it’s been another pivot / change year. Can’t complain too much, though I never did take the ‘break’ month (the whole month, though I did slow down a lot).

2024 Plans

  • Here’s a little handy graphic of what’s coming up this year.

As you can see, not a lot that you all haven’t heard about before. There might be one or two projects that might just appear; though it’s likely if I do manage to finish at least one of those projects, it won’t launch till 2025. The other project might show up mid-to-late next year; depending if I can find the time to write it. The fact that I have most of Climbing the Ranks book 2 done means I can (hopefully) set my brain to rest and focus.

  • We’re super-excited to keep using Kickstater, making it one of our goals to make it a decent source of income for us. It’s still part of our goal to just not be as reliant on Amazon, so we’re slowly trying to push outwards from there.
  • We’ve got the Toronto Indie Author Conference we’re hosting / organising up here. I’m also going to 5 conferences, though a couple are super close by (Niagra and Ottawa); so it won’t be as much of a burden for writing.
  • On a personal note, I’ve gone back to taking weird-ass classes. It’s something I enjoy doing, it keeps me moving and healthy and if you watch Twitter and the Facebook page, you might even get an idea of what I’m learning. Which might hint at future projects. 😛 Mostly though, it’s to keep me healthy.

And that’s it. 2023 in review overall.

If you’d like to read this business post please consider becoming a Patron and choose the $2-tier to be able to read the business posts only and ask questions about the business side of writing.