Iterative Development | Enter the Metaverse
May Newsletter | 10 Months
Iterative Development = Miniature Successes
Exactly 10 months ago today, I launched The Storyletter Substack. I’d never run a newsletter before, nor had I maintained a mailing list of readers and writers following my work. But I started anyway because it felt like the right thing to do at the time. Plus, I couldn’t resist the notion of maintaining control over when and how I profited off of my own work. So I dove straight into the deep end!
I intended to simply archive my own fiction in the public domain so that something denoting an attempted legacy could be formed. As I started to learn what Substack was and the potential it had to alter the publishing landscape, I changed my mind drastically. I still desire to self-publish, however, I really want to build others up along with me; a real strength in numbers approach.
Traditional publishing is a tough road to go down alone, so I created my own publishing company, one that would focus on supporting indie authors by allowing them to remain independent from contracts and grow their own brand. I envision a utopian publisher that allows for the ownership of a majority of one’s own profits and rights.
The issue here is that I put the cart before the horse. I still have that vision, but I began marketing the Substack as the face of the company and, in my excitement, merged the two in my mind without thinking of the logistics. I’m still only one person, and, admittedly, fairly new to the publishing industry. I was naïve, to say the least, but that’s where this iterative development comes in.
I realized my mistakes and quickly adapted. I separated the Substack guidelines from my company and made them two distinct entities. This has helped me tremendously in growing the brand and navigating certain elements of the digital publishing space. This way I can take in more submissions from all of you in the form of Featured and Exclusive stories.
So where does that leave us now? Well, I’m preparing the company to publish e-books and physical books by learning as much about the ever-evolving industry as I can, specifically what authors want and need from said evolving industry. We’re at a pivotal moment in history, where the control a creator has over their work will remain fully within their grasp. Middle-men will always exist in one form or another. How much power those middle-men have is what is in flux.
I’m providing a place on Substack where readers and writers can meet and get to know each other; a celebratory fandom within itself; a community where you can publish a story and get the necessary feedback to improve upon the story and take it elsewhere if need be; a method of having our readers become your readers. That can only happen if you stick around and help us grow!
We’d love to hear your stories. Feel free to use this open submission form to submit. If you only want to share a portion of your work—say you’re writing a serial fiction novel—then there’s an option for that, too, where I’ll feature your first chapter.
Enter The Metaverse
I attended a local event here in Utah recently which introduced the concepts of the metaverse and what’s possible within the scope of emerging technologies. It focused on storytelling, and how important the development of brands and worldbuilding are when marketing new concepts for mainstream adoption.
I met Adam Sidwell, the founder of Future House Studios, who has worked on a multitude of Hollywood films and created a publishing house called Future House Publishing ( also—thanks, Kenton DeSanti for introducing me!). Tony Chiodo (of Future House Studios) did a great job hosting the event, and there were some great panelists that presented some neat visions of the future of entertainment and finance within a digital environment.
Elle Griffin was a guest speaker at the event. She highlighted her endeavor of building out stories in the public domain and writing utopian versus dystopian fiction stories. I failed to meet her face-to-face, however, I’ll be attending the Cryptopia event later this month and will make sure to chat with her about Substack and writing fiction.
London Lazerson and Scott Paul were also guest speakers at the event! It was such a great time and I wish everyone much success. Utah is full of wonderful, amazing talent and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for all of us on this crazy journey!
New Logo | Artwork | Merch
I developed a new logo using Canva Pro. There are two key themes to the company/Substack wherein I try to make it more fun. The first is of old-timey parchment that’s been scrawled upon by a black-inked quill, then enclosed within a wax-sealed envelope. Hence the name: Storyletter.
The second theme was derived from the concept of how these letters (or stories) would ultimately be delivered to their recipients. I decided that a train, reminiscent of the Polar Express, would fit that purpose quite well. So Storyletter XPress was born! It travels to far-off fantastical worlds to retrieve speculative fiction and deliver them back to us. How cool!
In this vein, I have commissioned some artwork to explore this more in-depth. I can’t wait to show you when it’s finished! Stay tuned.
Below are two new items that I’ve added to The Storyletter Gift Shop:
In Case you missed it:
Storyletter Thoughts: Serializing a story online
Storyletter Thoughts: Community
Storyletter Thoughts: Traditional Publishing
Silent, Oh Silent (SRA) by Winston Malone
Lofi Girl and the Songs of the World (fan fiction/short story) by Winston Malone
The Angel (Mother’s Day Poem) by Winston Malone
Featured: Monster Girl Versus the Multiverse by Golden
Crocodilian Chapter 21 by Winston Malone
Crocodilian Chapter 22 by Winston Malone
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Thanks for what you do! Just curious - I'm republishing an indie book shortly. I don't know if I want to publish chapters from it online, but would you accept a story based around the book? Like using a character or two and writing something new but that ties with the book?
Also - where in Utah are you? I'm in Santa Fe and am trying not to get over-anxious with the huge fires. I'm giving it a couple years but am looking to see if there are creative, cultural towns/cities with diversity, good food, and community to move to that are north of here. I'm really worried about climate change and the southwest. Thanks!
You're doing great work, Winston!