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Andrew Rathwell Embarks on a Literary Odyssey: The Aethyrborne and the Journey of Self-Publishing

In the realm of literature, Andrew Rathwell has ventured into the uncharted territories of epic fantasy, unveiling his debut novel, The Aethyrborne, a captivating tale that draws inspiration from the visionary works of Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson. This article delves into the intricacies of Rathwell’s creative process, his motivations as an aspiring author, and the challenges and triumphs of self-publishing in the modern literary landscape.

The Aethyrborne: A Realm of Aethyr, Magic, and Fate

A Universe of Aethyr: The Aethyrborne transports readers to a captivating realm where the universe is governed by a fundamental energy known as aethyr. This energy manifests in various forms, mirroring the traditional elements of fire, earth, water, and air.

Aethyrcasters and the Barrier: Within this world, individuals known as aethyrcasters wield the power of aethyr, shaping it into spells and incantations. A thousand years before the novel’s events, titanic beings called the Void Lords were vanquished and imprisoned behind a mystical barrier. However, this victory came at a cost, as the barrier’s creation corrupted the world’s magic.

Colliding Destinies: The narrative follows the intertwined fates of three compelling characters. A student embarks on a journey to study the Barrier, an ambitious future empress seeks to dismantle it, and a slave, the last of their race, fights to preserve it. As their paths converge, disastrous consequences unfold, drawing the attention of the malevolent Void Lords once again.

Andrew Rathwell: From Aspiring Writer to Self-Published Author

A Voracious Reader and Aspiring Author: Andrew Rathwell’s passion for literature ignited at an early age, nurtured by his mother’s love of reading. As he grew older, he harbored aspirations of becoming a writer, but the practicalities of pursuing a writing career loomed large. Undeterred, he continued to cultivate his craft, eventually enrolling in York University’s professional writing program and obtaining a publishing certificate from Toronto Metropolitan University.

Navigating the Publishing Labyrinth: Rathwell’s studies revealed the competitive nature of the publishing industry, with limited job opportunities for aspiring writers and publishers. Adapting to the changing landscape, he transitioned to marketing just before the COVID-19 pandemic, utilizing the downtime to embark on the writing journey that would ultimately yield The Aethyrborne.

Dedicating an Hour a Day: With unwavering dedication, Rathwell devoted at least one hour daily to writing, crafting the 673-page novel over an 18-month period. The majority of this time was spent writing the story, with the remaining months dedicated to editing and designing the book’s cover.

The Realities of Self-Publishing: A Multifaceted Endeavor

The Weight of Self-Publishing: As a self-published author, Rathwell assumed the multifaceted responsibilities of writing, editing, formatting, designing, advertising, and reaching out to printers. He engaged the services of a professional editor for a second pair of eyes and utilized 99designs, a platform connecting creatives with project proposals, to procure a cover design that perfectly captured his vision.

The Significance of the Physical Book: Rathwell recognized the importance of a physical book, despite the limited financial returns for authors. For him, the tangible experience of holding a completed copy, with its chosen design and formatting, was a pivotal moment in his literary journey.

Marketing and Promotion: The Daunting Task of Self-Promotion

Guerrilla Marketing Tactics: Embracing a guerrilla marketing approach, Rathwell established social media accounts on Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), Instagram, and TikTok. While acknowledging the challenges of creating engaging content, particularly on platforms like TikTok, he recognized the potential for viral videos to significantly boost book sales.

Social Media and the Viral Potential: Despite his initial discomfort with TikTok’s meme culture and trends, Rathwell understood the platform’s potential for reaching a wider audience. With perseverance and a willingness to learn, he created content aimed at capturing the attention of potential readers.

The Aethyrborne: A Saga in the Making

Aspects of Aethyr: A Planned Saga: The Aethyrborne stands as the inaugural installment in the Aspects of Aethyr series, an ambitious saga spanning eight books. The novel is available on Amazon in both ebook and printed formats, providing readers with diverse options to delve into Rathwell’s captivating world.

The Possibility of Traditional Publishing: While self-publishing has been Rathwell’s chosen path, he remains open to the possibility of traditional publishing in the future. He acknowledges the difficulty of securing a traditional publishing deal in today’s competitive literary landscape but recognizes that self-publishing can serve as a stepping stone to traditional publication.

Beyond Monetary Success: The Essence of Authorship

Aspiring to Meet and Interact with Readers: Rathwell’s ultimate ambition as an author extends beyond financial success. He yearns for the opportunity to connect with readers, attend literary events and conventions, and perhaps even embark on book tours. These interactions provide him with a sense of fulfillment and validation as a writer.

The Joy of Accomplishment: Rathwell’s primary motivation lies in the joy of writing and accomplishing a lifelong dream. While financial stability as an author remains a goal, it is the experience of being a published author and engaging with readers that truly drives his literary pursuits.