Part of my blog post is probably going to piss a few people off. I’m sorry in advance, and want you to know that I’ll still love you if you disagree with what I have to say—it’s not personal, it’s sensible. I have an opinion and I’m not afraid to wave it around occasionally.

So, firstly, the non-offensive part—what’s the latest news from my journey with Shadows of the Realm, you may ask (or maybe you didn’t but I’m going to tell you anyway). Yesterday I visited a super cool, exists-in-the-real-world, fantasy/sci fi/horror bookshop—Infinitas in Parramatta (in Sydney) where I nervously presented my book to the owner, Tim. I have to admit, he was not blown away like I was hoping, but he agreed to take two of my books, which is awesome!

Tim has been in the book business a long time and he has seen a lot of indie books recently, many of them not up to scratch, so I’m lucky he gave mine a go. I know where he’s coming from, because many indie books I read have not been edited, nor proofread, and while it’s common to have a few (and I don’t mean a lot, I mean a few) typos, it’s disheartening when grammar and punctuation have been neglected in the author’s attempt to entertain us with their genius.

Why do some authors think it’s ok to do only half a job, when they wouldn’t do it at their 9-5 profession—imagine going to the mechanic and he takes the engine apart and decides he’s had enough. Treat it like a business, because your reader is not an idiot, and while you won’t fire yourself, a reader probably won’t come back for the second book if the first was a disaster.

I guess I’m having a little whinge because it’s been damn hard to get my book into shops. Everyone needs to read it first to make sure it’s not more suited to cleaning number twos in the bathroom. Why is this? Is it because my book looks like crap? No, because I have an awesome cover, done by a professional. Is it the fact that I look stupid when I turn up, because I’m wearing a clown suit and have a fish shoved up my nose? No. It’s because indie authors have a bad name, as a lot (and I’m not saying all because there’s some very professional and talented ones out there) only do half the job. The rest of us get battered with the same crumbs so it’s super duper hard to get anywhere.

Anyway, enough whinging from me. I’d like to say thanks again to Tim, I really appreciate the shelf space in Infinitas. I have my fingers crossed that some lucky reader will notice it and do something earthshattering—buy it. I’ve also managed to get my book into a library and a school, with more shops and school libraries currently considering it, so I’m kinda happy. To all those indie authors out there who work hard to put out the best product they can—you are awesome and I salute you  :).

9 thoughts on “What? Shadows of the Realm is in a ‘Real’ Bookshop?

  1. I hope you do wake up some of the indie authors out there. One benefit of traditional publishing was the copy editing they provided, making the reading experience undistracted by poor grammar except where it was part of dialog. Self publishing is still that – publishing. That means your writing needs peer review and both content and copy editing. You have to be willing to change, massage and recraft to make your ideas and plot come to life. Would you use unfinished furniture? Sure the woodcraft and joinery is impressive, but without that slight stain and final finish of shellac or varnish, the craft is hidden. That finish is what accentuates the workmanship. There are many fine editors available for indie authors. Put your ego in your back pocket and get it done. You’ll to you and your readers a great service. And that means more acceptance for your next book. It took me 6 months and 7 edits to get my book from first draft to final state and that doesn’t include the 2 edits from a professional at the very end. I was glad I made that investment in time and effort.

    Thanks, Dionne. This is a great post. Best of luck on your brick and mortar sales!


    1. Thanks for your comment Jerry. I worked hard to get it right, and I know it could be better with more experience, but you have to let it go at some point. But I had it edited and proofread, and I read through it and made edits 5 times. I’m always open to feedback too. Glad to see someone else feels the same as I do. 🙂

  2. Dionne – I’m so pleased for you, my friend. And I’m sure that when they see what a professional outfit your book is, all the bookstores in Sydney will be crying out for it. Just wish I could be there for the book signings:( Don’t forget to post pics!

  3. You can do it, Lady! Seriously, I’m the shyest person you know but I had a ball. Get your friends and family to help out. It certainly drums up interest and gives you more confidence in your work.
    Loved your podcast with Maria Savva, btw:)

  4. Hi, this is a good news story from the harsh world of indie publishing. Everything you say about editing and proof-reading is true. It is vital to keep bashing away at this because eventually the stigma of self-publishing will go. In the US, more than 60% of the fiction books are now self-published. Of course there’s a large %age of badly edited and proofread titles in there, but frankly, traditional published books can be just as bad. Booksellers, reviews and readers need to judge all publications on their merits.

    I’ll be quoting your post in my own blog ( later this week, I hope that’s ok.

  5. Congratulations, Dionne! That’s fantastic news about your book. 🙂
    Also, thanks for being a brave soul and telling it how it is for self-publishers. It was fascinating to see how the self-pubbing bad rep affected you, in terms of approaching book stores. An important angle to share.
    People are too eager to get a book uploaded or printed in the hope that it will somehow sell just because of the story. I think, more often than not, that they truly just don’t get how much they’re overestimating their writing and self-editing capabilities, and how much they’re severely underestimating the importance of good writing to the reader.
    Readers…read. They’re used to [mostly] well-written, definitely edited books. They’re smarter than a lot of self-pubbers give them credit for. Would we write a song for an avid music aficionado and expect that they won’t care if we sing it out of key? If their ears are bleeding, they won’t care how good the melody is.
    Thanks for helping to get the message out!
    ~Mel 🙂

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