Author offers tips on getting published

Sydney Writers Festival: Dionne Lister will talk about self-publishing. Picture: Chris Lane
Sydney Writers Festival: Dionne Lister will talk about self-publishing. Picture: Chris Lane
Major General John Cantwell,

Major General John Cantwell,

IF you get a rejection letter from a publisher, don't despair, says Dionne Lister. You can always self-publish.

The Caringbah author will talk about the practical aspects of self-publishing at the State Library of NSW during the Sydney Writers' Festival (May 18-26).

She is on to her third book in a young adult fantasy series, The Circle of Talia, and is doing very well on Amazon, with sales improving elsewhere as well.

When she decided to become an author — after 17 years as a property valuer — Ms Lister went through the traditional channels of trying to find a publisher.

"I went through the normal rejection process for a while," she said.

"As it had always been my dream to publish a novel, I said 'why wait for someone else to do it'."

She did the research, released a top-quality product and sold more than 1000 books in the first year, which was considered quite a good achievement.

In fact, Shadows of the Realm reached No. 1 in two categories on Amazon, is sold at Berkelouw Cronulla and is available in Sutherland Library.

Ms Lister emphasises the importance of how a book looks.

She said that although the publishing world was changing — about 30 per cent of books were now eBooks — the idea was still around that a self-published book was not as good.

"You need to make it as professional and marketable as you can because if you don't believe in it enough, why should anyone else," Ms Lister said.

"And you've got to have patience and to be able to handle the bad reviews because someone out there won't like your book."

Ms Lister is an editor and an advocate for professional self-publishing.

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