Shh… it just got real!

eBooks are great. Really, they are. I’ve got a Kobo reader next to my bed and I use it every night – currently a Lovecraft inspired collection, including Call of Cthulu and Innsmouth. The convenience of having where I’m up to, the soft-lit glow, the instant lookup for odd words, it’s great. Love it.

Then there are books. Actual books. Real, honest, paper-made books. They don’t have backlighting, nor a built-in dictionary (mostly), nor do they take up a slim portion of the nightstand. Still, there’s something about real books that the e-ink just can’t quite replicate. It might be the weight, or the fibres, or, I don’t know, something, but it’s very comforting to pick up a real book and have a flip through the pages.

Perhaps it’s the tactile sense of one’s fingers on the paper, or that progress through a novel is measured in the relative thickness of the remaining wad of pages rather than a raw numeric indicator. I’m sure someone out there knows.

Me? Not sure. I’m happy with both – the convenience of ebooks and the ‘whatever the heck it is’ with conventional books.

On that note, I recently ordered a bunch of copies of ‘Iris of the Shadows’ from Amazon. These got printed in Sydney and shipped out, arriving within two weeks. The whole print-on-demand thing is kinda cool. What’s even more more cool is when the beggars actually arrive:

Iris of the Shadows copies arrived from Amazon

If you’re a budding author and you’re thinking about dipping your precious toes into the self-publishing world, I can tell you that it’s one heck of an awesome feeling seeing your work up on the screen at retailers. It’s an even more awesome feeling when you open up the box and find your works manifested in the form of palpable, heavy books with smooth, flippy pages and crisp text.

It’s suddenly real. Really real. All that hard work, all the editing and cold days out the front in wind, the super hot days in the sun, all the pulling of hair, the stewing over phrases, the deleting, the rewording, the arc, the chapter divisions, the character development – all of it – comes to a physical reality in a neatly packaged box.

One of the above copies is going straight to Ah’dhu, a name you might find tucked away in the book there. Well, he’s in two spots – the first being the dedication. I’ll leave the second up to you… you can steal your copy of Iris of the Shadows at any of the links from

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