My Traditional Publishing Debut

Recently, a rather phenomenal thing happened: I got my first book deal. The book is The Shadow Galaxy: A Collection of Short Stories and Poetry, and it arrives in March 2023 from Trepidatio (JournalStone) Publishing. This book marks my traditional publishing debut.

The Shadow Galaxy: What’s It All About?

The Shadow Galaxy is a collection of short stories and poetry. Here’s the official description:

A mesmerizing first collection from the cross-genre author, science writer, and artist J. Dianne Dotson, THE SHADOW GALAXY features short stories and poetry spanning magical realism, science fiction, fantasy, horror, and Appalachian tales. With stories and poetry spanning three decades of work, the author taps into journeys both fantastical and deeply personal. Categories include Shadow Shores: Tales from the Sea; Other Futures: Tales of the Galaxy and a Place Called Earth; Into the Darkest Hollow: Tales of Horror; Love and Other Moments; Far Appalachia: Tales from the Ancient Mountains; and Resonant Thoughts: Some Poetry.

How Did The Shadow Galaxy Come About?

Some of the short stories and poetry in my traditional publishing debut were written decades ago. Some are more recent. I gathered them and, inspired by my favorite short story writer Ray Bradbury, I decided to make a collection of them.

One of the poems I recently unearthed was the one I had sent Ursula K. Le Guin…and she wrote me back! That poem is in this book.

Originally, I thought I might self-publish the collection. But then I got to thinking, I really didn’t want to self-publish anything not related to THE QUESTRISON SAGA again. So I sought out publishers who produce collections, and I submitted the collection. Then I got a book deal offer!

Why a Traditional Publishing Debut Matters

I’m proud to have written, published, produced, and promoted THE QUESTRISON SAGA on my own. But I did so after considering traditional publishing and realizing I needed to hold ownership over those books at that time. Maybe one day, a publisher will buy the saga and it can reach a broader audience.

This segues into why I want my future books to be traditionally published. I’ve done a whole lot of work for each of my four saga books. Going forward, I want to focus on writing.

A traditional publishing debut catapults me into a different direction in my career, one with the possibility for greater reach. Publishing is a business, and I want more business so I can expand my audience and gain more readers.

Also, getting a book deal is attractive to the publishing industry as well as literary agents.

When Are Preorders for The Shadow Galaxy?

Having a traditionally publishing debut means that I hand off the duties of publishing to a company. Publishing companies plan out their roster of books well in advance, so they can get supplies they need, book reviews and blurbs, cover art, distribution set up well in advance, etc. Preorders help both writers and publishers immensely. When you preorder a book, you’re adding to its potential and ensuring there are enough supplies to make those books.

Preorders for The Shadow Galaxy have not yet been announced. This will likely coincide with the book cover reveal, to generate excitement.

I will update the entire world about my new book and the preorder announcement as soon as I know. However, I’ve heard it could be in November! Stay tuned.

I can’t wait to share my debut with the world!

For publicity questions about THE SHADOW GALAXY, please contact Scarlett Algee: For foreign translation opportunities, please contact Christopher C. Payne: