I have a wonderful guest with me today. Susan DiPlacido, author of Shuffle Up and Deal, is going to tell you what it's like to self-publish and give you a few tips to help you if you decide to self-publish your book.
Susan is the author of 24/7, Trattoria, Mutual Holdings, House Money, Lady Luck, Shuffle Up and Deal, and American Cool. Trattoria was nominated for the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award for Best Small Press Romance 2005, and her short story, “I, Candy,” won the Spirit Award at the 2005 Moondance International Film Festival. American Cool won the bronze medal in the 2008 IPPY awards and was a finalist in the 2008 Indie Book Awards. Shuffle Up and Deal was nominated for the Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award for Best Small Press Erotic Fiction 2010. Her fiction has appeared in Susie Bright’s Best American Erotica 2007, Maxim Jakubowski’s Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica vol. 6 and 7, Zane’s Caramel Flava, and Rebellion: New Voices of Fiction.
Thank you for this interview, Susan. You self-published your latest book, Shuffle Up and Deal. Would you please tell us why you chose the self-publishing route?
I’ve been traditionally published and small press published before, but I wanted to try the self-pub route because it’s so quick and because I wanted to see what it was like to have full control.
Take us through the process. You had an idea for your book, you wrote it, then you decided to find a publisher. What were your experiences with that? Or did you decide to self-publish without looking any further?
I very lucky in my previous attempts to find publishers, and I was never unhappy. It was always a very good experience. But it does take a long time to go through the whole process, so the quickness of this was very alluring, and I wanted to go through the nuts and bolts myself.
What different online stores carry your book?
Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Do you think that having your book self-published makes any difference to the media? Are they open to interviewing self-published authors or reviewing their books?
I don’t think mainstream media is yet very open to reviewing self-pubbed books. I think they see the publishing business as a good gatekeeper to weed through the slush piles for them. In fairness, I don’t think anyone has the time to read and review the vast amounts of books that are now being published. On the upside, though, it’s great for readers to have such a large selection.
Authors who go the traditional route have an edge over self-published authors in regards to distribution to bookstores. How did you handle that as a self-published author?
Getting into bookstores is very difficult, even for some traditionally published books, so I was willing to forego that and hope that the Kindle and Nook sales would be the big boom.
On the other hand, self-published authors have the edge over traditional books in the regards that the author has all the control. I’d like to begin with your cover. Did you make it or did you have someone else design it? If you had someone else, can you tell us who it is?
I did do it myself. I found the artwork at iStock.com but then put it together myself, and it was a lot of fun.
Did you get someone to format it for you or did you do that?
I did the formatting.
What was the hardest challenge for you to self-publish your book?
Doing all the line-by-line edits so many times. That can get tedious.
What steps are you taking to promote it?
Hoping to get as many interviews and reviews as possible, so thank you very much for helping!
What has been the best marketing tool or method you have used that has resulted in the most sales?
I couldn’t say. I’m not topping any bestseller lists yet ;)
Do you have any advice you’d like to share with other self-published authors?
Take your time, do the edits, make sure your work shines.
Thank you for this interview, Susan. We wish you much success!