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AUTHOR: Miral Sattar
BOOK TITLE: You’re Done Now What? A Self-Publishing Guide
BUY LINK: http://nano.bibliocrunch.com (it’s free)
Please tell us about yourself.
I am a writer, computer programmer, and entrepreneur. I am the CEO of Bibliocrunch (a marketplace for authors to connect with trusted book publishing professionals). I came up with the idea for the platform three and half years ago while I was working at TIME magazine and wrapping up my MS in Publishing at NYU. I have been a bookworm since I could read. My writing and I have been featured in numerous media outlets including BusinessWeek, BBC, TIME, Forbes, Money Magazine, Consumer Reports, PBS, and other media publications. I have a MS in Publishing (NYU) and a BS in Computer Engineering (Columbia). You can find me on Twitter at (@miralsattar).
Please tell us your latest news.
I just published a self-publishing guide (http://nano.bibliocrunch.com) which is a compilation of my learnings as a self-published author and as a person who helps self-published authors reach their publishing goals. The book has advice from me and best-selling authors CJ Lyons and Hugh Howey.
My company was featured in the cover story of Money Magazine and we also had a nice feature in Consumer Reports. We’ve also been featured in BusinessWeek, Fortune, Publishers Weekly and a whole slew of media outlets.
Are you a full-time writer or part-time, and how do you organize your writing time?
Part-time. I love writing, run a company in NYC, and also am a mother to my beautiful daughter Zara. Having to do so many things has really taught me to be more efficient with my time. I usually set aside a particular time of day to write (for me it’s usually right before lunchtime, then I can reward myself with lunch).
When and why did you begin writing?
Since college. I have two unpublished novels and several short stories. One is about the South Asian American experience and the other is a dystopian novel.
What do you do when you’re not writing/editing or thinking about writing/editing?
Running Bibliocrunch and hanging out with my daughter.
What are your thoughts about promotion?
It needs to be done elegantly. Don’t over promote, and it should be something done about 1/3 of the time.
What was the toughest criticism given to you? What was the biggest compliment?
When I first started out no one wanted anything to do with Bibliocrunch because self-publishing had a stigma back then. I had pitched it to investors and one guy told me he would never invest in self-publishing. Now we get approached all the time for potential acquisition and investors like to keep up with our progress. But we are doing great on our own.
Did you learn anything from writing your book, and what was it?
It’s a lot of work and you need to reread it so many times. You also need to give it to beta readers and get every single word edited.
What do you plan for the future?
We’re also rolling out a facelift for Bibliocrunch which is going to be a cleaner design and mobile responsive. The new site will also give authors some really great free marketing tools. So it’s all very very exciting.
How can we find you? Website, Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc.?
Tell me a little about your book.
My free guide has all the information you need to plunge into your self-publishing adventure, plus advice from best-selling authors and NaNoWriMo veterans, Hugh Howey and CJ Lyons. In our book we give you a roadmap to fulfill your self-publishing dream:
* Forward with advice from best-selling authors CJ Lyons and Hugh Howey
* Getting Started (goals, vendor research, retailers, print on demand, copyright, ISBNs)
* Marketing (title & book description, beta readers, marketing plan)
* Design, Formatting, Conversion
What gave you the idea for this particular type of book?
Writers at conferences always ask me for recommendations for primers on how to get started that they can read in one sitting. So, I finally decided to write one.
How do you classify a “resource book?”
A book that helps guide a particular demographic with a specific topic or skill. In my case, it's self-publishing.
What “expert” credentials do you bring to this book?
I have worked with so many authors and also self-published my books. I also blog about self-publishing for MediaShift. I have taught self-publishing sessions at MediaBistro and at universities.
What was the hardest part about writing this book? The easiest?
Just finding the time to sit down and write and organizing my thoughts. I’m so used to giving advice, but it was tough to organize the book into digestible pieces. The easiest thing was that the contest was in my head J
What do you hope readers will take from your writing?
I really want them to not feel overwhelmed by the process of self-publishing. A lot of times people get afraid because they just don’t know how to do something. My book sums up everything without overwhelming them with too much information.
Any tips for new authors interested in this type of writing?
Establish yourself as an expert and then write the book.
What do you do when you’re not writing?
Coding, coming up with new tool ideas that writers can really use and hanging out with my daughter.
What, if anything, bugs you when you read a novel?
It really bothers me when there are no diverse characters in a novel.
What was your most embarrassing moment as an author?
When I published my first book I had a typo in my bio. I had gotten the whole book edited except my bio! Of course a reader found it.