peeps: Virna DePaul
A former criminal prosecutor and now a national best-selling author of paranormal romance and romantic suspense, Virna DePaul currently writes for Harlequin and Random House. She also happens to be a best-selling indie author of contemporary and erotic romance. Fans of her writing say her stories are fast-paced, emotional and “seriously sensual” (RT Magazine).
In just over two years, Virna has published eight novels, six novellas and a craft book on writing. She probably doesn’t sleep much since on top of that, she also has two new novels that will be published this spring and frequently teaches workshops on the craft of writing.
How Virna Got Started Self-Publishing
In November 2009, Virna sold her first book to a traditional publisher, but it wasn’t scheduled to hit bookshelves until May 2011. So, to help build her readership before the book launched, she self-published a couple of projects that hadn’t sold, including a contemporary novel that was much lighter than anything she’d ever written. She also decided to try her hand at erotic romance, and liked the idea of self-publishing these novellas under a different name.
The erotic romances were a hit, much bigger than anything she could have imagined.
Random House recently acquired those novellas and another one as well. When her self-published novel, Bedding The Wrong Brother, rose to Amazon’s Top 100 Best-seller list for contemporary romance, it attracted the attention of — and she has since accepted a deal offer from — a foreign publisher.
While she still traditionally publishes with New York houses, “self-publishing continues to supplement my income and build my brand,” Virna says, “and it enables me to take creative risks.”
“Remember that it often takes time to build a readership and that things can change on a dime. Be prepared to work hard, take risks and shake things up. For example, I self-published my contemporary romance, Bedding The Wrong Brother, in 2011, and was disappointed by what I considered to be mediocre sales numbers. Recently, I decided to change the cover and title to coincide with what was selling, and that has made a huge difference, landing me a foreign deal, best-seller status in contemporary romance, and enthusiastic new fans who can’t wait for the second book in the series.”