Blogger: Kathleen Y’Barbo, Publicist
Location: The Woodlands, Texas PR Office
Weather: Still 100 degrees, but it’s finally raining— at least a little!
For those of you whose books are on the shelves, you know what filling out an author questionnaire is like. Depending on the publishing house, you answered a few queries about cover art and tossed in a bio or you spent a full week answering a dozen pages of questions that covered everything from who will read your book to who the cover model should resemble.
While you’ll be tempted to zip through the questions and call it a day, DON’T! This compilation of information about you and your book will serve to not only insure that your cover at least bears some resemblance to the story but will also give the sales and marketing departments the help they need to promote you and your book.
But what about those authors who aren’t yet signed with a publisher?
Filling out an author questionnaire can be a fabulous exercise. It is never too soon to start thinking about what your book will look like in print. In fact, that sort of thinking is exactly what you may need to spur you on to finishing the book. It will also give you a great foundation for putting together a synopsis, bio, and presentation package for meeting with agents or editors.
Our own Books & Such Literary Agency client Carmen Leal has a fabulous example of an author questionnaire in her book You Can Market Your Book, which can be found here. As you can see, Carmen uses an all-around approach and hits the important points of book creation, marketing, and selling from the book’s inception to how you plan to tell the world about it. I highly recommend picking up a copy of this book, not only for the author questionnaire, but for all the great advice Carmen has to offer.
So, now that you’ve seen a sample of the questions an author will be expected to ask, I’d love to see some of your answers. Pick a question and tell me what you would say if oh, Random House, were asking.