9 Sep 2008
So what was this Author Questionnaire thingy anyway? Well, it was from the publicity and marketing department of my publisher Ten Speed Press in order to help them prepare to promote and sell my book. It was a pretty big job. This is what they requested:
Biographical Information Please write up a brief biographical sketch. Explain what qualifies you as an expert on the topic about which you have written. If relevant to the subject of your book, include universities or professional training (dates, degrees); previous and current occupations; professional organizations; honors, prizes, or citations; hobbies or special interests. Other Published Work Please list any of your previously published works. Provide full title, publisher, and copyright date. Also, please note if any of your books have been serialized, reprinted in paperback, adopted by book clubs, made into a film, or published in another country. Background of Book What led you to write this book? Where did the original idea come from? Do you have any stories about the writing process? Description of Book Please describe your book in your own words—its subject, organization, contents, emphases, and especially its scope or intent. How is your book unique? Competition Research What other books on the market do you consider to be competition? What attributes of your book are distinct from those of competitors? Why should potential readers choose your book? Promotion Do you have experience with public speaking? Should opportunities for interviews/events with any of the following arise, would you be available: Radio? Television? Print? Bookstores? Do you have a favorite local bookstore that might be appropriate for a signing or appearance? Please include the contact name, telephone number, and address. Your Media Contacts We will send your book to our custom mailing list of major print, internet, and appropriate broadcast media nationally. But you may have personal contacts, local media, or special-interest publications that we don’t know about, such as an alumni magazine or a trade magazine in your area of expertise, or family and friends who work in the media. Also, you may have contacts through previous appearances on radio or television, or in newspapers or magazines. Please list your contacts in North America here and include their full name, company, and address. If certain publications or shows have covered your work in the past, note that and provide the date, and send us copies of any articles, reviews, or taped appearances. Marketing To whom do you think your book will most appeal? Do you see special markets for it? Can it be sold in places other than bookstores? Please be specific. Please list any organizations, institutions, associations, or groups (such as your local church, alumnae association, Soroptomist club, etc.) that might be interested in promoting or selling your book. List addresses and any contact names that you have. Also, please indicate if the group has a mailing list. Please list any upcoming conferences, conventions, or exhibits where copies of your book could be displayed or sold. Website Q&A for Authors On our website, we like to post a few questions and answers from authors so that readers can get to know their favorite authors better. Please choose five questions from the list below that strike your fancy and compose five SHORT answers. If you have something amusing to share that’s not covered by any of these questions, feel free to compose your own question(s) instead.I answered 12 of the questions after the publicist said I should answer as many as I like. It was a big job, but also kind of fun.