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Monday, August 15 2011

My editor sent me an author questionnaire the other day, something I'd never even heard of. Based on the title, I figured they'd ask my favorite color, why I decided to write a mystery, or who some of my favorite authors are.

I couldn't have been more wrong. The author's questionnaire was a comprehensive look at how best to market my book. Now I've heard more than once that authors do a lot of their own marketing and I have some vague ideas in my head about what I'd like to do, but this was the first time I'd actually written my ideas down.

And filling out the questionnaire was hard. Way harder than writing the actual book. Okay, telling them my birthday and my agent's name was easy, but the marketing stuff threw me. My first pass-through went something like this:

Question: Which blog sites might promote your book?

Me: I don't know

Question: Which local newspapers and magazines should receive a copy of your book?

Me: I don't know

Question: What sort of self-promotion are you planning?

Me: I don't know

 And on and on. But after the initial panic wore off, I slowly answered the questions over the course of a few days, with the self-promotion section taking the longest. I wasn't sure how much I wanted to commit to. If I said I'd do author signings at bookstores and libraries, something that makes my heart race just thinking about, would my publisher expect me to follow through? Probably. I mean, it'd be there in my answers, something they could refer back to if I chickened out.

After much waffling, I finally listed signings as something I'd do. I figure I have an entire year to warm up to the idea. And Carole, from my writing group, has a book coming out the exact same month, and Penny has one the following month, so we may hold events together. I'm really excited about that idea. Knowing I wouldn't be in the spotlight alone is a huge relief and it'll be great to sit up there with two of my friends.

Now that I've sent the author questionnaire back, I can't wait to see what's next in the process. With so much going on, it'll be next August before I know it.

Posted by: Staci McLaughlin AT 09:48 am   |  Permalink   |  2 Comments  |  Email
I remember reading through one of those for a prospective publisher - too terrifying to even contemplate.
Posted by Maddy on 01/05/2012 18:23:51
It definitely freaked me out when I first read through it. I'm glad I'm not alone!
Posted by Staci on 01/06/2012 13:45:30

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