October 27, 2010

Questions to Ask an Author about Self-Publishing

 Today I thought I'd share a short excerpt from the forthcoming An Editor's Guide to Working with Authors from the last chapter, "On Publishing." As freelance editors, we're often in the position of being asked by authors, "Is this publishable?" or "Who will publish my book?" or "Should I think about self-publishing and how do I begin?" 

Before rushing in with advice, especially when it comes to self-publishing, I usually try to find out from the author what her goals are for her work and whether she has an understanding of what is required from any author who seriously wants to self-publish. Here's a list of questions an editor might want to ask an author.

·        Who do you see reading your book?
·        How will your reader find your book?
·        Do you have a way to reach your reader outside a bookstore?
·        How important are reviews to you?
·        Is this manuscript the only book you hope to publish?
·        How does this book fit into your literary career?
·        Are you comfortable with the idea of self-promotion?
·        Do you have a website, blog, or social networking site?
·        Do you have a budget for self-publishing? Have you explored what some of the different options would cost, from simple print-on-demand to all-inclusive services that also market your book?

Barbara Sjoholm

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