I’ve been revising the questionnaire I use with new clients who want help in marketing their book. In the last few weeks, I’ve come to realize that I not only need to know the basics about their book, (market, competition, the author’s objectives) but I also need to know the author’s level of commitment to the project.
Let’s face it, marketing a book is work. Most authors market like mad for about 90 days, then stop. Unfortunately, that’s about how long it takes to get some traction with their efforts. So, I decided to find out up front what an author is willing to commit to before we start a project.
Here’s my revised questionnaire. I’ve just started sending this out this week. I’m waiting to see if I’m energizing people to jump in and get started or just scaring them into doing nothing. Take a look and feel free to leave a comment with your opinion!
1. Why did you write this book? (What problem did you see that needed to be solved?)
2. Who is your ideal reader for this book? (Please describe them as thoroughly as you can.) How will your book help them?
3. How does your ideal reader typically solve this problem that your book addresses?
4. What other resources would they consult to solve this problem? (Who is your competition? Please be as thorough as you can in this list.)
5. How can people buy your book right now if it is published? What is the publication date? Do you have a distributor/wholesaler? What formats is your book in? (softcover, hardcover, Kindle, ePub, audio, pdf)
6. What other products and services can you offer readers?
7. What marketing resources do you have already have in place?
- Mailing list
- Social media profiles (list, number of connections for each)
- People in your network
- Marketing copy for the book
- Graphic design
- Please list any other connections/assets you can thing of.
8. Are you comfortable using a computer and the internet? Would you call yourself a beginner, intermediate, or advanced user? Are you comfortable learning how to use social media and other websites to market your book online?
9. Fast forward one year from now. Your book is a success. What would that look like for you?
10. What would that kind of success give you that you don’t have now? (What is your ultimate goal in writing and marketing this book?)
11. On a scale of 1 to 10, where would you say you are now in relation to achieving those goals?
12. What are the obstacles (or challenges in your life) that are keeping you from achieving those goals? (day job, family commitments, etc)
13. What happens if you don’t achieve those goals?
14. How much time every week are you willing to commit to marketing your book – including personal networking, social media, blogging, writing articles, publicity, etc?
15. Do you have a marketing budget? What is it?
16. The most successful authors commit to marketing their book for a minimum of 3 years. They also commit to learning as much as they can about marketing, publishing, and publicity and put this knowledge into practice in order to get the widest exposure for their book. Are you prepared to make this kind of time commitment?