Background Questionnaire

This questionnaire is designed to help us to become familiar with your background and to develop the best possible story angles to maximize publicity of your book. 

It will also focus your mind and prepare you for your marketing strategy, helping to pinpoint your target market and know where you want your book to reach out to and how.

You may want to answer all the questions or just a few, do whatever feels right for you. It may be easier to copy and paste the questions into a Word document which you can save on your computer and send as an attachment to us.

Author(s) Name:

Title of Publication:

Publication Release Date:

Address :

Phone (work/home/mobile):

Book Genre:

Fiction or Non-Fiction:      

Section 1: About the Author

  1. Is this the first thing you have written? If not, what else have you done and has any been published.
  2. Do you have an occupation in addition to being a writer?  If so, what is it?
  3. What credentials establish you as an expert in your field or have contributed to your success as an author?  Please include degrees, work experience, personal experience, hobbies, etc. 
  4. Are you a member of any writer’s groups?

Section 2:  About the Book

  • What was your motivation for writing this book?
  • Please give an “elevator pitch” about the book – a one to two sentence description of the book that will pique someone’s interest.
  • Tell us some of the factors that make your book unique.
  • What is the single most important thing that readers of your book will be able to do after reading your book that they could not do before?
  • Is there local or regional relevance for your book?
  • What emotions does your book evoke from readers?
  • Are there any controversial elements in your book?  (Be creative!  The media loves controversy)
  • Are there any holidays, anniversaries, charitable or seasonal tie-ins that relate to your book?
  • Are there any short sections of the book that stand-alone and may be easily excerpted?
  • In researching your book, did you come across any surprising facts, figures or statistics?
  • If your book were for sale in a major bookstore, in what section would it be found? 
  • Please identify three recent books (with title and ISBN) that compete most directly with yours.
  • How and why does your book differ from books of a similar topic?

Section 3:  About the Audience

  1. Think about your ideal reader:  male/female, age range, educational level and interests?  Try to include key characteristics and provide specifics. 
  2. List some magazines to which your readers would subscribe.
  3. List some websites that would be frequented by your readers.
  4. In your opinion, what is the most effective way to reach your audience?

Section 4:  Endorsements, Awards and Reviews

  • Has your book been endorsed by any notable experts, celebrities or leaders?  If so, please include quotes.
  • Have you received any awards, accommodations or endorsements relative to your book or book topic?  
  • What are readers saying about your book? 

Section 5: About Publicity

  • Have you ever been interviewed by a television, radio or print media outlet for a story?  ____________ If yes,

What topic?

How often?

When? 

By whom?

  • Do you have any personal media contacts that would be interested in writing a story about your book? Please include the name of the person(s), contact information (phone number, e-mail address), title and a publication summary.
  • What events, speaking engagements (seminars, classes, motivational, etc.) or book signings have you or will you participate in relative to your book?  Please include the dates and topics. 
  • Are there influential people – either who you know personally or who are dedicated to your topic of interest—in any of the following areas?  Please name them.  
  • Politicians
  • Celebrities
  • Industry leaders/watchdogs/experts/analysts
  • Academics
  • Business Leaders
  • Civic Leaders
  • Association endorsements
  • Other
  • How does your book relate to current events, people in the news or topics of interest in today’s world?
  • Does your book address or reflect a current trend? (i.e., social, economic, political, etc.) 
  • Do you have a website that you would like referenced in the author bio, press release or cover letter?
  • Do you participate in blogs?  Do you have your own weblog? 

Anything else?  Feel free to tell us anything else we need to know about you or your book.

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