Seven Questions Every Author Should Ask

May 28, 2021
12:00 PM (UTC)

60 Minutes

As a book publisher, I have worked with over a hundred authors and have found that the very first thing they need to do is create a vision and a realistic set of outcomes for their project, a strategic approach.

I specialize in working through these questions with budding authors. The process happens via zoom or in-person, with three different one-hour sessions.

The kinds of questions that I ask:

  1. What is it you am writing? (Fiction, memoir, self-help guide, poetry, etc.…). This is genre. You will eventually need to locate your book in a category.
  2. What do you want it to look like? (what type of book—what length, what size, illustrations or not?) Ebook version?
  3. Who is your audience (the people who will read it?) This is perhaps the most important question. [audience can just be family or friends]
  4. How will they know you have this? (What is my plan for marketing to them?)
  5. What kind of platform do you have to showcase my work or myself? (For example, a website, a blog, samples of written work, social media.) 
  6. What will a successful outcome look like? (How many copies sold or given away, how many readers contacted, how many presentations made)
  7. If you get copies printed, what will you do with them?

Once you have answered these, we will research something that already exists, a model you might imitate. A model does not have to be on the same topic, but may look like you want your book to look.

Then, we will list three books that are similar to what you want yours to look like. (Include title, author, length of book and date published.) At least one should be on a similar topic. This will help determine the audience for your book and how you might want it to look.

An outcome of this consult will be a book proposal and project outline that you can use for submission to a book publisher.

The total cost of this consult/coaching is $200.

Russ Eanes
Publishing Consultant and Coach

I had several decades experience in the publishing business, and until early 2018 was the Executive Director of MennoMedia and Publisher at Herald Press, an agency of the Mennonite Church in the U.S. and Canada. As a book publisher, I loved helping guide authors through the process of publishing a book, from dreams and concepts to the finished product.

Walking budding authors through this process is what I do at the Walker Press