Tuesday, April 17, 2018

15 Question to Ask Yourself Before Writing a Book

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I am sending out a questionnaire to every new client of our publishing seminars, asking about their book(s), their anticipated readership, social media presence, plans for book distribution etc., but also about their plans concerning the book. 
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From their answers, I can see how much (or few) they thought about their readership and the purpose of their writing.  Many, if not most writers sit down and start their book(s), writing and writing and not thinking who will read their book, nor how they will publish and most important: how will they market their work.  
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Questions for You
Here are some questions you should answer honestly.  It will give you an idea how viable your book idea is.  Every business has to start with a plan. If you want to sell your book after writing it, answers to these questions could partially substitute a "business plan".  .
And if you want to self-publish, to find a publisher or a literary agent - answering these questions before your first meeting is extremely important.  Why should someone consider to publish your book when you, the writer, didn't even think about the future of your title and who will be the readers?  These are the most important topics you need to explore and answer for yourself:
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  1. Is there a need for your book? Does it fill a void?
  2. Why do you find your book idea interesting?
  3. Why would someone buy your book?  What's their benefit?
  4. Will your book always be interesting in the future?
  5. How big is your market and what is the demographic of your readers?
  6. Who will buy and read your book? How many people?
  7. Could your book idea be turned into series?
  8. Would your book have a regional or international audience?
  9. Who is your competition and how well did their books sell?
  10. Where and exactly how will you market your book?  
  11. What is your next book and are you already working on it? 
  12. How many (real) friends/followers do you have on Social Media? 
  13. Could your book be sold in bulk to a company/organization to promote another product or service? 
  14. Do you have an opt-in email list on your website/blog or already an email newsletter?
  15. In what magazines or newspapers articles, TV shows, radio shows, websites, and newsletters can you market your book?
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Still Excited About Your Book Idea? 
After you answered all these questions, do you still have the burning desire to write your book?  Or did some of the questions make you uneasy?  If you ever want to pitch a book idea to a publisher or an agent, you will be asked the same or similar questions. So be prepared!  
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Use the answer to question 3 to prepare your "Elevator Pitch". The editor Mike Zimmerman said in an article at Success.com: "Artists starve not because they aren't talented - but because they often have no idea how to make money".

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