Friday, March 27, 2009

Celebrating the Writer Mama Anniversary Tour with Guest Blogger Christina Katz

Every so often you meet a person who is truly dedicated to helping others succeed. I believe that Christina Katz is one of those people. The author of two books, Writer Mama and Get Known Before The Book Deal, Christina has helped many, many writers achieve success.

What I have learned from Christina has truly changed my life. One year ago, I thought my career options were limited. Now, my options are limitless. I am developing a writing career that I am proud of, while spending time with the children I love. The book that started it all for me, Writer Mama, is celebrating its two-year anniversary this month. Leave a comment after this post, and you could receive a signed, numbered copy of Writer Mama.

Thanks for stopping by my blog on your whirlwind tour, Christina! 

Post #27: The Author Questionnaire

At some point during the print prep process, you will likely be asked to fill out an author’s questionnaire if you have not done so already. This is a great opportunity to assess the strengths and weaknesses of your current platform and address where you might strengthen your platform to increase your book’s chances for a successful launch.

Here’s the kind of information you’ll be asked for in an author questionnaire:

Your complete contact information

Your college affiliations

Your alumni publication contact info

Magazines and newspapers you have contributed to

Local newspapers

Your agent’s contact info

A list of organizations of which you are a member

Any honors or awards you have received

A list of periodicals and/or reviewers not already listed

A list of local radio/news stations

A list of folks who might blurb or review your book

A short description of your book that emphasizes its selling points

Be sure to ask for your author questionnaire after you have submitted your book, if you’ve not received it already. You’ll want to give your publisher as much time as possible to contact your list. But never presume that your publisher is going to contact everyone on your list. Generally speaking, publishers focus their promotional efforts on a small selection of frontlist titles. So consider yourself the primary, full-time publicist and booking agent for your book and your book launch events.

Today's Book Drawing: To enter to win a signed, numbered copy of Writer Mama, answer the following question in this blog's comments:

How will you feel about filling out an author questionnaire to support your book launch? Will you have a lot of contacts to add to the list, or will you wish that you'd done more networking and staying in touch with others?

Thanks for participating! Only US residents, or folks with a US mailing address can participate in the drawing. Please only enter once per day.

Where will the drawing be tomorrow? Visit to continue reading the rest of the Writer Mama story throughout March 2009!


  1. I wasn't aware of an author questionnaire, so thanks for bringing that to my attention! I would willingly fill out the questionnaire if it would be another helpful stepping stone in marketing my book, and I feel like my educational background would be a strong point of it. But I don't have a large circle of contacts to add to the list. Self-promotion is a hard thing for me to do as well as keeping in touch with individuals I don't know so well. So the two put together would be a weakness for me on the questionnaire, but I think I would make all attempts to help the publishing company to market my book since they're investing so much in it and I don't want to let them down.

  2. Oh, P.S. I'm sorry, but please keep my name out of the pool because I won a copy of Christina's book earlier in her tour. Thanks!

  3. Wow. Yet another new thing I am learning. Thank you.

    I am really immersing myself in Christina's second book (Get Known...) and working on expanding my author platform so I actually felt very good when I read this list of questions.

    I have been writing professionally for over a decade so I have quite a long list of contacts and I can also see how the platform-development work I am currently doing is really going to be a HUGE help when I am ready to promote my book!!

  4. Julie: Congrats on such a gret introdcution by Christina!
    Christina: I'm so glad you mentioned the questionnaire an the specifics it asks for. Now we can all work on "filling it out" prior to the book deal!
    (Julie, I also should be removed for the random drawing!)
    : ) Mary Jo

  5. Christina, thanks for the info. I have never heard of this AND I am terrible at networking. So, maybe this would be exactly what I need to motivate myself. Thank you! I'm going to save this and share it with my writing group!


  6. Because my first novel was self-published, I have done most of the marketing of it myself. This author questionaire will be so helpful with that! Thanks to Facebook and MySpace, I would have a lot of contacts to list on it. Former teachers, classmates, friends, other writers. It is amazing how many I have met and supported because of those social networking sites.

    OH!! And I have to say a special thanks to Christina for mentioning the MomWriter's webring in her book. I am so happy to have found those ladies and proud to be a MomWriter. If I had not read about the group in WriterMama, I am not sure I ever would have found the group.

    Lynn McMonigal

  7. Thank you for talking about the author questionnaire. I was completely surprised when I got mine to fill out--and it made me feel completely unprepared for the process of marketing my book.

    I had been thinking about different methods of marketing, but having to put it all down on paper made me feel a little inadequate. If I had known I would need to have things that well thought out so early in the process, I would have felt much more comfortable filling out the form.

    Jennifer Roland

  8. Wow, I am so happy I found both of these blogs--WriterMama and Emerging Author--on the same day...yesterday! You both have made me think so much about all of this! I have realized that I have a LONG way to go! I submitted a non-fiction book proposal to an editor over a month ago, and now I realize I should've done much more. I would be happy to do a questionnaire because I realize that I would be part of marketing too. I just started Facebook and a blog to start networking more. With three kids, I am REALLY looking forward to reading Christina's book, even if I don't win. I really think I could use the info. and inspiration! Both of these blogs have given me so much to think about...and do! Thank you SO MUCH, Christina and Julie.

  9. I totally agree with your introduction of Christina, Julie. She is definitely dedicated to helping others!

    Thanks for this reminder about contacts. It's been on my to do list to update my contacts in Outlook to include a category/tag for anyone I'm connected to through my writing. To answer the question, I will feel great about providing the information -- especially if it's easy to find! Time to get organized :).

  10. P.S. Julie, Please take my name out of the pool. I was yesterday's winner.

  11. Although I'm far from needing to fill out an author questionnaire, once again Christina has taught me something! I'll make a new file for info I can toss in, with hopes of needing it one of these days. Preparation mixed with opportunity, right? At this point I'd feel totally unprepared if I received something like this.

  12. I didn't know anything about this. Thanks for the heads up - it's good to take the time to think about and plan accordningly. I will have a few contacts. Networking is going well.

  13. Thanks so much for all of your comments, ladies. It's good to be ready when author questionnaire day finally comes. Hope to see you over at Practicing Writer!

  14. Today's the last day of the blog tour and the hostess gifts are in! Come on over to Robin Mizell's blog and chime in if you have time!

    And thanks again for hosting!