10+ Questions to Ask A Book Publisher Before Signing A Deal

Children’s Books, Literary Agents, Publishing

From Jason and the Crawdad King, Lili Avakem

Congratulations.  You’ve just finished a great book!  Now what?  Next, you cast out the bait and see if any fish will bite.

Awarding winning illustrator, Lili Avakem, and I have just finished our first children’s book, Jason and the Crawdad King.  I’ve blasted our manuscript out to agents and publishers, far and wide.  As expected, the rejection notices immediately started to trickle in.

Then, the unexpected happened.  I got a call from a publisher.  Then another.  Before I soiled my skivvies in excitement, I remembered to pull out my list of questions for inquiring publishers.  You see, I’ve been down this road before.

Before you hastily ink your literary life away on the bottom line, here’s a few items to consider.  Ask your potential publisher these questions…and they better say yes to them all or have solid answers.  It they don’t, the deal may be too good to be true.

  1. Review their website.  If they don’t have one or if it’s 0ut of date…red flag!

2.    Will the book be copyrighted in my name?

3.    Is your company turning a profit?

4.    If not, how is your project financially backed?

5.    Do you have a marketing plan for our books and merchandise?

6..   Do you have developed distribution channels?  What are they?

a.  Does that include places like Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc.?  b.  What do you envision the price of books and merchandise to be?

7.    Will you be welcoming my input and encourage my collaboration throughout the process?

8.    Will I be able to choose my own illustrator?

9.    Will you include my website on the book?

10.    Will you provide me with a list of media outlets that you are sending press kits to?

11.    Will you be providing me with a list of sales outlets you send review copies to?

12.    Will you be asking me for sales leads and send out review copies based on my recommendation?

13.   How many copies of my book will you be printing?

14.   How will you be informing me about how many copies of my books have been sold?

15.   Will you be requiring me to buy a certain number of books.  If so what is discounted price?

16.  Do you anticipate a second edition of my book or are you planning just one print run (leaving you with an out of print book)?

17.  Will you notify me when you are considering a reprint, so I can submit any additions or changes?


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