I spoke to a prospective Miller Mosaic book marketing client about first steps for her nonfiction book. Some of the questions she asked made me decide to review some of these areas here.
First, I asked her whether she had had the manuscript professionally edited. I explained that, especially for the subject matter of her nonfiction book, this was especially important. If the book has a lot of typos, etc. this could distract from the credibility of the information.
Second, the author had received a favorable email response from a query. She wanted to know what questions she should discuss with the prospective traditional publisher.
While this is NOT my area of expertise, here are the questions I came up with off the top of my head:
Will the publisher pay an advance?
Which rights will the publisher buy?
Who retains foreign right sales?
What publication date will the publisher commit to?
What publicity budget/efforts will the publisher commit to?
And I should have added:
What arrangements will be made for the rights to revert from the publisher to the author?
(This right was very important for the Jewish holiday book SEASONS FOR CELEBRATION that I co-authored with Rabbi Karen L. Fox and was published traditionally in 1992. When the rights reverted to us and POD options became available, we re-issued the book so that it no longer shows as out of print on Amazon.)
Of course, there are undoubtedly many other questions to be discussed.
And if, as a new author you do not have an agent but do have a publisher interested in your book, you should become as familiar as possible yourself about publishing contracts — and then you should hire an attorney specializing in this area to review the contract for you. (A little amount of money spent now on attorney fees could save you a great deal of money later.)
On the other hand, if you have decided to self-publish your first book, you might want to get my Kindle ebook TOP TIPS FOR HOW TO PUBLISH AND MARKET IN THE AGE OF AMAZON at viewBook.at/B009RBJW3E
(If you do not have a Kindle, you can get free Kindle apps for almost any electronic device at http://budurl.com/freeKindleapp)
Finally, if you do not already have an active social media presence, it is important you start now with sharing information (not “selling”). If you need help in doing this, my online marketing company www.MillerMosaicLLC.com offers one-hour consulting sessions for this purpose.
And if you want to publish your work in chapters first (as long as you choose the option to reserve all rights each time you post a new chapter), consider the free site Wattpad. You can check out my fiction project at http://budurl.com/MSintro and my nonfiction project at http://budurl.com/TAintro
© 2013 Miller Mosaic LLC
Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of fiction and nonfiction books/ebooks, including TOP TIPS FOR HOW TO PUBLISH AND MARKET YOUR BOOK IN THE AGE OF AMAZON and the romantic suspense spy thriller CIA FALL GUY.