I received email confirmation this week that my contract with Pelican Publishing has been executed and sent to accounts payable who will issue the first advance check. Now I wait for a certified letter with check. Yea!!
Of course, that means more work for me. I found five attachments on the email - Welcome Pelican Author, Promo Questionnaire Part II, Sales Material, Author Advance Book Order and Pelican Fact Sheet. Also they suggested I go on the website to find instructions for the procedure to send in a newly formatted copy of the manuscript on CD as well as two hard copies.
Although each attachment had something for me to do, I'll start with the Promo Questionnaire Part II. I received the first promo materials along with the unsigned contract. Some of what I've discussed in this blog pertains to those. I consider each question carefully to see how I might contribute to sales and promotion.
The General Questions were easy - my name, title of book, occupation, how often I check my email/voicemail and the best method of short-notice contact. The next question brought me up short: What would I like to be known as - the foremost authority on ____? Unfortunately, I'm not the "foremost authority" on anything including Charles Russell, the subject of my book approached from the art appreciation aspect. Granted, I probably know more than the average person about the artist and his works, but I can't claim that title.
Giving interactive art tours is my forte, but, I'm not the foremost authority there either. Since I've taught others to teach in a museum atmosphere, I finally listed "Art Appreciation Tour Trainer." If you have a better suggestion, please let me know.
Other General Questions included: What memorable nickname would I give myself? What qualifies you to talk about the subject?
Next came General Media Questions - Among all the people knowledgeable about the topic, how are you different? What are you willing or qualified to discuss that others are not? Why should people care what you have to say? The rest of the questions in this section really didn't apply to me or my topic. If you want to know what they are, make a comment.
Now we come to Broadcast Media Questions. Of the twelve, one posed the most problem. This could be important since I've already been asked by a large local writer's organization to appear on a panel of first book authors. "What do you think are the five most important or best questions the media could ask you during an interview?" I queried my writer's group with this one. Many of their suggestions apply to me. I divided the list into three focuses - writing, Charles Russell and art appreciation.
On writing - When did you begin writing? How did you learn to write? What other kinds of writing have you done? Why did you start later in life? What does it take to get something published - book or magazine?
On Russell – Why did you write about Charles Russell? Why is Charles Russell’s art important? Where can one find Russell’s works? What did he paint? What did he do besides paint?
On art appreciation – What experiences have you had in teaching art appreciation? Why is art appreciation important? How do you involve students in looking? What do you expect to accomplish with a book on art appreciation? For what ages is the book written? Is the book for children only?
I may reconsider some of the questions before I send in the questionnaire. Start thinking now about how you might help in the sales and promotion of your book.
Now that I have these questions, I better work on the answers!
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