So you’ve got a “nibble” from a publisher! Hooray! You’ve done your happy dance and freaked out to your friends — now what?
Here are some questions you might ask the editor. This assumes she or he has seen your book or proposal and is seriously interested.
(Missed Part 1 of my What To Do When You Get a Nibble series? Check it out: 10 Questions To Ask a Literary Agent.)
6 Questions to Ask an Acquisitions Editor
About the editing process:
1. How much do you typically work with authors? What is your editing approach or style? Would you say that you’re more hands-on vs. laissez faire?
2. Would you be the actual editor, or do you typically pass projects on to a junior editor? If the latter, could I have a conversation with the person who would actually be editing my book?
3. (If you’ve submitted a partial manuscript, or if it’s a two-book contract:) What is the deadline and process for completing the book? Would you expect me to be in touch with drafts along the way, or would you prefer that I deliver a finished product?
About the business end:
4. What kind of print run would you foresee for this book? Are we talking about hardcover, paperback, e-books?
5. What kind of marketing do you typically do for a book like this? Do you envision a book tour? What media outreach would you handle? What part of the publicity and marketing would be my responsibility?
6. (If your book has international angles:) Are you interested in rights for this region only, or worldwide? If worldwide, what kind of marketing and distribution do you have in other countries? Where are your biggest foreign sales? What distribution plans would you envision for my book in key countries overseas? Would you consider translating the work to reach relevant audiences?
Questions about your contract?
The Authors Guild contract review service is the best impartial resource for U.S. working authors, and you are eligible to join if you have received a contract offer from a traditional U.S. publisher or an offer of representation from a U.S. literary agent, or if you have made at least $500 from your writing in the past 18 months.
No publisher yet? There are many good resources out there on agents, publishing, and how to do your own market research. Poets & Writers magazine publishes a fantastic Guide to Literary Agents that tells you everything about the process of getting an agent who can submit your work to publishing houses.
Want help? I love helping authors bring manuscripts and book proposals to completion through private mentoring, where we can work on your project at your own pace. Or check out my Creative Art of Proposals e-course, which gives you the complete methodology I’ve successfully used for decades to hone glorious, persuasive query and proposal language.