Author Questionnaires

Welsh Books Council

Author Questionnaires

Once a manuscript has been delivered, the publisher should ask the author to supply information which will help in promoting the title. An all-purpose questionnaire is likely to contain the following information, with variations according to the nature of the work. (Academic works, for example, will generally need more detailed summarising, consideration of competing titles, authorial career details and so on.)



  • author’s name as it will appear on the book
  • title and sub-title of the book

Author details

  • full name
  • address(es) and full contact details
  • nationality
  • date of birth
  • current occupation
  • country of residence
  • VAT Registration Number (if applicable)
  • National Insurance Number
  • Tax Office
  • biographical note
  • previous publications

Book details

  • brief summary of book (2/3 sentences)
  • fuller description of book (up to 300 words), with table of contents if applicable
  • chief selling points: in what ways is the book topical, controversial, original, etc. Why is it needed? What is its main appeal?
  • what sections of the book might be good for extract, serialisation, etc?

The market

  • the book’s intended readership. If this is primarily academic, precise details of target  level/group will be needed
  • geographical extent of main market (regional, Welsh, UK, etc.)
  • likely non-academic markets
  • the features which differentiate this book from others in the same field. For academic works, and some others (guides, how-to books, popular history and science, etc.), the main competitors should be listed and differences summarised.


  • list of organisations whose members may be interested in the book and, where possible, details of availability of membership lists of these organisations
  • newspapers, periodicals, organisational newsletters  etc. that might take flyers or review the book
  • author’s press and media contacts
  • prominent individuals who could supply an advance commendation if sent a proof copy
  • whether the author is prepared to deal directly with press and media enquiries and undertake promotional activity (launches, signing sessions, reading tours, etc.)
  • any newsworthy features of the book or the author.


Advice about compiling an author questionnaire is given, together with a sample, in Alison Baverstock, How to Market Books, fourth edition (Kogan Page, 2008).

A number of questionnaires can be found on the internet, varying according to the nature of the book being promoted. 



Date last updated: 21 Jun 2013