8 Questions to Ask Your Editor

Your editor will become your new best friend over the next few months as you write your best-selling book. Take advantage of their knowledge and expertise, and keep in mind these 8 questions to ask your editor to ensure success for you and your future as an author.

Cover: 
The first question to ask and probably the most important detail to make a great first impression on your readers is choosing the right cover. For suggestions and ideas on choosing a great cover for your book go look at competitors books and material at the bookstores to inspire your cover art.

Contract:
Contracts are not a surprise for companies offering publishing services, but what might surprise you is the fine print. Look over this agreement so you're not surprised later on down the road and make sure it is non-exclusive.

Setup Costs:
Publishing costs will range starting with basic publishing fees and packages, which are generally $500 to $800. The packages will typically go up from there, but not all publishing packages include the same options so it's important to compare and choose the best package that fits your needs and budget.

Book Price:
The price of your book will target the market you are writing to so make sure that your book pricing is competitive when compared to related market prices. Do your research and be in a fair market as pricing your book too high or devaluing your book against competition can greatly affect your sales.

Distribution:

Verify your publishing will includes distribution through several (if not all) the leading book wholesalers in the United States. A top distributor like Amazon, will offer discounts and traditional publishers will typically give distributors a 55% discount of which the distributor gives the bookseller about 40%. According to POD Publishing, POD books are more expensive to print, so discounts may not be that high. However, Ingram penalizes POD by taking a higher percentage on books with lower discounts. For example, on a book with a 50% distributor discount, Ingram will keep 20% instead of 15% and offer booksellers only 30%.

Royalties:
Royalties can be challenging and if you don't read the fine print. POD companies may pay on net receipts or net margin or any of many different terms, all of which mean that the royalty is based on what's left after the print cost and distributor cost is taken out. POD Publishing breaks it down, explaining that a royalty of 20% based on net of a $10 book with a 55% distributor discount would be forty cents. On the other hand, a royalty of 10% based on list for the same book with the same discount would be one dollar. Royalties are usually paid quarterly.

Support: 

When interviewing publisher's ask yourself is this editor going to help you when you're in a writer's block and will they answer your phone calls or reply to your emails? You want a publisher that will communicate back with you, not just make the sale and leave you high and dry.

Time Frame:

From the blank pages to the final edits, expect a minimum of three months, but no more than six months. Make sure your editor is staying on top of their game just as much as you stay on top of your game.