8 Questions to Ask a Book Publisher

If you have a fantastic food blog with your own recipes, you might just catch the attention of a publisher looking to publish cookbooks. If you received an inquiry from a publisher to take your online cookbook and turn it into more than just a blog, do you know what questions you need to be asking? At Chat eBooks we’ve compiled a list of 8 questions that first-time authors need to ask a publisher who is interested in investing in you and your recipes and create a new cookbook!

  1. How much is the advance? An advance is the amount of money that you will be paid upfront for writing the book. You will generally receive a royalty percentage for every book sent that exceeds the advance amount. For a first-time author, advances can range anywhere from $3,500 to $25,000. A lot of times, publishers will offer a low price. Don’t be afraid to say something like, “that sounds a little low”.
  2. What is the royalty rate? The average royalty rate that authors receive for their work is around 7.5%, sometimes more, sometimes less. The royalty rate is based off of the book’s retail price.
  3. How long of a manuscript is required? If a publisher is contacting you for a book, chances are they already have specifications for the book in mind. These specifications could include length, number of recipes from an online cookbook, or even word count. If the publishers want you to provide the idea for the book, you’ll have to determine the length and specifications for the book.
  4. What is the deadline for the manuscript? Some publishers can have steep deadlines that are hard to meet. When possible, try to get at least 9 months to complete your manuscript. If the subject matter is trending, chances are your publisher is going to want your manuscript sooner than 9 months.
  5. How many photographs are required? What is the fee for them? Most first-time authors and bloggers turned author don’t have photographs that will entice a publisher, so you’ll have to invest in professional photos. On the off-chance that the publisher does want what to use your photos, be sure that they pay you a separate fee for your photos. If your publisher is going to hire a professional photographer to take the photos, request to give input as to who they will choose. If you have a photographer who you’ve worked with before, suggest them to your publisher.
  6. Will you include my bio, photo, and blog address on the book jacket? Make sure that the publisher is planning on including your information on the jacket of the book. This is something that you will want to find out as soon as possible.
  7. When will the book release date be? Most publishers will have two seasons for publishing books: spring and fall. Find out which season your book is planned for. Gift books will generally be published during the fall season.
  8. How are you going to promote my book? Is the publisher going to be the one promoting the book, or are you going to have to do a lot of the promoting yourself? Will your publisher send out copies of your book for review? Are they going to pitch your book to bloggers, print publications, and review websites? Will they pay for you to do a book tour?

After asking your publisher the above questions, and not liking some or all of the answers that you receive, or not being able to come to an agreeable compromise, consider publishing your cookbook yourself! At Chat eBooks we offer authors the ability to self-publish their work, plus keep 100% of the royalties! Check us out today!