Posted by: nancyisanders | April 18, 2012

Publicists: Author’s Questionnaire

When we were looking at the Author’s Questionnaire in one of my previous posts here on my blog, I explained how I listed some of my published books to give to my publicist, Josh.

Another thing I needed to fill out on the Author’s Questionnaire was a short summary about my book. So I gave this some thought and wrote out the summary. Then I also used this summary on the home page of the website I’ve been building for the release of my new book. You can see the summary I wrote on my site for Frederick Douglass for Kids.

At first, it might seem daunting to write a summary of your book. How can you describe its essence in so few words? But as your book gets published, lots of folks will start requesting a short summary. Go ahead and write up a couple from different angles if you want. Post one on the first page of your book’s website. Send another one to people who want to post your book’s review on their site. Try practicing writing these until it gets easier to do.

Here’s what I like to include in a summary:
The Grab:
Start out with something that grabs your reader. I used:
Powerful. Passionate. Majestic.

The One-Sentence Synopsis: Next, tell your reader in one sentence what your book is all about. I used:
Frederick Douglass rose from slavery to become the leading African American of his day, a friend of presidents, and an advocate of the oppressed.

The Description:
Finally, describe the nuts and bolts of your book, including a very specific audience who will want to read it. I used:
Frederick Douglass for Kids is a book for middle grade and high school students that offers a fresh perspective of this influential activist for human rights who lived during the Civil War era. Featuring photographs of historic sites from his birthplace to his death, many of these images have never before been seen together in one book. Come walk in the footsteps of this American hero through the pages of this book and learn more about this man, his nation, and his world.

I filled this summary in on the Author’s Questionnaire and sent it in to my publicist, Josh. It was very exciting to actually do this.

And talk about exciting…I’ve got an exciting surprise lined up for you here on my next blog post! Josh Williams, my publicist, graciously agreed to do an interview here on my blog to give you an inside peek into the world of a publicist as well as offer up some tips to help you get your book out there to the world. Stay-tuned and be sure to say “Hi” to Josh and thank him for sharing his expertise!!!


  1. Exciting, Nancy! Looking forward to his interview. And thanks for giving us a roadmap to promoting our own work. I can see how that would be daunting. Thanks for tucking us all in your back pocket and letting us experience this amazing journey with you too!

    • You’re welcome, Val! It’s great to have you join the journey. :o)

  2. Frederick’s web site looks great! I enjoy reading your step-by-step process!

    • Thanks, Tina! Watching a book come to life is an exciting journey and I’m glad you’re joining in the fun. I bet you’ve got some great stories of your own about how your books are born!!!

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