Question Suggestions Anyone?

If I could go back in time, to 2000, and meet with my former label for the first time all over again there are so many questions I would ask knowing what I know today about how the music business really works.  The music business, you see, has very little to do with music.  it has everything to do with strategic relationship, distribution deals, radio relationships, retail budgets, and marketing.  Definitely marketing.  And more marketing.  And, of course, money.  All of this involves money and lots of it.

Having a label whose employees cheer for you, love you, hype you is meaningless without marketing genius and the money to make it a reality.

Is that how the book business works?  I’m about to find out.  Or try to.

I’ve asked for a meeting with my possible future publisher – a meeting with their marketing department.  I want to know where their boundaries are.  What are their limitations?  Financial limits.  Creative limits.  I want to know their strengths and weaknesses.  I want to know how they like the word “free” because I like it a great deal.  I want to know how they feel about input, about Seth Godin, about permission marketing, and Web 2.0 and why they have nothing on the best-sellers lists I’m been watching.  Why?

To me, signing a contract with a corporation is a marriage.  And before we jump in bed together I want to know what she looks like with her make-up off.  What’s behind the pitch?  What is this team really like?

I know there a couple or three authors lurking about this blog from time to time.  I’m hoping you guys (and gals) can give me some guidance on what questions to ask and how to ask them.  What do I need to know?  What questions will I wish I asked seven years from now?