So what do authors mess up when it comes to telling the world who they are? Plenty.
1. They are too long and blabber on about non-essential things. Or they are too short and edit out relevant information.
2. They read chronologically instead of most important to least important.
3. They include a resume. Folks, this is not a job audition.
4. They reveal incriminating or less flattering information.
5. They include opinions, beliefs, or goals. This is not an aspirational document. Stay relevant, factual, and focused.
6. They delve into politics, religion, sexuality, or other red flag content when it is unrelated to one’s career or books.
7. They retell stories or quote the author. This is not a feature article. Just tell us how you are best positioned to write the book that you penned.
8. The typeface and/or font is getting in the way. Please, no script, bolding, 9-point typeface!
9. They think this is a personal Facebook page or a dating site profile. It is not. We don’t care that you like pecans and waffles or that you enjoy dating older guys. You are not only not
obligated to put everything in here, you are obligated to censor your depiction of who you are.
10. Bad photo. It is blurry, distracting, outdated, not cropped, or shows you wrongly dressed or an inappropriate setting.
11. They use words or jargon that people don’t commonly know or could misunderstand.
Well, once you correct or avoid the offenses most often committed by authors, what should you include in your bio that will help sell who you are?
1. Craft your bio with the understanding that people want to be left with answers to two unstated questions: What qualifies you to pen this book? How can we like you? People want to feel you are legit — and their kind of person.
2. Talk about your published writings: articles, books, white papers, and newsletters.
3. Give the links to your website, blog, podcast or youtube channel. Put your social media icons (ie Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest) on your site’s contact page.
4. Share with us your education: degrees/schools and relevant certifications.
5. Mention the names of news media outlets that have quoted, interviewed, reviewed, or featured you. Include a few links to the biggest ones.
6. Mention where you grew up, have lived, and currently reside. You can mention a spouse/children, if you wish. You can mention a pet, too. By relationship, if someone successful or famous was or is in the family, consider mentioning it.
7. Awards that you were a finalist for or won, or recognition you received.
8. Memberships and positions held in relevant professional organizations, writer associations, or other groups.
9. Speaking appearances.
10. Share your credentials: years worked, titles held, and reference companies if they are known entities.
11. Big charities that you are affiliated with as a volunteer, donor, fundraiser, or advocate.
12. Mention hobbies and travels if they sound unique, relevant, and helpful in making you seem likable.
13. Use colorful adjectives. Bring yourself to life so that people feel drawn to you.
You are who you are, for better or worse, but your bio is carved out the way you want it to appear. No one has to know everything about you and you get to determine what gets emphasized.
Need Book PR Help?
Brian Feinblum, the founder of this award-winning blog, can be reached at [email protected] He is available to help authors promote their story, sell their book, and grow their brand. He has 30 years of experience in helping thousands of authors in all genres.
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About Brian Feinblum
Brian Feinblum should be followed on Twitter @theprexpert. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2021. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester with his wife, two kids, and Ferris, a black lab rescue dog. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s The Independent. This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. It was also named by WinningWriters.com as a “best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America. For more information, please consult: .