Do you like piña coladas and getting caught in the rain or have I just dated myself?

In a previous post, I compared the book blurb to a dating profile. I thought the comparison was pretty apt, but nothing is more like a dating profile than trying to write your author bio.

pina coladas

The author bio is yet another important, but often overlooked, element of not only your book but any of a multitude of author pages (for example on Goodreads or Amazon) as well as your own website.

Like a dating profile, you need to sell yourself to your readers. Your goal is to make a connection with them, showing who you are as a person. You want to come across as the type of person who would write a book they would want to read.

You really need three versions of your bio:
1. A version to put inside your book as part of the end matter. This can be a little bit longer, but still brevity is key.
2. A version to put on your website or author pages.  Again this could be longer.  It could even be the same as #1 above.
3. A shorter ‘blurb’ type bio for the back of your book.  Keep it short and sweet.  150 words or less.

Just like when writing the book blurb, your author bio should grab the interest of your reader. It should make it easier for your reader to relate to you. Above all else, be honest. The last thing you want to do is come across as someone you`re not – in this electronic age, it would be pretty easy to get called on fudged credentials or accomplishments.

To help you with your author bios, here are a few websites I found useful:

6 Secrets to Writing a Killer Author Bio
How to Write a Great Author Bio That Will Connect with Readers
Tips for Writing Your Author Bio

I hope I managed to accomplish some of these goals with my bio. I guess I`ll have to let you be the judge. Feel free to let me now how I did.

As an added bonus, here`s a few things you may not know about me (and probably will never end up in my bio):

  • I think a movie without popcorn is just wrong
  • I can’t ride in the car with the radio on without singing out loud
  • Spiders ick me out
  • I can drink a coke slurpee at 3 am when it’s -30 C outside
  • I can curl my tongue (it’s a genetic thing, I learned that in grade 9)
  • I think that pineapple on pizza is a waste of perfectly good pineapple (and pizza)
  • I can’t sit in front of a bonfire without poking at it with a stick
  • I’m not a big drinker, but have become a bit of a beer snob (I’ll take a good Belgian beer thanks)

Traditional Publishing – Why I’m Not Going There

There was a time when I thought I needed to be published traditionally.  That I would only feel that I had ‘made it’ as an author if my book was published by a mainstream publisher.  I thought I needed that validation.

These days, I feel like I should write a thank you letter to the publisher that sent me my very first (and only) rejection letter.  I was totally expecting it.  I knew that I would have to ‘pay my dues’ before getting that elusive book contract, but the more I researched and read on the topic of getting published, the more ridiculous it all seemed.  The submission process of most of the traditional publishers is a writer’s nightmare.  That’s if you can even find one that is accepting unsolicited manuscripts (i.e. submitted directly rather than through an agent).   And for what?  If you do happen to get an offer, the pittance you will earn in royalties is an insult to all your hard work.

 

Pressure

I don’t need a traditional publisher to give me validation.  I’m going to let my books speak for themselves (although that doesn’t mean I won’t be busy trying to learn everything I can about marketing them) and the only validation I need will come from my readers.

If you are on the fence about whether you should self-publish, this article  by guest writer Ann Voss Peterson on JA Konrath’s blog may just help you to jump down on the side of indies.