A quick hello as I surface from chaos and grieving status quo. I’m in the midst of packing, donating, and trying to sell stuff online that requires frequent attention – just what I don’t feel like doing. I’m moving in two weeks and trying to figure out the puzzle, deciding how to keep as much as will fit in the smaller unit, which isn’t really small, but compared to now, well, let’s just say it’s A LOT of stuff. I probably won’t have a Sunday review ready this week, but I’ll have a new edition of Writer’s Tips next week. In the meantime, I’m sharing Sally Cronin’s recent article in her new fabulous, Author Series, where she offers valuable PR tips on how to best present ourselves, from bios to pictures.
Smorgasbord Public Relations for Authors – Part Two – Author Biographies -Tips and Translations by Sally Cronin
The definition of Public Relations in business is “Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between businesses and the public”
In the past my focus has been on book marketing, which did include how to reach potential readers with blogs, social media and as part of the writing community. Whilst this series will revisit those platforms along the way it is an opportunity to focus on some key areas of our public profiles that might influence the public to buy our books.
The focus this time is on you.. the author.
Last week I looked at the impact our Profile Photo – First contact with reader might have on potential readers.
This week it is the turn of the biography that we put on selling sites such as Amazon, Bookbub and Goodreads.
Author Biography – Tips and Translations
With approximately 150 authors across the Cafe and Bookstore and the Children’s Reading Room, I am in Amazon and Goodreads daily checking for new releases and reviews to share in the updates. In the current series of Meet the Authors I am also updating biographies to include and I am afraid that I have had to update quite a few myself with new books, or the numbers of books that have been written.
My suggestions today are not carved in stone, and how you write your biography is entirely your decision. The one area that is key and seems to be echoed around the writing sites is the fact that a biography that is overlong will be overlooked.
The biography is your advertisement that combined with your photograph is going to grab the attention of the potential reader who has landed on your author page.
Last week I shared the fact that there are 20,000 new ebooks uploaded each week on Amazon that are in direct competition with your books. Provided you have listed your books with the genre or sub-genre, when searching for books a reader will be offered a selection to choose from. Hopefully that will land them on your book page or your Amazon Author Page.
Having got them there.. and smiled at them from your author photograph they will look at the first line of your biography and with any luck will decide to read the rest.
However, they are not going to stay their long! Which is why the recommended length of an author biography is under 1000 characters (Amazon recommendation) or 300 words.
- The primary aim of your biography is to establish your credentials as a writer and to give a quick resume of your work with a dash of personality that makes them think they might enjoy your books.
- It is recommended to write the biography in the third person. I have played around with both first and third person and I have just revamped mine with the latter. (I am still playing around with it)
- Not all of us have degrees in literature or are award winning or USA Today Bestselling authors. However, those that do should lead with that.
- Failing academic credentials, then get creative on how to hook a reader into trusting you know what you are doing. One of the ways to do that is use third party endorsement by using snippets from your reviews.
For example you could select one of your top reviews for a book and start your biography.
James Smith is a writer whose readers consider ‘is a master storyteller who brings characters alive’
Samantha Johnson’s first novel Desperate Authors received five star reviews ‘Johnson’s creative world building left me breathless’
- If you have awards for other books mention you have several including two or three stand out commendations.
- Following this, and if you have more than one book, it it a good idea mention your most current book with a brief synopsis.
- It is not necessary to list the titles of all the books you have written within the biography as the covers are featured on the page. However, after the main biography you can add further information on series of books for example, so that the reader has a better idea of which book to begin with.
- Many of the sample biographies of best-selling authors that I have read over the last couple of weeks have been written with a certain amount of humour which made them stand out.
- It is a good idea to put the link to your website with a note – For more information about the author and their work etc.
Amazon new look Author Central
Amazon have made it easier for you to share your biography, not only on other sites but in other languages.
Potential readership around the world.
The other key element to think about is your visibility on an international platform such as Amazon which sells our books on 17 sites (maybe more as growing fast) with a reach of approximately 58 countries. This means that you need to make sure your biography is on as many sites as possible. . . Please continue reading at Sally’s blog.
Have a look at the first part in this informative series by Sally – People Buy People First, Profile Photo
About Sally Cronin
I have been a storyteller most of my life (my mother called them fibs!). Poetry, song lyrics and short stories were left behind when work and life intruded, but that all changed in 1996.
My first book Size Matters was a health and weight loss book based on my own experiences of losing 70kilo. I have written another thirteen books since then on health and also fiction including three collections of short stories. My latest collection is Life is Like A Bowl of Cherries: Sometimes Bitter, Sometimes Sweet.
I am an Indie author and proud to be one. My greatest pleasure comes from those readers who enjoy my take on health, characters and twisted endings… and of course come back for more.
As a writer I know how important it is to have help in marketing books.. as important as my own promotion is, I believe it is important to support others. I offer a number of FREE promotional opportunities on my blog and linked to my social media. If you are an author who would like to be promoted to a new audience of dedicated readers, please contact me via my blog. All it will cost you is a few minutes of your time. Look forward to hearing from you.
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