Your Author Bio and Readers
Your author bios are an important part of your book marketing package. Your bio is your introduction to the world as an author. Think of it as a news story not a memoir. The main point of your author bio is to get new readers for your books.
Your bio will be read by a number of different audiences.
Each of those audiences is looking for information in a different way. Having a set of author bios is the best way to address the needs of those varying readers.
Author Bios not One Bio
Every author needs four biographies of different lengths.
Norman Langford grew up spying on the neighbours and taking notes in a little black book. No surprise that he ended up writing spy novels!
2. Short: 50 word bio - Used for guest blogging, at the end of your own blog posts, or a press release for a new book. Who you are, your genre, and a title or two.
3. Medium: 100 word bio - Contributor pages in a print publications, social media profiles, etc. Who you are, your genre, a title or two, and a pertinent to your writing fact.
4. Long: 400-600 word bio - About me on your website. This is your opportunity to illustrate the theme of your writing as well as list your all your books and literary achievements and awards.
Author David Amerland uses a theme based bio on his website written to intrigue readers with his line of books.
You can augment the about me biography with videos based on your protagonist. Crime writer Adrian McKinty mixes the favorite drink of his character, Sean Duffy.
If you plan on speaking either before large groups on on radio or television the best bio length is a 250-300 speaker introduction. Put in the basics and a few intriguing details (why people would want to hear your speak) but not as much detail as the Long bio. This length also works for your publisher author pages like Amazon, Nook, iBooks and the like.
The Malleable Bio - Change the Bio to Meet the Audience
I was chatting recently with award winning thriller writer Laurence O’Bryan about various places writers use their biography. I told him I have what I call my Malleable Bio. It’s the one I use most frequently which is the short 50-word bio.
Your bio is a marketing tool. In all marketing the buyer comes first. Using the base biography you can tweak it to the audience. For example, if you are guest blogging, take a look at the blog’s author’s readers. The target message for general book readers will be much more generic than for a thriller or romance oriented audience. You can add just a couple of words to zero in on that blog’s reader audience. The same goes for a bio for journals or newspapers in a press release. Or an audience for a speaking engagement.
As long as you have the base bio written, a few minutes and a few words will help your bio hit home with readers.
The Instant Marketing Tool
Modern literary criticism is based solely on the work itself without any details about the author. But readers love to know about you, the author. Give them a taste of your talent and personality. They don’t have to like you as a person, but they do need to be intrigued.
Wherever you are in your author journey, your author bios help you connect with your readers. If you don’t know where to start, read several bios by authors in your genre to get an idea of how to represent yourself. If you write in pen names in several categories, you need to create a set of bios for each of your names.
If your book is not released yet, now is the time to create your bios.
Get all your bios written. You can go back and tweak later. The main idea is to have those bios ready when someone asks.
Zara Altair writes mysteries set in ancient Italy. Argolicus thinks he has retired, but he and his tutor, Nikolaos are drawn into puzzles, politics, and murder.
Geni.us creates links that send someone to the Amazon store nearest them. If you have a reader in the U.K., and they click the link, they will be taken to Amazon.uk not the U.S. store. The same for Japan, or Germany, or India, etc.
For example, people in 21 different countries have clicked my link to The Used Virgin.
Just grab the amazon link to your ebook and geni.us will create a unique url link for your book. Advanced features offer A/B testing or just identifying links for Twitter, Facebook, or your website.
Any way that you can make it easier for a reader to get your book is a great convenience for readers all over the world.
Watch the tutorial to see how the link works.
Geni.us provides data on each link so you can track countries and clicks for each book. Although my book is written in English, it has appeal for people interested in Italy. Readers have clicked the geni.us link and received the book straight from Amazon.it.
Features just for authors
Geni.us has recently upgraded. One of the new features is just for authors. You can link to your books and your author page.
If you are interested in broadening your readership, a link that goes to the readers nearest country makes it super convenient.
Tools you can use
Pronoun is an ebook publishing site for independent authors. Aside from creating an .epub file for your book, Pronoun has a number of useful tools
Convenience Means More Writing Time
Marketing is a major component of an indie author's time. Most of use would prefer to be writing. Any tool that facilitates the marketing side means more time for writing.
Pronoun's free book formatter is easy to use. If you've ever spent hours on Scrivener or Jutoh trying to get everything to coordinate correctly, the free formatter does all the heavy lifting.
The category suggestions is a great tool for refining the categories specific to your book. Based on keywords the tool offers several categories.
The cover comparison is my favorite tool. Once you upload your cover image to Pronoun you can visually compare it to other covers in your categories. For each category the tool shows your cover side by side with other covers in the category. You can compare to traditionally published covers in your genre and to independently published covers.
Each time you click more covers the software brings up new covers in the category for comparison.
Many Ways to Ebook Publishing Knowledge
Here's a complete list of the tools you can use on Pronoun:
Top 100 List Notifications
Amazon Rank Updates
Account and Product Updates
Book Page Visits
You can add previously published ebooks to your personal library. You'll receive notices like sales and reviews on these books as well.
I have no relationship with Pronoun other than using it. I'm sharing the information because the tools help you keep track of data all in one place.
Need help getting your manuscript crisp? Get in touch now for content editing. firstname.lastname@example.org
Free Books for Author Promotion
Hook potential readers with a free book giveaway. Book Funnel stores PDF, .epub, and .mobi files so they can read your book in their format of choice. Scrivener users can compile a manuscript to each of these formats. Once you have created the files, simply upload each file plus the book cover to Book Funnel.
Here's a quick tutorial on how to set up your book for distribution.
Increase Your Exposure, Gain Readers
Your free book is an invitation to readers to get to know you. Make sure your put some of your personality in the free offer. It doesn't matter if it a book or a one-sheet. For most new readers your free offer is the first chance they get to meet you. First impressions count. Make your book look professional. Create a personable introduction to you and your writing.
Zara Altair, Author
The puzzle of politics, the mystery of murder in ancient Italy. After Rome, before the Middoe Ages, Italy belonged to the Ostrogoths.