Monday, June 27, 2016

Your Author Bio--from laundry list to creating an author brand

A popular post from July 2010

by Heather Moore

Recently Annette Lyon and I attended the ULA Conference where we were guest speakers. I flipped through the syllabus and gasped when I saw my author bio. It told about me--but had nothing about my published books or anything that would qualify me to be a speaker. I thought--well, no one will come to my class.

I asked Annette why she thought they'd put that bio in there when I'd sent over my updated bio. She said, "They probably took it from your website."

She was right. As I looked at the bio, I realized that it was on my website. I guess I thought that someone visiting my website would see the books I've written, then for additional author information they'd read my bio.

When I returned home from the conference, I promptly changed the bio so that if someone needed to lift it from my website, it would go well with any conference syllabus.

Recently I read a post by bestselling thriller writer, Barry Eisler. He basically nails why your author bio should be something that attracts a reader to your book, not a dry laundry list of where you were born, where you live, and the number of children you have. Eisler calls is author branding--check out his great post HERE.

In revamping my author bio, I asked myself what information reflects my personality as well as what will motivate a new reader to buy my book?

Anyone want to share yours?

This is what I came up with:

Heather B. Moore is the award-winning author of several historical novels which are set in Ancient Arabia and Mesoamerica. She is not old and doesn’t remember the time period, so Google has become a great friend. Although she has spent several years living in the Middle East, she prefers to forget the smells. Heather writes under the pen name H.B. Moore so that men will buy her books. She is also the author of one non-fiction book, which took her much too long to research and write, so she is back to novel writing (when she isn’t clipping 2-for-1 coupons).


Becky McKinnon said...

Thanks for this! I'm just setting up a blog, and this morning I was trying to come up with a bio. It's kind of hard, since I'm not published. I'll share what I came up with, but I'm definitely going to keep working on it!

Becky McKinnon
I've always devoured books. The biggest compliment I can give a book is that it was impossible to put down. When a story burrowed into my head and refused to leave, it was natural for me to put it down on paper. I was just trying to get the story to leave me alone. Instead, I've become a bit obsessed.

Anonymous said...

I guess I never really thought about how important an author's bio really is. I mean, we all know that it's the author that really ends up promoting their book, that they are the face of their own literature and all that, but sometimes we forget that we have to remind the world that we write books. It's so much a part of our identities that we sometimes just assume everyone else knows it.
So thanks for this tidbit. One day, when my book finally is published, I'll take your advice and write a dang good bio. :)

Taffy said...

Heather! I love the updated you. It shows personality and humor. And any man reading your bio will be intrigued by the descriptions you give your books. I especially liked the smells and 2for1 mentions! :)

Noble M Standing said...

Here is mine. Great post, something to think about.

C. Michelle Jefferies writes science fiction, a stark contrast to her rural life in south eastern Utah with six kids, house, husband, and pet birds. Although her heart resides in the stars, she has been known to be distracted by romance and the occasional vampire story.

Heather B. Moore said...

Becky, bio's are usually in 3rd person, so try that and see how it works.

Michelle, that's a fun one :)

Maria Zannini said...

I love seeing a little humor in bios. It makes the person appear more accessible.

This is what I use on my blog.


Stolen from Texas soil as an infant, Maria Zannini grew up in Chicago where she learned how to walk fast and live vertically. She rushed back to Texas as soon as she was legal and discovered the great wide open.

Chicago became a memory.

After years of working as an advertising artist and art director, Maria now lives in the middle of nowhere on six acres she calls heaven. Half a mile to the north is a lion refuge, to the south, there be llamas.

Maria writes sensual stories of legend and mythos.

kbrebes said...

Great post, Heather. I'll let you know what I come up with--but my bio definitely must be rewritten! Thanks!