This month I will be taking part in the A-Z Challenge – a blog-based challenge, with entrants posting almost-daily throughout April along the different letters of the alphabet. Each day is assigned a different letter, today is A. Tomorrow is B, and so on. Every day has an assigned letter, save for Sundays. To find out more about the challenge, or to sign up (there are only a few days left until sign-ups close!), please have a look at the challenge pages here.
I plan to explore the theme of ‘Writing’ for my challenge entries. (If you’d like to glimpse ahead at the topics and titles I’ve decided on for this month, you can find my month’s schedule here.)
‘A’ is for ‘About the Author’: How to Write a Great Author Profile
For the first instalment of this month’s Writing-based Blogging Challenge, I thought I’d share a few of the useful hints and know-hows I’ve picked up over the last few years for writing an author profile:
Have a look at the profiles of other authors who are writing in a similar genre, style, location, have the same/a similar audience to you. How have they written their profiles? Look at the style, the layout, the information they do (and do not) include. What impression do you get from reading their profile(s), do you want to find out more about that person and/or their work? Identify what you find interesting, and anything you don’t. Make notes. Think about what information you would like to know about your favourite authors. Think about what information you would like your readers to know about you.
2 Point of View (POV)
Unless otherwise specified, always write in third person.
3 Multiply and Vary
Write several versions: keep at least three separate versions of your author profile at all times (though, you might well want more!). Write a short, medium-length, and long version of your profile for sharing in different areas and across different social media platforms.
4 Keep It Fluid
Your profile/biography will be continually evolving as you experience and achieve. Your style may change, your focus might alter. Keep your profile up to date, and don’t be afraid to tailor it to your audience/the area you are posting to (just as you would a CV/resume for a specific job, for example).
Keep your audience in mind. Remember that whilst your profile is about you, it is for your reader. How can you help, appeal to, or connect with them? What can you offer them that is unique or different? Sell yourself.
6 Qualify Yourself
Identify/reveal your talents and/or qualifications: why are you good at what you do? State your work experience, eduction, awards, publications, engagements, or hobbies (etc). Don’t worry if you don’t have lots of experience or educational qualifications in your chosen field (i.e. writing) – state local writing-based groups you are involved with, any relevant voluntary roles you have taken, (self-)published titles, etc. Find your strengths and connect. Keep it relevant. Keep your reader in mind.
7 Make a Good Impression
Be positive and professional. If appropriate, and within reason, be personal. (Stay safe!)
8 Set Your Own Goal
Consider your own focus/goals. Where will this profile be shared? What do you want it to do for you? What do you want your profile to achieve?
9 Provide an Action/Activity
End with a Call-to-Action (CTA). Make the most of every available space, and format. Have a website? Link to it via your online profile. Have a book out? A blog? Social media profiles? Consider linking to it/them. Or mention them. Post a QR code. Ask people to sign up to your newsletter. Ask for a review. Encourage world peace. Whatever. Extend your personal message by encouraging action.
10 Write What Makes You Happy
Consider the ‘rules’ and guidelines when you draft your profile, to give yourself a good initial author-profile-basis. Then re-draft it, and disregard them entirely! Embrace creativity. Stand apart. Inspire. You are an artist, make art.
EM Biddulph is an author, poet, book reviewer, and blogger, with a BA (Hons) in Creative Writing and Criminology. The author of Rhythmythical – a poetry collection inspired by themes of nature, mythology, magic, and the modern world – her work has also appeared online and in The Strange Circle Magazine and The Rainy Days Paperback. #WriteEditReadReview.
Find out more about her latest projects, and read free samples of her work at her website: www.embiddulph.com.
This is my current profile. I don’t claim to have mastered the form, but this is a marked improvement on the profile I used to have.
Listed below, I’ve linked to a few of my favourite ‘hints-and-tips for writing author profiles’ articles that I’ve come across over the last few years. Some of the information is specific to writers, some isn’t. Some of the information is more specific, and perhaps in places subjective, than in other parts – but all of it is very useful and worth reading. There is a lot of inspiration and advice here for new, starting-out writers as well as for seasoned authors who are looking for ways to develop or improve their existing base.
Be sure to have a notebook and pen handy for making lots of notes!
- 10 Tips on How To Write an Author Bio | HuffingtonPost.com
- Best Practices for Author Profile Pages | SEOSkeptic.com
- How to Set Up Your Goodreads Author Profile | MagnoliaMediaNetwork.com