Writing a bio. It sounds exciting at first, telling people a little about you (all the good things of course), but when the reality of it sets in, you realize it’s not as straight forward as you think. I’m still tweaking mine six months later.
What makes writing a biography a challenge? The biggest ones for me were (1)deciding what to include to be funny and charming, but come across as professional, (2) what to tell the readers about me that’s interesting, but not weird them out, and (3) making sure it meets publicity and marketing requirements. See what I mean? Not to worry, I’m going to share 5 tips I hope will save you time when creating your own bio.
Ask the questions: Who are you? What’s important to you? What makes you unique and interesting? Here’s a link with more questions to ask yourself before you put together your bio. It also has other important things you should include.
Check out your favorite author’s bio or authors that write the same genre as you to get more ideas or tips of what to include.
Create three different bios. I know what you’re thinking. Three? Here’s why.
The three bios will consist of: professional, short bio, and long bio. Each one serves a purpose and will meet every possible need whether it’s a press release, interview, blog/guest appearance, media kit, or anything that is thrown at you. If you have these three under your belt, you’ll be ahead of the game and merely need to cut and paste without having to pull your hair to construct it from scratch, which is never a good idea. Been there, done that!
Have a professional or someone you trust give their unbiased opinion to make sure you haven’t missed anything or gone in the TMI (too much information) direction.
Decide if your bios will be written as I or she. I did mine as she, and I so I had options depending on the venue or site. Some people use one or the other, depending on the image/brand they want to project.
Finalize your bio and make sure you’re happy with it BEFORE posting it anywhere. I can’t express enough how important this is. I have mine everywhere and now I’m having to go back and change it everywhere. NOT a fun thing to do.
Writing your biography is one of the most important things you’ll do as a writer and should be the first thing on your list. It takes time to create it, and time for you to be happy with it. It’s something you’ll need throughout every stage of your career and the first impression people have of you. So don’t just throw something together. Give it your all and your best!
Good luck and feel free to ask me any questions.
Thanks for the tips, Elke.
Somewhere else on the Web, I saw something about creating a tagline – a few words that identify you as an individual. The example given was Jackie Collins’ “She’ll keep you up all night”. The fact that I remember it after seeing it only once is a testimony to its effectiveness.
I remember that blog post too. I think the tagline is harder to write than the bio. Another blog post. 🙂
Thanks for stopping by!
Elke, these are great tips. It’s not easy writing your bio , at least for me it isn’t. I’m never sure where the cut off point is. Am I giving too much information or not enough?
One thing I’ve learned about writing a bio is that even though it’s suppose to be about you, it’s really about your reader too. What you write should be written with your reader in mind, in other words if your blog is about crocheting your bio should be about you as it relates to crocheting. That’s what will draw your reader in. Including too many irrelevant things will often lose your reader.
I especially like your Tip #2. That will keep you ready for whatever need you have for including your bio. A great time saver as well 🙂
Writing a bio is usually the last thing on people’s minds. They’re usually in excitement mode that their book is going to be published. Color me guilty. 🙂