Thursday

Your Bio--Introducing Yourself to the World

I've heard that your bio is the most important thing you'll ever write. That may be an exaggeration, but your bio is definitely an important marketing tool, one that will either work for or against you and your work. It's worth taking the time to do it right.

You'll want several different versions of your bio, for different genres of your work.

Your bio is your way of introducing yourself, like a verbal handshake.
I can't think of a better way to explain it than to show you examples, so please excuse having to read about me over and over again--mine are the only bios I have! =)

Different bio styles:

1. Your working bio. This goes on the bottom of articles you write or your professional work. It gives your professional credentials, a way for people to find more of your work, and very little life/family information.

Example:


Kimberly Rae has lived in Bangladesh, Uganda, Kosovo, and Indonesia. She now writes from her home in Lenoir, North Carolina, where she lives with her husband and two young children. Kimberly has been published over 250 times and has work in 6 languages. Her Christian suspense/romance novels on international human trafficking (Stolen Woman, Stolen Child, and Stolen Future) are all Amazon bestsellers. Find out more at www.kimberlyrae.com


2. Specific genre bio. If you're writing something that focuses specifically, you want a bio that fits that focus. My articles on trafficking may mention that I do a lot of public speaking on trafficking and how to contact me for that. However, if it's about health problems, I need to write why I'm qualified to write about chronic illness.

Here's mine for my soon-to-be-released Sick&Tired book. The book is meant to give empathy, encouragement, and a little practical help, so I tried to make my bio friendly and casual, while still being informative.

Example:

With 5 different health conditions, including Addison’s disease, asthma, and a cyst on her brain, Kimberly Rae knows what it is like to live tired of dependence on medication, guilty over needing help, and frustrated over fielding the frequent comment, “But you don’t look sick!”

Rae has been published over 250 times and has work in 6 languages. After years overseas in several countries, her condition now keeps her in the US. She writes from her home in North Carolina, where she lives with her very patient husband and two young children who regularly pray, “Please help Mommy to get better,” and who both love cars and trains despite one of them being a girl.

3. Casual bio. This is for your blog or website, where you want to be more personal and friendly. This is where you talk about your kids, your hobbies, your favorite kind of latte or whatever. My bio here on the blog is one I'd never put on something professional--for one it's way too long!--but I get to share more of my heart. On my website, I put in a bio and added 10 random facts, just for fun. See: 10 Random Things About Me



Along with your bio, you'll want an author photo. Again, this photo can change based on the feeling of your bio. A professional head shot is always appropriate, but you can also put in a fun one for a fun bio (the one below is one I use sometimes on fun pieces about international culture. It makes me more approachable as a person, not just an author).


Your photo can help your bio in that it adds information about you as an author that saves you from having to put that in words. The above photo tells readers several things: I have traveled, have seen very unusual things, and have a quirky sense of humor. A reader might not consciously think through these things, but they will mentally ingest a general feeling about them.

In conclusion, regardless of the different types, every bio should let people know who you are, why you're qualified to write a particular piece or book, and how they can find out more.

57 comments:

  1. Thanks for the helpful information.

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