M. K. Theodoratus, Fantasy Writer, blogs about the books she reads--mostly fantasy and mystery authors whose books catch her eye and keep her interest. Nothing so formal as a book review, just chats about what she liked. Theodoratus also mutters about her own writing progress or ... lack of it.


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Is Your Writer Bio Shopworn?

Is Your Writer Bio Shopworn?
Still using the same bio you wrote last year or the year before? If yes, shame on you. According to Duolit, your author bio is a key plank in your author platform, It doesn't pay to neglect it ... like I've been doing. [*cringes*]

My bios have been static since I sold Taking Vengeance to WolfSinger Press over a year ago. Though I had thought about rewriting my bio recently, I hadn't done anything about it because I was drowning in other marketing junk, ... sorry, duties.  Then, I read Robin Sullivan's blog about bios, asking "Is Yours [Bio] Working for You? Talk about a kick in the pants!

Her premise is you need three bios: short, medium, and long. Plus, you should change them often. Wondering what to put in them? She gives you a good example from one of her clients for your long bio. More suggestions for medium and short [Twitter] bios is to come.

Why not check your bio? According to Sullivan, your bio should (1) give your readers some insights into you, (2) be engaging, (3) be truthful/heartfelt, and (4) tell a story.

But your task doesn't end there.  The other parts of your author platform need polishing too. The Duolit team did a blog that can help you create a More Cohesive Author Brand. Their five tips threatens to give me two weeks worth or more of work to build my coherent online author image. Just what I need since I'm still scrounging for bloggers to review me ebook, Taking Vengeance.

Where do I stand? Neck deep in do and do more.  I don't think I've changed my bio in over a year. Granted, I don't have much to brag about, but marketing is all about presenting a polished image. My online image is totally haphazard. The good news? I found two links that'll help me polish my image ... if I ever get ambitious.

Fantasy Book Review: 
Derek Landy, The Faceless Ones
Found Derek Landy's third Skulduggery Pleasant, The Faceless Ones, while cleaning out some boxes under the table last week. My reward was great in new reading because I found two other books in the series, the ones that were published in Britain. I'm looking forward to a Skulduggery read-a-thon over this weekend without even attempting to progress on The Game of Thrones, no matter how much I like George R. R. Martin's character sketches. For my reading enjoyment this weekend, it's Skulduggery all the way.

Yeah, YA print books conquer the might of the TV series. The Kirkus review summed it up so beautifully I think I'll just quote them. "A high-intensity tale shot through with spectacular magic battle, savage mayhem, cool outfits, monster, hidden doors, over-the-top names, narrow escapes, evil scheme, and behavior heroic ..."  

I'd add double crosses and false trails or is that red herrings? Whatever, Valkyrie aka Stephanie and the reader are left hanging on her own devises when Skulduggery saves the day in a way Valkyrie doesn't expect.  How can I not read on to the next book, Dark Days. Skulduggery Review, continued. Look for the next episode next week ... if I'm diligent.

This book is dark enough and moves so fast, that even adults who don't groove on fantasy will enjoy. Hey, the series even tickles your funny bone. Best yet, the Mrs. Grundies haven't started complaining about this middle grade book's darkness ... yet.

Have a Facebook page up for Taking Vengeance, but don't really know what to do with it yet. At least I figured out what kind of stuff to add to it.  
Think I'm going to change the page to the Far Isles Half-Elven though. 
As I said, I don't know what I was doing. 
Incidently, I'm looking for people to like the Taking Vengeance page.


Margo Berendsen said...

Great advice - author bios should TELL A STORY. That almost seems too obvious to state, given that we are storytellers - but wow!

Oh, I loved Skullduggery (thanks to you and the first two books). Glad to hear there is more of the smart-dressin' wise crackin' skeleton!

Unknown said...

Books like Skulduggery always make me feels inadequate. I have this illusion that I should be producing sparkling prose, but I just don't have that type of humor.

Unknown said...

Great tips on the bio. It was interesting, because I listened to an agent at the WriteOnCon online event basically saying the same thing. She said she first read query, and if she loved the query letter she would immediately Google the author's name. If they didn't have a polished website, she'd sometimes move on. Amazing, right?

Anywho, one of things she said she looked for on said 'polished website' was a professional looking photo and a proper author bio. If agents look for, I'm assuming readers to too.


Unknown said...

E. J. .... Did you have to add stuff to my to-do list? My website needs to be updated ... even more so after your comment.

Guess I should Google my name to see what people see, too.

A writer's work is never done.

[Oh, thanks for mentioning me on Twitter.]