Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Seven Tips for Writing a Good Bio

Yvonne Perry, a very smart editor and general helpmate to writers everhwhere (one I have used myself, by the way) is guest blogger today. With the importance of social networking on sites like Facebook and Twitter growing with every passing day, her subject--the all important biography--is more vital than it ever was. I can't tell you how many authors twitter and have posted no biography at all!


Seven Tips for Writing a Good Bio
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
By Yvonne Perry


Having a good bio is a must for any author. You may use it in your book's front matter in the About the Author section or on your Web site or as a profile on social networking groups or perhaps as part of your marketing packet.

Writing your own bio can be frustrating. You know all about yourself, but you may find it difficult to convey what you have done or achieved that is worth mentioning. Then, there is the organization of your information. Should you list items chronologically starting with your birth and ending at your current career or place of employment? Is there a method or formula to use that will tell your story in an entertaining manner?

Here are a few things to consider in writing your good bio.

1. Length: Consider how much space or time you are given. If there is a word or character limit in the space you are provided, you may have to shorten your bio to one paragraph. If you have more space, you can create a more entertaining bio.

2. Purpose: What will your bio be used for? Are you using this bio to apply for a job? Will it be posted on your Web site for all the world to read? What and how much do you need the reader to know about you? Curtail your personal information and give only pertinent facts that will not embarrass you later.

3. Voice: I always write bios in third person. It's better for someone else to brag on you than for you to brag about yourself. This is one reason that hiring a professional writer is a good idea. He or she can see you from a different vantage point and will know what questions to ask in their information-gathering interview.

4. Be honest. If you don't have experience, don't say that you do. Let's say you're getting started as a writer and your portfolio is small. Maybe your article hasn't been published in Time Magazine; but what about the essay that was published in an online blog or newsletter? If it's relevant, let it help you shine.

5. Where do you belong? Are you affiliated with clubs, volunteer organizations, or other groups? Show your humanitarian or philanthropist side by listing your community work.

6. Write tight. Offer concise information that might include:
* Your full-time job or career, and how many years have you been doing this type of work
* What types of clients you work with
* Your pets or children
* Fluency in other languages
* Your philosophy on life
* Your goals and dreams
* Your favorite books, games, movies, TV shows, etc.

7. Hook your reader or listener. Tell something funny about yourself or tie into a memorable world event or compare yourself to a famous person.

The information you give people about yourself is fundamental to their understanding of you; therefore, you want to establish your credentials and give them something they will remember about you. If you get stuck writing your bio or need someone to give you a fresh perspective on your image to the world and represent you for who you are, give us a call!
-----
Yvonne Perry is a freelance writer and the owner of Writers in the Sky Creative Writing Services (WITS). She and her team of ghostwriters are ready to assist you with writing and editing for books, Web text, business documents, resumes, bios, articles, and media releases.
For more information about writing, publishing, and book promotion, or to sign up for free email delivery of WITS newsletter, please visit http://www.writersinthesky.com. New subscribers receive a free copy of E-Book Tips for Freelance Writing.
-----
Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and two how to books for writers, The Frugal Book Promoter: How To Do What Your Publisher Won't and The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success. Her FRUGAL book for retailers is A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. She is also the author of the Amazon Short, "The Great First Impression Book Proposal". Some of her other blogs are TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor blog.

Search This Blog