Book Promotion Tip of the Week #3: December 16, 2012

Gold starBe Everywhere You Can

Take advantage of free on-line exposure.

In addition to keeping your profile information updated on your website(s) and your blog(s), find locations where you can copy and paste (and/or refine) your biography. For example,

  • Get yourself an author page (in addition to your reader page) on Goodreads;
  • On Amazon.com, make sure you have a photo and a profile on Author Central and  Shelfari;
  • If you belong to a writers’ organization (as I do to The Writers’ Union of Canada) or some other professional association, take advantage of the opportunities for promotion on its site;
  • Post a profile on Google+.

I am not talking here about social media–Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and the like–where it is important to engage with other subscribers on a regular basis. I’m talking about places where your bio will simply reside, like wallpaper, where readers who are interested can easily find out more about you and find a link to your website(s) or your book(s). And btw, if you stop visiting a website that you used to frequent, as I have authonomy, for example, there is no reason to remove your profile.

Keep the bios interesting, brief, to the point, and professional. For example, I don’t see much reason to post personal details in an online bio, such as my marital status or the number of children I have: this information has nothing to do with my writing.

Make sure you keep track of where you’ve posted these bios and diarize a visit to each of them every three months or so, in order to keep them (and your photo) updated.

As always, I welcome your comments on this post. Specifically, I invite you to add other suggestions of places where you have posted author information about yourself –at no cost to you — for interested readers and book purchasers.

3 responses to “Book Promotion Tip of the Week #3: December 16, 2012

  1. Thanks for the advice. I agree that we shouldn’t get too personal but I do like a little personal information when I read about writers whose books I like.

  2. I second Sharon’s comment above. The point of the bio is to make you seem like someone people would want to know. I don’t think it’s a good idea to treat it like a resume. Instead, tell a story with yourself as the POV character.

    Thanks.

    Brian
    http://www.brianwfoster.com

  3. Thank you both for your input. To each his/her own, I guess, but I am talking about biographies here, not blog posts. I consider my writing to be my vocation, not a hobby — and if I were writing a biography for myself as a lawyer or an accountant (if one of those were my vocation), I would not include very much information on my personal life. If I am reading a bio of an author and they are telling me in a BIO that their writing is inspired by their cats or that they love spending time with their grandchildren I am less likely to buy their books. Professional means, to me, related to the writing. I can look up their personal info on Wikipedia (which I’ll be discussing another week) or somewhere. Check out the bios of major writers online — you aren’t going to find out much about their favourite cookie recipes because cookies and cats and even grandkids have nothing to do with the writing. A blog is a place for the personal stuff, not a bio. IMHO.

    P.S. Examples: We know that Haruki Murakami is a runner: he wrote a book about that — What I Talk About When I Talk About Running (Vintage International)–and he probably talks about it in interviews that you can read online. I’ve been discussing diets and weight loss on a blog that is connected directly to my Whole Clove Diet novel. I would never write, “Mary has eaten no sugar for 6 months and has lost 35 lbs” in my bio. That would be amateurish.

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