In Joan Stewart’s writing tips she says “Your book’s media kit is the major marketing package that tells a variety of audiences about the book, and makes it easy for them to report on it or promote it.
Yet many authors are confused about what goes into the kit. If you’ve written more than one book, you should have one media kit for each book. But some of the materials in all those media kits can be the same, such as your author bio.” She goes on to inform the writer the most important elements of that media kit. And yes, I use this. Today we’ll start with getting your bio together.
Most of us have a personal bio filed on our computer somewhere. But did you know that having at least four different kinds written in different lengths can make your media job easier? What if your local newspaper wants a short paragraph and you hand them something resembling War and Peace? Chances are they don’t have time to wade through it to get to the juicy parts. They might cut and paste something that really doesn’t reflect who you are as an author. So why not start a “Meet the Author” sheet with bios of various lengths. Be sure to write them in third person.
- Two-line bio. Such a bio should be 140 characters. If you are on Twitter, writing this should be no big deal. This way if someone decides to tweet your bio, BOOM, it’s done. Then again there are times when a magazine (let’s dream it is Writer’s Digest) only allows you this snack-bio.
- Short Bio (50 words). Flaunt your specialty. This is perfect when you want to show why you’re the expert and perfect to write in your genre. Crisp and to the point!
- Medium bio (100 words). You may want to include some of the things from the short bio but don’t neglect your accomplishments such as an award. It’s okay toot your own horn.
- Long bio (400 to 600 words). Your life is a story too, so be sure to share it with readers. This bio should include why writing is your love. Include everything in the medium bio.
- Speaker introduction. (300 words) This might be the bio you already have in your files. It is important for you to provide the information for the event planners or whoever has invited you to speak. Suggesting they read what you provide eliminates the possibility of mistakes or the wrong tone in the information.
- 5 Fun Facts – We all have some amusing life experiences to share. Do you love Swedish hand weaving or can make the Eiffel Tower out of toothpicks while blindfolded? Maybe you raise Nubian goats or can say the alphabet backwards. Including points about your personal life is well—personal! I love to travel and people usually enjoy knowing I walked on the Great Wall of China. Letting others see this side of you opens a window into your personality. Don’t be afraid to share.
You probably will groan when I tell you the next part of your kit will be the dreaded synopsis. Be sure to check back. I’ll give you a few days to get your bio all nice and neat. While you’re at it start looking for some fun pictures. And now by viewing some of my pictures you have discovered a few things about me.