Event report

Conference 2014 - Write to Sell Yourself

Report published 18 July 2014

Clare Mackintosh is a novelist, columnist and director of ChipLitFest. This is just a summary of the excellent advice she offered about writing your author biography:

  • Have more than one biography. Clare suggested writing three bios – one single line bio, one 100 word bio and one 250 word bio.
  • Before you start writing think about who you’re writing the bio to appeal to, and what key messages you want to get across. Give yourself a brief.
  • Don’t be shy about calling yourself a writer, and don’t be afraid to blow your own trumpet. If you find that difficult, try writing your bio in the third person as if you’re writing about somebody else.
  • Your short bio should say what you write, mention any accolades you’ve received  and close with a call to action eg. to follow you on twitter, visit your website, or buy your book.
  • Your longer bios can also include more details about you eg. Work experience, where you’re from, formal training, performance experience and hobbies. Focus on what makes you newsworthy, but be wary of including too many ‘quirky facts.’ Ask yourself if the fact is genuinely interesting and, if in doubt, leave it out.

written by Alison Maynard.

It's a fact

Most readers like a hero or heroine they can identify with or who has to struggle against adversity.