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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
[Since posting this, I've updated the bio based on the comments and suggestions posted here.]

I'm really asking whether it's too cutesy and long.

My Amazon Bio

I tried to put humor in it, but realized maybe readers really want to know more about me.

Thanks for the help!
 

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Too long winded.
 

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I stopped reading at 'OK, let me interrupt a second.'

I read a bio to find out quickly about the author. I don't have time to delve through extraneous details for that information.
 

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It doesn't make me want to read your books. Someone on here posted a thread a few months back...and it was about finding your "why". Had that video for finding your "why", too. He went on to explain that the bio is wasted by most of us, boring people with our background, hobbies, martial status, etc. How does that show them if you write what they want to read?

Bottom line: People want to know if you're the type of author they want to read. He challenged us to create a bio that did these things:

1. Tell them why you write
2. Tell them your style of writing, what they can expect from your writing
3. Tell them what kind of reader you write for.

None of us can write for everyone. People are interested in knowing if you write for them and how you tell it. Period. If they want to know I have 2 parrots, am married to my high school sweetheart and paint they'll connect with me on social media. When they are in Amazon, they are looking for a new book and/or a new author. Tell them if it should be you.

I followed his advice. I know my bio will turn some off, but will motivate others to look at my work. My sales have improved since doing this, and also a "From the Author" and better keywording.

ETA: Here is the link: http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,192784.0.html
 

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Far too long. The first sentence immediately reminded me of Douglas Adams--which may be what you're going for, but it also sounds more like imitation than flattery. Your bio should be far, far, FAR shorter--mine's three sentences long, I think? Let your books sell your books, not your bio. The needed information is:

  • name
  • books
  • genre
  • one or two unique details, such as where you live, if you have dogs, etc.
 

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Caddy said:
It doesn't make me want to read your books. Someone on here posted a thread a few months back...and it was about finding your "why". Had that video for finding your "why", too. He went on to explain that the bio is wasted by most of us, boring people with our background, hobbies, martial status, etc. How does that show them if you write what they want to read?

Bottom line: People want to know if you're the type of author they want to read. He challenged us to create a bio that did these things:

1. Tell them why you write
2. Tell them your style of writing, what they can expect from your writing
3. Tell them what kind of reader you write for.

None of us can write for everyone. People are interested in knowing if you write for them and how you tell it. Period. If they want to know I have 2 parrots, am married to my high school sweetheart and paint they'll connect with me on social media. When they are in Amazon, they are looking for a new book and/or a new author. Tell them if it should be you.

I followed his advice. I know my bio will turn some off, but will motivate others to look at my work. My sales have improved since doing this, and also a "From the Author" and better keywording.

ETA: Here is the link: http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,192784.0.html
I often wondered if it wouldn't be wise to work in an excerpt of the book you most want to promote. I can't do this right now because most of my stuff is erotica, but when I publish my romance in a couple of weeks I'm considering this. A passage that leaves them hanging.
 

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TromboneAl said:
I'm really asking whether it's too cutesy and long.
I too liked the quirk until the info-dump kicked in here: 'he was pretty good at music...'

Caddy said:
It doesn't make me want to read your books. Someone on here posted a thread a few months back...and it was about finding your "why". Had that video for finding your "why", too. He went on to explain that the bio is wasted by most of us, boring people with our background, hobbies, martial status, etc. How does that show them if you write what they want to read?

Bottom line: People want to know if you're the type of author they want to read. He challenged us to create a bio that did these things:

1. Tell them why you write
2. Tell them your style of writing, what they can expect from your writing
3. Tell them what kind of reader you write for.

None of us can write for everyone. People are interested in knowing if you write for them and how you tell it. Period. If they want to know I have 2 parrots, am married to my high school sweetheart and paint they'll connect with me on social media. When they are in Amazon, they are looking for a new book and/or a new author. Tell them if it should be you.

I followed his advice. I know my bio will turn some off, but will motivate others to look at my work. My sales have improved since doing this, and also a "From the Author" and better keywording.

ETA: Here is the link: http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,192784.0.html
To the OP:

Caddy kindly went to find that link above for me before when the bio conversation came up before, and it's a great thread!

The bio is next on my list of things to 'sit down and take a couple of hours doing'.

Her bio really hooked me, and she doesn't write in the genre I'd generally consider reading. That thread is well worth some serious study and implementation.

To Caddy: Still in my reading list! :D

... just noticed this from Beth:

bethrevis said:
The first sentence immediately reminded me of Douglas Adams--
That's probably quite true OP, because I like Douglas Adams which is probably why I liked the quirk in your bio, but I've just noticed most of your books are non-fiction. So I think perhaps the readers would be confused if your books don't have the same kind of writing. I don't know if they do or don't, but not sure a reader looking for 'how to' non-fic would transition to purchasing.
 

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bethrevis said:
Far too long. The first sentence immediately reminded me of Douglas Adams--which may be what you're going for, but it also sounds more like imitation than flattery. Your bio should be far, far, FAR shorter--mine's three sentences long, I think? Let your books sell your books, not your bio. The needed information is:

  • name
  • books
  • genre
  • one or two unique details, such as where you live, if you have dogs, etc.
I strongly disagree. Who cares where you live or if you have dogs? Tell me why I should read your books. :)

To Caddy: Still in my reading list! :D
Cool! :-*
 

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I popped on here to get a question answered and a blurb critiqued -- and discovered six other things I could tidy up. I've been here all day. Now I'm going to go fix up my author bio, too!

TromboneAl, for what it's worth, I liked the humor, but as soon as the bio got long enough that I had to click "keep reading" to get to the rest of it, I said, "oh, geez, that's a lot." And I do agree with a previous poster -- if your books have the same tone of humor in them, that's a good tone to keep, but if not, don't do it.

Hope this helps!
 

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Am I the only who is just dying to reply "No, your ass does?" Of course, I mean that in keeping with the op's sense of humor. I have no idea what his butt looks like.
 

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It was way too long before I found the read more button. THEN it was WAY WAY WAY too long. :)

highfalutin  < I thought that was a typo, then had to look it up when I realized it might be a word. I'd avoid using words that are that uncommon.

Cute idea, way too much of it. :) Try a less-is-more approach on the same concept maybe?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Here's the first draft of my revision based on the advice you provided Caddy. I promise I didn't look at your revision, Sean, until after I wrote this:

Al Macy writes because he has stories to tell. In school he was the class clown and always the first volunteer for show and tell. His teachers would say "Al has a lot of imagination" and then roll their eyes.

But he put his storytelling on the back burner as he earned his doctorate in neuroscience and later worked as a scientist, technical writer, and software developer. When he retired and wrote a blog about his efforts to improve his piano sight-reading, his love of storytelling burbled up to the surface, along with quirky words like "burble."

He had even more fun writing Drive, Ride, Repeat, but was bummed by non-fiction's need to stick to "the truth" (yucko). From then on it was fiction all the way, with a good dose of his science background burbling to the surface.


Thanks for the help!
 

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I really liked the first paragraph.  Personally, instead of telling me about your past accomplishments, I'd tell them your writing style, what type of books you write, and who you write for. Did you watch the video in the link?

Readers don't care about your past accomplishments. If you were doing a resume it would matter. Just like they don't care about my 20 years advertising experience. They are reading your bio to find out why they would or would not like your books.

I think this is a common mistake we all make. We need to remember that before e-books, a bio was in the back of a book and seen AFTER a person already bought and read your book. (Unless someone turned to it in a bookstore, and I doubt many did. The bio's were dull as hell.)

With the opportunity for people to see your bio right on your product page now, it's a whole new ballgame. It a FREE TOOL to help you SELL.  Yawn. You were a scientist. More yawns, Caddy sold advertising for NFL newspapers. Yawn, you developed software. More yawns, Caddy married her high school sweetheart and has 2 parrots.

Do you see the problem? Nothing in the previous paragraph makes reading our work urgent.

Make YOUR readers feel the urgency of reading your books by telling them how you tell a story (emotional, factual, raw, tender, etc etc), what kind of story (brutal, light reading, funny, etc), and who will enjoy the stories (people who love to see the beauty in life, people who like stories about angst and betrayal, etc). That way those who don't like your style won't buy and leave you a bad reviews and those who do will buy.

The bio has changed in the 21st century. Instead of reading like a dull resume, it should be about your why, how, and who it is for. Make it work for you. It's an opportunity given to you for free.
 

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You are very welcome. I used the old "married her high school sweetheart, 2 parrots, advertising, etc etc myself until that thread I gave a link to was posted. Then it was like, "Dear God! I have 20 years advertising experience and I didn't see this???

So, while it's obvious, I think we're just used to thinking about the old bios we've read in books in the past.
 
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