Today, over at Writer Unboxed, I discuss the importance of your bio note—that little thing that appears after stuff you write, either online or in print. I start off by observing a trend in bio notes that are very short and uninformative—mysterious, even:
As an editor and curious person, the message I take away from the writer of the short bio is: “I don’t care about, nor do I need, you or your opportunities.” … A brief bio has never stopped me from investigating a person I’m super interested in. But it’s an unnecessary stumbling block, and it’s usually the people with the super-short bios who have no websites or easy contact information.
I offer a list of 3 questions to jumpstart the bio writing process, and outline four steps to take in your overall bio strategy, which include:
- Write a kitchen-sink bio.
- Create a short, capsule bio.
- Customize your bio across social media as needed.
- Provide an easy bio version at your website for others to use.
Jane Friedman (@JaneFriedman) has 20 years of experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in digital media strategy for authors and publishers. She is the publisher of The Hot Sheet, the essential newsletter on the publishing industry for authors, and was named Publishing Commentator of the Year by Digital Book World in 2019.
In addition to being a columnist for Publishers Weekly, Jane is a professor with The Great Courses, which released her 24-lecture series, How to Publish Your Book. Her book for creative writers, The Business of Being a Writer (University of Chicago Press), received a starred review from Library Journal.
Jane speaks regularly at conferences and industry events such as BookExpo America, Digital Book World, and the AWP Conference, and has served on panels with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Creative Work Fund. Find out more.