Master novel structure by learning about the Ten Key Scenes. They provide the sturdy framework for a successful story! It’s all in the new installment in The Writer’s Toolbox Series: Layer Your Nov…
An authors bio tells a lot about them. At Book Works there are some handy tips indie authors can use to help make their author bio just right.
Indie Authors Need to Highlight Themselves
When people read your book, they read you.
When I read a book, I seek out the “about the author” page. Many one-paragraph author bios are not especially enlightening or entertaining, and I don’t expect a full scale memoir, but even the briefest can tell me something about the author’s relationship to the book, and sometimes give me a reason to search out their other titles.
Consider offering the reader more than just the usual name, city of residence, occupation and when you started writing.
In one blog post, writer TA Sullivan recounted waffling about whether to write a bio for her own book, then reflected how she scanned the bios of other writers as she chose books at a store or library. “Nowadays, I still check out the author’s bio when looking for a book to read. Clever bios, witty bios, or even sincere bios can help me connect with the author, which then makes taking a chance on their book seem not quite so chancy. An author’s bio can help remind the readers that you (the author) are a person, too,” she said.
Her point has statistical backup at Smashwords. The giant ebook distributor said on its website, “In 2011 when we surveyed ebook buyers and asked them their most common decision factor that guided how they discover and purchase books, the #2 answer, accounting for 18% of respondents, was that they first look for books from their favorite authors. This speaks to the importance of author as brand. Your “brand” is what you represent to your readers, and how your readers perceive you and your ability to write great stories.” READ MORE HERE.
I love sharing information for writers. I have found some very interesting bits and pieces that will help you in your writing process. What I love most is talking with authors and learning about them and their path to publication. Please help me welcome author Cat Michaels. She has some awesome information to share with you!
Check out her awesome video.
How long have you been writing?
Seems like forever! My first ‘novel’ was handwritten in fourth grade — a western about two sisters, Nikki and Vikki, traveling west in a wagon train. I co-wrote it with a girlfriend: she penned the Nikki character, and I did the Vikki parts. I also kept journals from middle school through adulthood. On the other side of the pencil, I taught writing to elementary and middle school students who had a learning disability. Plus, I supported that population and those with Asperger’s syndrome as their writing coach at a community college.
Have you always written for children?
My children’s stories began about 20 years ago when I wanted to find unique birthday gifts for my nieces and nephews. I started writing stories for them, and it just evolved from there. A few years ago, I decided to polish off the stories, take advantage of new digital publishing technology, and publish.
Who are some of your favorite authors and why?
- Dr. Suess: His creative characters and drawings; language all his own
- Charles Dickens: Characters, characters, characters!
- Recently: JK Rowling: Created a whole world of characters, conventions, and setting
What drives and motivates your writing?
Some days, I sit in my writer’s nest, stare at my laptop, and wonder why I write. It’s certainly not to find fame or fortune! A writerly life is hard work, and it takes years to see results from all that effort. It can also be lonely for someone like me, who likes being around people. Having said that, I enjoy writing and the challenges that come with it. I love experimenting with new technology. I hope readers will smile over something they read in my books. I also want to nudge young readers to look at the world in different ways and use their imagination and creativity.
Do you feel it’s important for writers to use social media? How?
I’m over the moon finding visuals for my Pinterest boards, meeting folk on Goodreads, and posting on my blog and Facebook page. Social media is a gotta-have for connecting with readers and other writers and staying on top of publishing trends. However as much as I love it, social media can be overwhelming. I limit myself to an hour or two daily, but sometimes (especially when I’m launching a new book), I can be on social media for days and don’t have time for writing.
What books for writers would you recommend?
One book attracted me because it contains advise from so many writers all in one place:
Why We Write: 20 Acclaimed Authors on How and Why They Do What They Do, editor Meredith Maran
What advice do you have for new Indie writers?
- Write what you know, then edit, polish, re-write, and repeat.
- Think of yourself as a writer *and* (gasp) an entrepreneur.
- Invest quality time with social media to make your book discoverable.
- Find the best team you can afford (editor, graphic designer, cover artist, etc.), and go slow to get it right.
- Stay in it for the long haul: writing (and all the editing, book formatting, marketing, etc., that go with it) is a journey, but worth the effort if you have tenacity, talent, and optimism.
- Support other writers and pay it forward because success is best when shared.
- Step away from the keyboard every once in awhile.
What is the goal for yourself in the next 5 years?
I want to be 5 pounds lighter and 2-3 books heavier!
Seriously, I’m converting my print books into e-readers and then will notch it up by finding a robust digital technology that supports high-quality, interactive books and reading apps. Think appeal of a video game but with educational value. I want to keep expanding my network of readers, parents, teachers, and writers. And travel some place very cool — like places in the UK I pinned on my Pinterest board — to experience different cultures and get story ideas.
Thanks so much Cat for stopping by and sharing your story. Everyone please be sure to stop by Kristi’s Book Nook where I am hosting another interview with Cat and a book giveaway of her interactive story Finding Fuzzy.
There is a new way for authors to get help, support and even readers for their projects and it’s called crowdfunding. If you don’t know what it is or not sure how to do it, Book Daily offers some great tips.
In order to be successful in the book market, authors need to not only be good writers, but they need to be business savvy, too. Luckily, there are many tools available that can help an author succeed, and one of the newer options is crowdfunding. Crowdfunding is the practice of funding a project or venture by raising many small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via the Internet.
First thing’s first. Publishing costs can accumulate quickly and if an author is self-publishing, they are personally responsible to pay for the costs out of pocket. This is where crowdfunding can become extremely beneficial to the self-publishing author. By providing authors with the means to raise funds before they begin the publishing process, crowdfunding greatly mitigates the risk and financial burden of publishing. Read more here.