We're joined today by author Lauren Carr....here's what she had to say
Who Are You? … What’s in your author bio?
By Lauren Carr
Over a year ago, I was the featured author at a meet-and-greet book event. As is my custom, I made a
point of making the rounds to greet the other authors, ask about their books, and collect book markers,
post cards, and other souvenirs to check out their websites and purchase books later after I got home,
since I didn’t have enough money to buy all of the books, even though I wanted to.
As luck would have it, one of the authors had written a non-fiction book that was on a topic that my
husband, who was not at the event, is very interested in. My husband was more than interested in this
topic. He has studied and taught courses in it. This author was excited when I showed interest in his
book, and I could see that he was quite passionate about it. When he told me that he lived in the next
town from where we lived, I thought that not only could we possibly buy his book, but that he could
even come to speak at one of my husband’s classes and sell more copies there.
So, I grabbed his bookmark, which had the cover of his book on it and the website for his publisher, and
rushed home to give it to my husband.
This was where the author lost his sale.
“What are his credentials?” my husband wanted to know. That’s a legitimate question. He couldn’t
invite a speaker to his class who just woke up one day and decided he wanted to write a book without
any experience, study, or whatever in the subject.
The author had no bio listed on his publisher’s website. All that was listed was his name. Nothing else.
He had no website. No email address to contact him to ask for information about him. We tried so hard
to locate him or learn something about this author that I even tried googling for his phone number, but
nothing came up. He had no online presence whatsoever.
The point is, writing your bio is as important as writing your book. Readers want to know who you are.
Before I became an independent author, I cringed when literary agents and publishers would ask for a
bio. Between the lines, they were asking, “What are your credentials for writing this book?”
The hunt for this unfortunate author has brought home the fact that not only do potential publishers
and literary agents want to know who you are, so do readers. I find that at book events I talk as much
about myself as I do my books. Not because I’m self-centered, but because they ask.
At every event I have to tell about how my mother read Perry Mason to me at bed time and how I cut
my teeth on Agatha Christie. I learned to read with the Bobbsey Twins and went through puberty with
Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys.
Readers want to know who you are. Are you qualified to write this book? Are you worth my taking a
chance on you to buy your book?
Maybe you don’t feel that you are worthy of having written your book. I didn’t after I had written my
first mystery. Sure, I had been a writer all my life, but all that I ever had published were articles and
humor columns. I had a bachelors in English and literature and journalism, but somehow none of that
was impressive as “those other authors” who had oodles of books under their belts.
What credentials did I have for writing a murder mystery? Well, I never worked as a detective, but I
watched lots of them on TV. I never solved a murder mystery. Nor did I ever kill anyone. I just read a lot
of murder mysteries and was passionate about them.
It’s okay to write a book because you are passionate about the subject. If that’s your credentials, then so
be it. Say so. When I started out, my bio started out with:
“Lauren Carr fell in love with mysteries when her mother read Perry Mason to her at bedtime…”
It ended with,
“…Lauren lives with her husband and son on a mountaintop in West Virginia.”
With each book my bio gets longer. So will yours.
Maybe you don’t feel savvy enough to maintain a website. Then use Amazon.com Author Central. It’s
free and will be linked to your book(s). You upload your bio and even a picture of yourself. Plus, there
are a lot of other features, like tracking your sales and listing your events so potential readers can come
to your events.
But then, I’m getting ahead of myself here.
First, and foremost, write your bio. There’s no telling who out there wants to know who you are ... and
wants to buy your book.
Thanks so much for stopping by today Lauren!!
Lauren Carr fell in love with mysteries when her mother read Perry Mason
to her at bedtime. The first installment in the Joshua Thornton mysteries,
A Small Case of Murder was a finalist for the Independent Publisher Book
Award. A Reunion to Die For was released in hardback in June 2007. Both
of these books are in re-release.
Lauren is also the author of the Mac Faraday Mysteries, which takes place in
Deep Creek Lake, Maryland. The first two books in her series, It’s Murder,
My Son and Old Loves Die Hard have been getting rave reviews from
readers and reviewers. Lauren’s fifth mystery, Shades of Murder has been
receiving rave reviews since its release.
Lauren’s sixth book, Dead on Ice, will be released in Fall 2012. Dead on
Ice will introduce a new series entitled Lovers in Crime, in which Joshua
Thornton will join forces with homicide detective Cameron Gates.
The owner of Acorn Book Services, Lauren is also a publishing manager,
consultant, editor, cover and layout designer, and marketing agent for
independent authors. This spring, two books written by independent authors
will be released through the management of Acorn Book Services.
Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth
groups, and on author panels at conventions. She also passes on what she has
learned in her years of writing and publishing by conducting workshops and
teaching in community education classes.
She lives with her husband, son, and two dogs on a mountain in Harpers
Visit Lauren’s websites and blog at:
Blog: Literary Wealth: http://literarywealth.wordpress.com/
Gnarly’s Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/GnarlyofMacFaradayMysteries