I am quite thrilled that the wonderful people at Absolute Write have seen fit to feature another of my articles this week. "Building a Better Biography" explores the ins and outs of crafting and using a viable biography to help people get to know you and your work.
(Regular readers will notice that the article is largely composed of text posted here last summer. Much of it originated from my musings about creating a bio for Geoff while working up a webpage for him and working on our book. You read it here first!)
If Ya Got It, Flaunt It!
Working bios are so important. Since I posted the original blogs, I've had several opportunities to use a bio (either mine or a client's). Every time a "bio-needing" situation presented itself, I have been glad that I didn't have to start from scratch and throw something together. In the past 6 months, I've used a bio for:
* Online search engine optimizers,
* Geoff's book flap promotional text,
* Introductions to speaking engagements,
* Queries and letters of introduction,
* Online article "about the author" text,
* Press releases,
* Online forums and special interest groups,
* Contest entries, and
* Media kits, among others.
Another Bio is Born
And now that a new book is under way, I'm taking another trip to Bio-Land. A significant portion of my writing time this week has been dedicated to crafting a preliminary biography for Dr. James Warson, the neurosurgeon whose project I am working on. He approved most of the text last night. After a few tweaks, it's ready for posting online.
Right now, it appears to serve little purpose -- posting a bio of someone who does not yet have a book. But I feel it is tremendously important. You see, Dr. Warson has decades as a successful neurosurgeon behind him. He has spent much of his life evaluating how horses affected their riders, both from a surgeon's perspective, and from an equestrian viewpoint. He has presented his findings on riding-related injuries and treatments all over the world. Yet, there is no single, easily accessible place for people to go to find out about him.
His bio will change all that. By the time "The Rider's Back Book" is released, it is my goal for Dr. Warson to be THE "Go To" authority on equestrian back health.
Help Me Help You...
On a related note, I've spent many, MANY hours in the past few weeks coming up with marketing suggestions for a major client.
My single biggest, most important, and least expensive suggestion? Make sure that every player in the client's roster -- no matter how "insignificant" -- has a functional biography that can be accessed somewhere on the client's primary website. Not only will this make it easier to promote existing clients ("We proudly introduce Ms. Muckety-Muck..."), but it will also make every client eager to link to the Mother Ship's website, thus helping to build their online presence.
(A word of warning to the James Frey's out there: Your biography is to be non-fiction. That means it has to be true. All of it. Every word. You may not embellish for literary or monetary reasons. If inclined to do so, Just Say No. Then tear the offending bio up into A Million Little Pieces and start all over again.)