You’re going to use your “About the Author” information in many places. You’ll use an abbreviated version on your book jacket or cover, and you’ll likely have a longer version within the book. You’ll include a bio on your one-sheet for promoting your book and speaking; you’ll include a bio on your website; you’ll need an introduction for speaking, and for book readings and signings.
How much do you write, and what should your “About the Author” include?
You’re going to use your “About the Author” information in many places.
To create your bio, I recommend you start with a series of short writing exercises. Put five or ten minutes on your timer, and then conduct these four writing sprints (no thinking and no editing, just writing). You can make a list or merely jot down words or phrases. Don’t try to write a narrative.
1. Outline your greatest accomplishments and credentials related to the book’s topic. What is the highest position you’ve held? What is the most prestigious organization you’ve led? What is your highest educational attainment? What awards or recognition have you earned for your work?
2. Describe the work you do for clients. Tell more about how you provide value for your clients. Why do your clients call on you? How do you help your clients in ways others don’t or can’t? What are the problems you solve?
3. What are your highest-held beliefs and values? How do they relate to this book? How does the book speak to your personal mission, to what’s most important to you?
4. What are some fun facts about you? Do you have hobbies or interests related to your topic—or completely unrelated to your topic? Have you been to exotic places? Have you done something outrageous?
You should now have four lists. For a short bio, take one sentence from each. For a medium-length bio, take two sentences from each list. For a longer bio, take three or more sentences from each. Voila—your bio has been drafted!
It’s a different challenge to write an introduction for yourself, but you can use the same four lists. Here’s one way to have someone introduce you: first, start with three questions to which your audience can answer “yes”.
“Do you have a book inside you but don’t know how to get it out?
“Do you know the value of a book and how it can be a powerful business development tool?
“Do you want an easy-to-follow process that will take you from blog to book?”
Now, present a few of the credentials and describe the work you do. (Don’t overdo it, or make anyone roll their eyes; just make yourself sound credible.)
“Our speaker today is the author of eight books . . .”
Then, add something fun. “You may not know that our speaker today . . . “
Conclude the introduction with some fanfare: “And now, please welcome our speaker from Louisville, Kentucky, the Business Book Strategist, Cathy Fyock!”
Activity: Do the writing exercises, then create a short, medium, and long “About the Author.” Lastly, write an introduction for yourself. Print the introduction, put it in a sheet protector, and take it to all your speaking and book-launch events.