This Section of your Nonfiction Book Proposal explains in clear terms why you are the right person to write your book. If your experience and education contribute to your all around persona, be sure to say that. It is important not to be shy here but on the other hand be careful not to stretch the truth too much.
Goldilocks will help you to understand which elements to include in this important Author Bio and when to say less when your background is very limited.
Simply click/tap on each topic and be transferred further down the page where you will find a detailed discussion of each element which will help you to craft a meaningful Author Bio.
- Why is Your Author Bio So Important to the Success of Your Nonfiction Book Proposal?
- Basic Questions this Bio Should Answer
- Your Qualifications: An Overview
- Insider Secret: Writing Using Third Person
- Your Background: A Closer Look
- Previous Writing Credentials
- What if You Don’t Have any Previous Publishing Credits?
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Why is Your Author Bio so Important to the Success of Your Nonfiction Book Proposal?
Publishers invest a bucket full of dough on the books that they choose to publish, so it’s important for them to know who they’re working with. That is why your Bio may well be one of the first Sections that an acquisitions editor reads in your book proposal.
Your Bio is essentially your opportunity to tell the publisher who you are, but obviously they aren’t interested in your favorite pizza toppings or what size shoe you wear. Anytime you make your Author Bio available, whether to a conference or on your personal blog or a company or institution Website, it should be tailored to the audience reading it. That is why your Book Proposal Bio may well be the only place you use this particular version, though certainly it can be drawn upon for other venues as well. In this case, the length of your Bio should be around 250 words or less.
As Goldilocks always reminds you, check the submission guidelines with the potential literary agent or publisher that you will be working with to make sure that all requirements are met.
Basic Questions this Bio Should Answer
It’s all about establishing your credibility…
- What’s your main vocational role?
- How are you qualified to write about the topic of your book?
- What work have you already done on the topic?
- How can you help the publisher promote your book?
- How much public speaking have you done to date on your topic?
Give them a sense of you as a person. Will you be reliable and fun to work with?
Your Qualifications: An Overview
Your writing credentials, contacts, and of course your education are all elements you’ll put in this Section of your proposal. If you don’t have any formal training or other connections but are still uniquely suited to be writing your book, focus on your personal perspective, your unique experiences, and what sets you apart.
Also, if you’ve got a famous friend in line to write a foreword or endorsement, better still include any that have already been written about your book in progress.
Do you have any affiliations or bookstore appearances under your belt?
How about ideas for sequels or spin-offs?
Your literary agent will want to hear about these, as well as your background in media coverage, publishing credits, and any other notable aspects of your writer persona.
Goldilocks knows you’re modest. She is aware that maybe you don’t like to brag and boast about what you’ve accomplished. But in the “About the Author/Bio Section” of your Nonfiction Book Proposal you’ve got to overcome your natural inclination to be reticent. Come right out and talk about all the positive attributes that make you special and the writing credentials you have amassed up until now.
Insider Secret: Writing Using Third Person
It’s not my style to write about myself, you say!
Don’t worry, Goldilocks is going to tell you an insider secret most published authors have mastered which will make you look good without making you feel guilty. Examine any author blurb and you’ll see! They always write about themselves in the third person. That’s the secret! So, instead of saying…
“I published an article in such and such magazine”
“(Fill in your name here) published an article in such and such magazine.”
Trust Goldilocks, once you start referring to yourself in the third person it will be easy and fun to write your About the Author Section.
Your Background: A Closer Look
Instead of a chronological approach, start with your key qualifications and experience, followed by educational attributes that are relevant.
Describe your background, particularly as it relates to the subject of your book. Explain why you feel you are qualified to write this manuscript. If your professional stature is very important to qualify you as a good author on the subject, add a separate C.V. to this Section.
Your academic credentials may be important, but you may have other qualifications that are just as relevant.
- Mention your education, if relevant. Doctors, professors, psychologists, dentists, and other professionals should always include their education, especially when writing about topics in their field.
- What about any awards you’ve received that may enhance your reputation as author of your book.
- If you have promoted previous books or have made speeches or conducted workshops or classes related to your book, include some detail about them. Should you have a video, CD, or DVD of one or more of your appearances, provide a link to an easily accessible source on the Internet.
Previous Writing Credentials
Your literary agent/prospective publisher will want to know about the following…
- Have any of your articles or books been published?
If so, include the following particulars for each one…
-What and when did you have published, articles, books?
-Who published them, was it a traditional publisher or did you self-publish?
-Assuming that the books have sold well, give sales figures.
- Any radio or TV shows you’ve been on to promote your previous work
- Indicate if there were any newspaper stories that have covered your work
- If you have written relevant magazine or newspaper articles, include some samples via links.
- Have you received favorable reviews, provide links to a few of the best?
Show that you are very enthusiastic about your manuscript, publishers like to see this and they want some indication that you are someone that they feel comfortable working with moving forward.
The following aspects will be covered more in depth when Goldilocks looks at the next Section of your Nonfiction Book Proposal…
- Include a schedule of your upcoming speaking engagements, if relevant.
- Do you have a blog? What is it about? What
Kind of traffic do you get (as measured in both “unique visitors” and “page views” per month)?
- Do you have a Twitter account? If so, how many followers do you have?
NOTE: These author platform items only scratch the surface when thinking about how you will promote your upcoming nonfiction book. As explained above, this discussion will come in the next Section of your Nonfiction Book Proposal.
What if You Have No Previous Publishing Credits?
Goldilocks doesn’t want you to get discouraged if you are not lucky enough to have previous publishing credits, it’s still possible to get a book contract. Just focus on whatever positive credentials you do have.
–Are you a scientist? Focus on your education and work experience!
-Now, if you’re a professor, include the courses you’ve taught and the research you’ve done.
-As a housewife, mention your unusual situation…
Publishers know that everyone has to start somewhere, and while they prefer working with established authors they’re also eager to discover new talent.
So get them to sit up and notice you!
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Goldilocks has created her Methodology/Process for the next component in the Nonfiction Book Proposal process and you can go there now…
Previously Goldilocks presented her Methodology/Process for composing the Nonfiction Proposal Book Components that should have been compiled up until this point. You can revisit them now…
Goldilocks welcomes any questions you may have compiling your Nonfiction Book Proposal and if you feel that you need help writing this most important document, just reach out to her…
E-Mail her: firstname.lastname@example.org
Pick up the phone: 914-944-1474
Goldilocks Wishes You Good Luck with Your Nonfiction Book Proposal Submission!