Friday, September 30, 2016

Author Bio (Long) and CV

Last week we discussed writing a short bio; this week we will talk about writing a long bio and creating a CV. 

What's the need for more than one bio? Some places that might require a long descriptive author bio are: 1) your “About” page on your author website or blog, 2) an invitation from someone to do a guest post on a blog, 3) your local paper wants to give you some press coverage, 4) select venues and organizations considering you for a speaking engagement at their establishment, convention, or conference, 5 ) book signings (long descriptive bios make great detailed hand-outs to connect with fans).

How long should my author bio be? Bio lengths vary according to need. Short bios hover around 100-150 words, while a long descriptive bio has the liberty of taking up an entire page using a 12 font size (standard for the industry). You don’t want to write a novel, but you do have the liberty of taking up one full page. 

What is a CV? A CV (abbreviation for Curriculum Vitae) is a detailed, visually stunning account of a person’s experience, skills, and background. It includes photos, pictures, and a creative layout. Styles vary from formal to contemporary and from whimsical to humorous. The sky’s the limit on the creativity one can use to put together a vitae. 

Here are a couple of examples of CVs, the first one being a classic CV, and the second being one that is specific to the type of job he is applying for, in this case, a job at a theme park:

CV #1 (Classic)

is the founder of NAME Innovation LLC, a positioning and branding firm that helps consultants and other thought leaders increase their fees by up to 2,000%.
His clients include:
  • a former department head in the White House
  • a speaker to the United Nations
  • CEOs of major organizations
  • a former head of the Strategy Unit of the Harvard Business School
  • performers on network TV and from the New York and Las Vegas stages
  • New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling authors
  • TED and TEDx speakers
Before devoting his work fulltime to NAME Innovation, NAME served as Chief Marketing Officer at an Inc. 5,000 experiential branding organization whose clients include XXXX XX XXXXXXX, XXX, XXXXXXX, XXXX XXXXXX, XXXX and XXXXXXXX & XXXXX Universities.
NAME has written for the New York Times, and has written or co-created five books. His last book, “XXXXX XX  XXXX XXXXXXXXX XX XXXXX XXXXXXXX” has been published in ten languages.
NAME has also taught research writing at XXXXXXXXXX XXXXX University.

In addition to being a positioning consultant, NAME creates magic tricks and shows. His work has been performed in XXXXX Hall and Las Vegas, and on all the major TV networks. He also co-created the show, “XXXXXX XX XXXXX,” which has played for 16 years, and is the longest-running one-person show in XXXXXXXXXX City.

CV #2 (Job Specific)

Should a bio/vitae be written in first person? There is no right or wrong answer to this question--either first person (using “I”) or third person (using “he” or “she”) is acceptable--the choice is yours. If you write your bio/vitae in first person it may appear that you are gloating or bragging; however, some people prefer to read the first person bios, as they perceive it as a portrayal of self-confidence and possibly a hint of self-stability, or even a strong feeling of achievement. If you write your bio/vitae in third person it will present an objective viewpoint for your fans. They may be the fans that like to read what others have said about you, possibly giving you more credibility in their eyes. Using third person does not mean you need to have someone write your bio for you. You can write your own bio using third person, and most won’t even know you did the writing.

What font style and font size should I use? For your written bio use a standard font, such as Times New Roman, size 12 (considered the industry standard. FYI: Times New Roman is the most widely accepted font around the globe.) For your vitae, be creative! But be careful not to use fonts and sizes that make things difficult to read. There are some awesome fonts out there, though when used in smaller sizes, on websites, blogs, or presentations they are not the easiest ones to read. 

What should come first in my bio? Just like the “hook” line in the first chapter of your book, you’ll want an opening line that not only grabs attention but also holds it. You’ll want to include your biggest accomplishment(s), a hint of experience, and possibly a skill, all in one power-packed sentence. For example: #1 best-selling, award-winning author Joe Brown’s unmatched style of fantasy writing paid off when he was accepted into the Author Hall of Fame ten years ago.

How do I close the bio? Leave your fans on a personal note, as it adds “oomph” to the connection fans may be building with you. They may admire your accomplishments, but if they have something in common with you, the “bond” can become even stronger, creating more dedicated fans. For example: When Tylisha is not writing she enjoys hiking, kayaking, photographing nature, and baking cupcakes. 

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