It’s the holiday season, and you know what that means– the publishing industry wants to cozy up by the fire for a long winter’s nap. Many agents are closed to submissions. Editors are taking vacations. But, a new year is on its way with the promise of opportunity! If you have work out on submission now, or are thinking about submitting your work in 2015, you’re going to want to put your best self forward. Now is a great time for an online spruce up!
Being out on submission means you’re trying to sell your work, and therefore yourself. You should be online at least somewhere. You are aren’t you? If not, get on it! (Okay, I know putting yourself out there on line can be a little scary. Maybe that was a bit too harsh, but social media has turned this wallflower into a social butterfly so do consider putting yourself out there in at least one place online and giving it a try.)
If you’re like me and a lot of the writers and illustrators I know, you may be online in a lot of places. Places you use every day, places you only frequent every so often, and places you may have *gasp* practically forgotten about. But you know what? Other people use those places every day. And what do they see when they look at you? When is the last time you looked at your online information? Me…um….it’s been a while.
It is super easy to fill in your information when you sign up to use any number of social media online and then just forget it. Why go look at any of your online set up once you get it all filled in? It takes so much time! Sometimes I just hate having to come up with that information about myself. Set up my background. Find a half way decent photo of myself that I am willing to put out there. All that sort of stuff that goes into social media presences. But it’s important. What do people see when they look to learn about you?
Bios bios, long and short.
Every social media site you sign up for has some sort of biographical information that has to be filled in. Having a fully filled out bio section can be advantageous when agents and editors are looking to see who you are.
Is your bio current?
Is it linked to your website, blog, or other relevant online places? ALWAYS LINK UP!
Is your bio intriguing? Is it informational? Or is it embarrassing? Maybe you filled your bio in a long time ago when you were just say, fooling around with the idea of using Twitter. Does your bio represent the you you want to show now? (I say this because I have seen some doosies! The one thing you want people to know about you is you clean up a lot of poop? Really?) Many social media bios are short. Put your #1 information there. (Not your #2. Hardeeharhar!)
What about longer bios, such as your About Me section on your blog? You are free to ramble on as long as you want about yourself. Just make sure it is at least somewhat relevant to what you want to accomplish. And legible. But have fun! My bio on my blog is, I don’t know, just sort of random. It shows some of who I am. It definitely could use some updating, like adding my agent information!
You don’t want to be an egg on Twitter. Why hide behind a faceless photo on Facebook? Humans connect with photos. Get your mug up there. I may partially be talking to myself here. I hate having my photo taken. And double hate putting it up anywhere. Blargh! My Facebook photo right now is okay. I’m in it, it’s just not very facey. I should change that!
Photos on your blog are fun. Have at least one of yourself. You never know, an editor or agent thinking about calling might want to see who they’re going to be talking to!
There are options for different background in different social media. Does the one you’re using representing what you do now? Sure, a standard background template can be perfectly fine! If you have a published book you may want to consider using it as a background. I use the fun Sub It Club art Dana Carey created for my background on my personal blog, on Twitter, and I recently put it as my Facebook header as well. I’m pretty into Sub It Club. 😉
So, try to round up all the places you are online: websites, blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr… the list goes on and on. Don’t forget message boards. They often have bio sections as well as signatures. And hey, don’t forget that email signature!
Alrighty, I’m ready to make my list. Check it twice. And work to spruce up my online presence! Tis the season. Who’s with me?
Heather, question. If you have children’s poetry pubbed and/or picture books and you’re querying your MG is it true that you leave all that out of your bio in the query?
I don’t think so. Especially since you are submitting kidlit and have been published in the kidlit area. Why not put it in? If you want specifics post it up in the facebook group and lets have a look!
Okay. I’m off.