Yes, I’m giving you all the permission to let your author’s personality show and don’t be shy about it.
Sure, you might get a few haters who can’t stand you but that’s the courage you should display in all your works.
Let me tell you something: The more of your own heart and mind you pour out to your readers, the better you’ll be able to relate to them and the more likely they are to read and continue to read your work.
Readers love it when authors pour themselves, their hardships, pain, and suffering onto the page, and we all have an interesting and unique story to tell.
I lived as an underdog for years and have always had a chip on my own shoulder. Something I placed in Swords of Destiny is a nice allegory of my own life early in the book.
Because a lot of readers may have experienced A LOT of failure in life (I’m being vague here) but it also shows how perseverance can allow anyone to prosper in life.
These days, I take my underdog status early in life, which was probably due to my short stature and overweight physique at the time. Okay, I’m still short (5’5” ¾) and still considered overweight by a BMI chart (156lbs) but let me tell you: Not only is a good workout each day a priority but also an awesome alloy of workouts, with multi-joint functional training with a generous mix of strength training and cardio.
As a writer, well, I kind of ran away from writing for years before picking it back up as a hobby in 2015 and thus Northern Knights was born shortly thereafter.
Writing isn’t something manly kids did in the redneck riviera of Richmond, Ohio and of course in grade and middle school I wanted to fit in.
Big mistake, but it’s funny that the same people laughing at my passions and hobbies are the ones staring in awe these days at the fact I’ve written two full-length novels with plans to write at least five more in the Lord of Columbia Series.
Importance of Personas
Remember my article on author branding?
Yep, I told you then how important it was to STAND OUT in a world of about twenty-million authors.
That’s enough authors worldwide to form their own tiny country.
That’s a lot of authors and if you just say, “hi, I’m an author,” I’ll probably just nod and continue on my business.
There are so many authors out there that the 90-percent who state they’re an author are the ones who aren’t going to last in this field.
Or better yet: I’m an aspiring author…I used this one early on.
Thinker, dreamer, bibliophile, oh my goodness, stop, just stop.
Do you realize how many author bios are out there?
Here’s an example of an author bio that shows personality. This is the author bio I used for Swords of Destiny:
Hi, I’m Todd Matthews and I commit thoughtcrime for a living. It’s kind of cool, and in case you haven’t noticed, I don’t like third-person bios, so I’m delivering my bio in first-person. So, my crazy political beliefs and love of the American Revolution sparked the Lord of Columbia Series and don’t forget to checkout my Neo Skyehawk Series, because for those who love plots that intertwine in the same world, well, you just might like Neo Skyehawk as much as you do Lord of Columbia. Enjoy the read!
Or what about something like my Twitter bio?
Browns fan, Libertarian, Ravenclaw, turning the Ohio Valley Tri-State Area’s backwoods into urban fantasy settings and loving every second of it.
Make your bio stand out.
I LOVE Neil Gaiman’s bio and if you haven’t seen it, you should read it.
But please, don’t use Bestselling, or anything that states I’M AN AUTHOR!
We know you’re an author, we don’t need to be told.
What the Hell do You Write About?
Notice my above bio, which hints the reader exactly what they’re going to get.
I commit thoughtcrime for a living, so the reader knows off the bat there’s going to be a protagonist that’s defying dystopia or is looking to start a fight with the government.
I have crazy political beliefs (which my Twitter also implies) and I also hint my love of history, especially wars, though I’m antiwar at heart.
In other words, my bio is going to target a market of readers, and yours can, too. It immediately displays my persona.
Tell your reader who you are as an author and what you write about with your writing style, as you can see some edginess in mine.
Hand them your personality, that’s what readers crave. Sure, you won’t be a good fit for everyone nor is that even possible, but you will find a market because your persona will stand out much more than 99% of all authors.
I look through author bios and even Twitter bios each day, and I rarely see anything stand out. I follow authors, so it’s easy for me to just click the follow button but man, there’s nothing out there that jumps out at me.
Ditto for those on Amazon.
Just like your book covers and descriptions, your author persona is a huge selling point and you’re burying yourself if you don’t take this serious enough.
I’ve seen authors undermine their book cover and opt for free ones instead of investing in a professional cover. I’ve seen hurried book descriptions. And more than anything, I don’t see anything that makes an author stand out.
If you’re wondering why your sales aren’t where you want them to be, you can start by letting your persona hang out in the limelight.
Get After Your Persona
So, the first thing you can do is update your author and Twitter bio. Update your bio anywhere else you hang out.
Then, tweak that blog of yours (you have a blog, I hope) and develop the voice to fit the one used to write your bio.
Use the voice you’ve developed in each social media post and anywhere else you go that pertains to your writing.
Follow these tips, and I guarantee you’ll find yourself building a tribe, but it all starts with developing an author personality.