Showing posts with label Author's bio. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Author's bio. Show all posts

Saturday, January 17, 2015

A Writer's First . . .



The new year is upon us. Last month I talked about a review of 2014, but now it's time to look at 2015 and think about the future. With that being said, January is the first month of a new year - let's get it started off on the right foot.

Start your new year off by looking at your creative space. Are there things that are cluttering your work area and distracting you from getting the words down? Now is the time to clean up your space.

1. Make sure that unnecessary clutter is removed.
2. Create places for those things that keep you moving forward - books, calendars, motivational items, etc.
3. Organize your workspace so it's easy to grab pens, pencils, notepads, clips, etc.
4.  Review your space with a critical eye - are there things that would make your space more comfortable, easier for you to concentrate or improve the ergonomics?

Now that you are comfortable, it's time to do a review.
1. Update your author's bio and photograph - bios should be updated at least yearly. Photos every 3-5 years.
2. Review your website, social media sites and blogs. Are they in need of an update? A fresh look?
3. Don't forget to review your on-line bios in places such as Goodreads, Smashwords or Amazon.com.
4. Is it time to order business cards? 

Finally, let's think about what we want to accomplish in 2015.
1. Set long term goals - ones that may take more than a few months.
2. Set some short term goals too - monthly  or even weekly goals are great!
3. Look at how you can improve personally: are there classes you would like to take, a writer's retreat you would like to do, a writer's conference you'd like to attend, or some other way you could grow as a writer?

2015 is the time to take your writing to the next level - start now and get on track.
__________________________
D. Jean Quarles is a writer of Women's Fiction and a co-author of a Young Adult Science Fiction Series. Her latest book, House of Glass, Book 2 of The Exodus Series was written with coauthor, Austine Etcheverry.

D. Jean loves to tell stories of personal growth – where success has nothing to do with money or fame, but of living life to the fullest. She is also the author of the novels: Rocky's Mountains, Fire in the Hole, and Perception. The Mermaid, an award winning short story was published in the anthology, Tales from a Sweltering City.

She is a wife, mother, grandmother and business coach. In her free time . . . ha! ha! ha! Anyway, you can find more about D. Jean Quarles, her writing and her books at her website at www.djeanquarles.com

You can also follower her at www.djeanquarles.blogspot.com or on Facebook.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Your Author's Photo - 7 Tips to Getting it Right


Last month I spoke a bit about writing your author's bio and mentioned the need for an author's photo as part of it. Today I thought I'd talk a bit about getting your author's picture just right.

Along with writing, I do a fair share of photography. I enjoy taking photos of the seasons as seen above, but I have taken an actor's head shots, as well as done some graduation, wedding and professional pictures for websites, etc.



However, I'm not photogenic at all! And like some of my clients, I freeze when the lens is turned on me. There are, though, some tricks to getting the best photo possible.


  • Tip 1: Your author's photo is part of your image - a big part. Make sure it is consistent with what you would like your reader to know or feel about you. Think about how you want to appear - edgy or romantic? Whimsical or serious? Natural or funny? Check out your favorite author's photos and see what they've done to create their image and then think about what you can do to make yours stand out.
  • Tip 2: What to wear. Wear a color you look good in. Black is slimming, but you may find that a bright color is great against your face. Stay away from busy patterns and bring at least one change of clothes and perhaps a scarf, tie or other accessory to try.  Keep makeup natural looking - there is no need to go heavy.
  • Tip 3: Your facial expression.  Practice your smile before your shoot. You want a smile that impacts your eyes and appears genuine - or if you are a mystery writer, practice your mysterious look. Determine which side is your best and make sure to let your photographer know.
  • Tip 4: Where to go. Once you have figured out the image part, this may be easy to determine. If you have a professional taking your photo, an indoor setting with some lighting, etc will work well. If you are asking a friend or family member to help you out, you may want to consider doing your photo shoot outside, as natural light will give you a better opportunity to get it right. 
  • Tip 5: The photo. You may want to try both close-ups and some that include your whole body. For close-ups: I recommend the chicken neck. Pull your shoulders back, stick your neck forward, tip your chin slightly down and watch as the extra neck skin and chins disappear.  Play with head tilts - in other words, after each shot move your head slightly. For photos that include more of your body: Stand with one foot in front of the other angling your good side to your photographer - this is slimming as well. Remember the chicken neck. Focus your gaze at a place just above the camera.
  • Tip 6: Take a bunch of pictures. With digital cameras there is no reason not to. The more photos taken, the better the chance of getting one you really like. Not only that, but with hearing the shutter click, click, click you might just start feeling like a movie star and relax and have fun. I've found that some of the best shots I've taken, many times, came at the end of a session when I'd shot a hundred or more photos.
  • Tip 7: Photo editing. There is plenty of photo editing software to help you refine your picture. My current favorite is PicMonkey. I use the free version and it does, generally, all that I need. I also use some of my iPhone's editing software and that works well too if I'm taking a photo on the fly. 
A number of years ago I heard an interesting fact about photographs - you can take a photo of almost anywhere and anything and if you hold up the original photo and a mirror image of that photo, most people can tell which one is the original and which the mirror image - even if they have never seen the place or item before. We apparently have an inborn idea of what images should look like - except that is when we look at ourselves. The reason, we only ever see ourselves in the mirror - so we only see the mirror image of ourselves. That's why our own photos, many times, seem a bit off. In the past I always felt that my personal photos were so awful and looked nothing like myself even when others raved over them - now that I realize I'm looking for something that no one else sees, I'm a bit more forgiving about them. 

Hope these tips will help you get the author's image that represents you, flatters you, and allows readers to easily recognize and remember you!

________________________________________


D. Jean Quarles is a writer of Women's Fiction and a co-author of a Young Adult Science Fiction Series. Her latest book, House of Glass, Book 2 of The Exodus Series was written with coauthor, Austine Etcheverry.

D. Jean loves to tell stories of personal growth – where success has nothing to do with money or fame, but of living life to the fullest. She is also the author of the novels: Rocky's Mountains, Fire in the Hole, and Perception. The Mermaid, an award winning short story was published in the anthology, Tales from a Sweltering City.

She is a wife, mother, grandmother and business coach. In her free time . . . ha! ha! ha! Anyway, you can find more about D. Jean Quarles, her writing and her books at her website at www.djeanquarles.com

You can also follower her at www.djeanquarles.blogspot.com or on Facebook.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

5 Tips to Writing Your Author's Bio



Writing your first novel is an endeavor that takes perseverance, but writing your author’s bio can cause the most loquacious of authors to freeze. What should you include? What can be left out? And most important of all, what do your readers want to know and that will encourage them to buy your book?

Here are 5 tips to writing your author’s bio.

1. Write your bio in the third person. While writing your novel you probably struggled here and there with the invisible critic that seems to be ever close. That critic rears up again when the time comes to write your bio, which is why it’s best to write your bio in the third person. This will create some distance and you may find it easier to talk yourself up.

2. Figure out what facts are relevant to your story. Where you were born or raised is probably only important if you are writing about that particular area. Telling about your previous or current career will also only be important if it ties somehow to what you have written. Degrees and education should be dealt with in a similar fashion. If they lend you credibility for your writing mention them, if not, leave that information out.

3. Always be sure to mention any awards, contests, or achievements related to your writing you have acquired. No matter how insignificant you may feel they are, they will show you are serious about your craft.

4. Are your characters quirky? Is that what brings them to life, if so use that same quirkiness when writing your bio. If you have a sense of humor that comes through your writing, find a way to share something humorous.

5. Your bio should be accompanied by your author’s photo. Give your photo some careful thought. For many of your readers, your photo will come to represent your brand. Do you want to be perceived as knowledgeable? Thoughtful? Funny? Brave? You may want to consider hiring a professional photographer and discussing the impression you wish your photo to give to your readers before you sit for your picture.

You will need two or three bios: a short one for queries and such, a longer one for your book cover, and sometimes just a one or two liner.  Read the bios of other authors before you begin and see what stands out to you about each. Which ones compel you to check out their work? Then write several versions and share them with other authors who can also help give you feedback. And remember, just like a resume, your bio should be updated regularly.

_________________________________
D. Jean Quarles is a writer of Women's Fiction and the co-author of a Young Adult Science Fiction Series. Her latest book, House of Glass, Book 2 of The Exodus Series was written with co-author, Austine Etcheverry.

D. Jean loves to tell stories of personal growth – where success has nothing to do with money or fame, but of living life to the fullest. She is also the author of the novels: Perception, Rocky's Mountains, and Fire in the Hole. The Mermaid, an award winning short story, was published in the anthology, Tales from a Sweltering City.

She is a wife, mother, grandmother and business coach. In her free time . . . ha! ha! ha! Anyway, you can find more about D. Jean Quarles, her writing and her books at her website: www.djeanquarles.com

You can also follower her at www.djeanquarles.blogspot.com or find her on Facebook.

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