Public Speaking, Speak Up about Yourself

by SUNNY NASH - Date: 2009-02-16 - Word Count: 696 Share This!

You want to do public speaking engagements about your book? First, write the book. Then sell yourself.

Speaking engagements on your book may come in a variety of forms--book signings, seminars, workshops or events, which are important components to help you sell yourself and your book. However, before you can get those speaking engagements to sell your book, you must provide potential audiences with your author biography, a one-page summary of your writing career or the part of your writing career that relates to your book.

Limit your author biography to one page. People do not have the time or energy to review lengthy profiles with details that are not pertinent to your book. Moreover, long author biographies tend to list every tiny accomplishment and have been known to include made up or exaggerated credentials. Tell the truth and keep the truth short. Stick to the facts about your writing and speaking career. Although some authorities say it is all right to include a personal note to show readers that you are a real person, I suggest an economy of words and an omission of emotions. Do not bog down in your dreams. No one really cares about your dreams but you and your family and friends.

Approach your author biography as if you are writing about someone else, meaning, write in the third person. It is easier to brag in the third person. First person author biographies and resume formats are not considered professional and mark you as an amateur in the business.

Sell yourself to the prospective audience in your introduction, which states your name and your professional handles such as published author, journal contributor, e-book author, magazine writer or writing coach, for example. Focus on professional titles and stay away from personal categories such as wife of, husband of, homemaker, mommy, daddy or uncle or nanny, unless they enhance your career description or credential as an author.

This is how I introduce myself: Sunny Nash is an award winning writer, photographer, producer and author of Bigmama Didn't Shop At Woolworth's, a memoir told from the perspective of a black child growing up in the mid-century American South, describing discrimination, sit-ins, boycotts, riots, police brutality and personal triumph.

After introducing yourself, the key component of your author biography is a description of the book that you are seeking to present. The description should be a powerful, short, self-contained statement about your book. Remember, this statement is not a review or an evaluation or an excerpt. The statement is a description that should leave the reader wanting to know more and to hire you to speak about the book. Dedicate one paragraph of your author biography to this summary. Here is a sample of how I describe my book: A collection of nonfiction essays about life with her grandmother, Bigmama, during the civil rights era, Nash recalls the U.S. Supreme Court 1954 decision, Brown v. the Board of Education, and the civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Before Nash's book was published by Texas A&M University Press, her syndicated column had earned her prestige and attention as a writer. She is working on her second book for this publisher.

Personal experience, interviews and research gave me the authority to write and speak on my subject. Demonstrate your authority even if you write fiction. To support your credibility, include a mention of previously published work, speaking engagements, television show appearances, writing awards and your website. You don't have a website? Get one.

If you do not belong to any on-line or community or other writing groups, join one today! Not only are professional writing groups helpful in your endeavors, they look great on the author biography. Pay some dues and get listed in writing directories to increase trust and respect from potential audiences.

When seeking to be booked to speak about your book, be sure to include all necessary contact information, including your website. If your website or any other part of your contract information changes, update them immediately. Do you know what happens when people can't find you? Your author biography along with your entire press kit gets tossed into the trash.

Related Tags: public speaking, writing career, speaking engagements, sunny nash, bigmama didnt shop at woolworths, author biography

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