Bing Bong My Profile’s Gone
I just completed rebranding my bio and profile photos across all the sites where it appears. If anyone wonders what a writer does all day, it took all day to change Wordpress, Gravatar, my blog, website, Outlook, Facebook page About and Story sections, Twitter, Goodreads, Amazon US, Amazon UK, Linked In and Google.
I took advice for authors on writing Amazon bios. An expert (and let’s face it, who needs experts these days anyway?) said his most effective bio mentioned an “ugly mortgage”, and I wondered why a writer’s debt should inspire any kind of response.
And your conclusion is?
Mentioning an “ugly mortgage”, and most of us have them as well as no pension, non-recoverable depreciation and all the other hard knocks associated with life, is about saying, ‘I’m not one of those hi-brow Nobel prize winning author types, you understand, I’m actually just like you.’
So, that’s not my new bio, obviously, but the “ugly mortgage” connects with reader’s aspirations, expectations and the assumption that an author with an ‘ugly mortgage’ is in it for the perfectly acceptable aim of making millions, and that’s what everyone wants to do, don’t they? They want to make millions and they’re not one of those odd types who wants to change the world. So I’ll buy the book. Obviously.
My mum says every time she mentions my book, the first thing people ask is, ‘and how many has he sold?’ They don’t ask, ‘What’s it about?’ or, ‘Getting good reviews?’ Clearly, they’re trying to work out if I’m odd. So, I’ve told her to say, ‘He has a very ugly mortgage’, and to watch them run to buy the book. Of course they will. Experts have spoken. Sit back. Count the money.
So, are you rich yet, Cy?
People have always asked me whether I’ve made loads of money. From the moment my very first poem was published in the very first anthology, that’s been the call. The poem was Dear Charlotte, by the way, in the Co-op Caring Poetry Festival Anthology of 1992. I didn’t want to change the world then, and I don’t want to now, but it’s a nice warm feeling to remember my winning poem had a moral purpose. Now, of course, I just want to write good stories and get 5 star reviews.
You’re going to mention Ed Sheeran aren’t you?
You know I love to mention Ed Sheeran (even though he’s not an author, yet!!) so I can add the tag, but learning that authors should reflect the ordinariness of every day life is no surprise. It ties in with the ‘careful curation’ I talked about in Ed Sheeran: Shifting Sausage Rolls and Much, Much More.
I’m not knocking Ed’s curators. Careful curation is extremely effective at shifting units. Ordinary. Mundane. Uncomplicated. So, yes, I have a new ordinary, mundane, uncomplicated bio that plays down expertise, qualifications, publications, story sales and writing credits because I am ordinary Joe from Stockport with only one perfectly acceptable aim in life.
I don’t know much about books, but I know what I like.
It’s true, I don’t know much about books because there are so many books. Who does know everything about books? No one knows everything. I’m currently reading John Le Carrie’s Pigeon Tunnel, James Kelman’s Dirt Road, George Derringer’s Rat Stew, Sue Barnard’s Never on Saturday and Tim Taylor’s Revolution Day (amongst others). So, without further adieu, I had better get on.
Cy Forrest’s new bio is available here.