August #AuthorTip: Know Thyself

Continuing this post series with a tip for knowing your shtuff:

Sometimes, the most difficult part of being a writer is just talking about your books. We tend to be more “show” than “tell” and it can be awkward when someone asks you to describe what you write and you don’t have a clue how to condense a 20-book multi-genre backlist into 2-3 sentences.

So be prepared. Make a printable booklist for your website with series, title, ISBN, release date, and format information (and keep it up to date). Come up with a short teaser tag line for each book/series that you can memorize and rattle off at the drop of a hat. Know the basics of your book distribution so you can direct people to where they can buy your books (online, this means a direct link to your author profile on different storefronts).

It helps if you have something they can take with them. Business cards can be good, as long as you don’t overwhelm them with info. Think more eye-catching than text-heavy. Something pretty they’ll be less likely to throw away. For a new book release, cover flats with the blurb and buy links on the back are a good idea. If you want to get more comprehensive, you can even do a folded greeting card type setup with an outside cover that has your author info and two facing pages inside with your booklist. Get creative, but don’t go overboard. Remember, these things, while fun to imagine and design, will cost money to print and ship. And if it’s too big or elaborate, people won’t want to take it.

I offer my most recent business card design as a visual example:


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