Five Weak Words You Should Always Avoid Using In Your Author Bios
Your author bio is everywhere. But you should avoid using weak words in author bios.
Don’t ruin your author’s image by using overused, trite, and hackneyed vocabulary.
Choose powerful words in your author bio to send the right message. It is vitally important in building your author platform and reputation.
Don’t make the mistake of following the crowd and using tired clichés and habitually collocated adjectives and adverbs.
Included in my quick list are weak words (and a prefix) that you may think, honestly tell the world about you.
But in fact, they can be misunderstood.
You can always find better words to use, which will carry a much more convincing message.
There are too many words to avoid to list in one blog post.
But below are my five killer words. They weaken your writing and can only do damage to your author bio and your reputation.
Currently is an adverb that I have noticed appearing in many author bios in recent months.
Firstly, it’s well and truly an overused word. Secondly, it has the sense of only being about now and very temporary.
By saying that you are currently an ebook author, it makes it sound as if it’s all just a passing phase. It says that you are not all that serious about being an author.
It is one word that you should never use in your author bio.
Why not simply say, “I am an ebook author,” and drop the redundant adverb.
This prefix ex always sounds like a failure. It is certainly not what you want readers to think.
Ex-FBI Agent, ex-banker, or ex-journalist can sound a little negative, and that you might have been fired.
By using ex, you are probably trying to portray your vast experience. Why not use that better word instead?
An experienced FBI agent, an experienced banker, or an experienced journalist are all true. But they send a much more positive impression about you.
Ouch. I see this adjective in author bios far too often for my liking.
It smacks of being unimaginative and having no idea at all about what message you are trying to send to potential readers.
It really is an extremely weak vocabulary choice.
Inspiring, aspiring, budding, and inspirational?
Why not respiring, perspiring, or tiring?
Use some imagination, and avoid copying those who couldn’t be bothered looking for a better word.
Writer and Dreamer.
These three words will have you joining the incredibly long list of authors who love using tired old clichés.
Often it is because they are too lazy to use an ounce of imagination.
Potential readers are not silly, so they will probably expect the same lazy use of tired clichés in your writing.
Go on, be daring, and try something new and original.
Writer on the edge? Daredevil writer? A writer who is an absolute wonder at using very clever words?
There are a lot of people who are discovering the pleasure of writing and self-publishing in their retirement.
But you don’t have to tell the world the whole truth.
The word retired sounds old, bored, and that you have nothing else to do.
Drop this word, and like ex above, and use words that send a message of experience.
Retired policeman? Why not say, versed in the criminal mind? A retired banker? Perhaps, a battle-scarred financial expert.
Every author hates writing an author bio.
But there are so many tired, overused, and redundant extra words that can weaken your author image.
All it takes is a little imagination to write a compelling bio that will help you connect with readers.
You won’t need to use a lot of words to write your bio. But pay attention to a few key areas.
Use the active voice, and never the passive voice. Also, make sure you use strong verbs. Break up any long sentences into short and sharp ones.
Lastly, don’t add lazy adverbs.
So, get out your thesaurus, check some well-known authors’ bios and get to work.
It will only take half an hour to make a massive difference in how people perceive you as an author.
Be you, but above all, be original.
8 thoughts on “Five Weak Words You Should Always Avoid Using In Your Author Bios”
I loathe the word “aspiring.” It sounds as if the writer doesn’t trust themselves or worse, is apologetic about writing. Own it! I am a writer. Powerful words.
I just whacked “aspiring” from ,my tagline on FB and Twitter.
I think the basic concept is this. You either are a writer or you are not. People are binary. Keep it simple.
Aspiring implies you are trying to be, but are not quite there.
I don’t want to read something from somebody trying to be, I want to read something by a writer.
Well whacked, KL!
The adverb currently drives me nuts. Always totally redundant and unnecessary.
I do understand this though.
Why use “Currently living” when living does just fine?
Why use aspiring, when you should act like you are a writer. You may not be a professional one yet, but that doesn’t mean you can’t write your profile like one. You have made me think about my own professional summary and I am going to rewrite it. Thank you!
Why should I look for any other word but Aspiring, when aspiring tells me everything I ever need to know about what a person is trying to do?
Oh dear, I use ‘ex’ and retired. I thought I was demonstrating my experience and my age group as the books I write often include instances from my working life and probably do not appeal to under 35s (except for the last one, which might act as a contrast with how relationships are today)
Now I can sit down and rewrite my bio as suggested!
This is so true… I have nothing against Twitter and Pinterest users that use words like “writer and dreamer” or “wannabe novelist” but it is something that catches my eye. Awesome post!
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