Five Weak Words You Should Avoid Using In Author Bios

Five Weak Words Authors Should Avoid Using In Bios

Your author bio is everywhere

Don’t ruin your author 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 short 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 weak words to avoid to list in one blog post.

But below are my five killer weak words. They weaken your writing and can only do damage to your author bio and your reputation.

 

1. Currently

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, 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.

 

2. Ex

This prefix ex always sounds like you are a failure. It is certainly not what you want readers to think.

Ex-FBI Agent, ex-banker or ex-journalist all sound as if you were hopeless at what you did. And that you might have been fired.

By using ex, you are probably trying to portray your vast experience. So why not use that word instead?

Experienced FBI agent, experienced banker or experienced journalist are all true. But they send a much more positive impression about you.

 

3. Aspiring

Ouch. I see this adjective in author bios at least twenty times a day.

It smacks of being unimaginative. Also of having no idea at all about what message you are trying to send to potential readers. Other than that you use very weak vocabulary.

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.

 

4. Dreamer

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?

 

5. Retired

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, 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.

 

Summary

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.

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.

 

More reading: Fail Again, Fail Better? Does It Mean You Will Fail Worse?

 

Derek Haines

Derek Haines is an Australian author, living in Switzerland.

7 thoughts on “Five Weak Words You Should Avoid Using In Author Bios

  • October 2, 2017 at 4:45 pm
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    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.

    Reply
  • May 8, 2017 at 10:10 pm
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    The adverb currently drives me nuts. Always totally redundant and unnecessary.

    Reply
  • May 8, 2017 at 10:08 pm
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    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!

    Reply
  • May 8, 2017 at 10:02 pm
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    Question:
    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?

    Reply
  • September 25, 2016 at 12:23 pm
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    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!

    Reply
  • May 19, 2016 at 1:58 am
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    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!

    Reply

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