Always The Same Old Tired Cliches – The Same Avoidable Mistakes

Same Tired Cliches

Are you guilty of using tired clichés in your author bio?

You see so many unimaginative clichés in bios.

F0r example, inspirational author, debut author, author of book title, published author, I am an author, author of books, a budding author, and award-winning author.

The worst of them all, which is usually a little stretch of the truth, is USA Today and international bestselling author.

Author bios can be difficult to write

Being an author or writer should mean that by profession, it endows one with imagination. A writer uses creativity, inventiveness, and above all, grammatical and orthographical accuracy.

This may be true of the stories that are written and then well-edited before publication.

But sadly, it is rarely true of author bios on the Internet and social media.

Many author bios I see are the antithesis of these literary qualities. It’s the use of very tired phrases that become so boring.


Creating a poor impression

Author, writer, novelist, poet, editor, proofreader, and publisher.

Quite a list of skills for one person.

At least, there are no tired cliches. But simply a self-published author would probably be much more accurate and informative.

One rule I follow to the letter on the Internet and social media is that I never follow an account or blog that has been written by a writter, an authour, a novilist, or an aspired author.

Nor will I follow an author of two book, or one books, a playrite, or those who think that free lance writer is three words and not two.

Surprisingly, these little errors keep me from following far too many, who lose all credibility immediately. A writer should always use a spell-checker or dictionary before embarrassing themselves in public.

These silly typos often occur because the bio was written in haste, directly into an online text box. Never, never, never do this.

Always write your bio in a word processor. Then check it meticulously, save it, and copy and paste it online once you are absolutely sure it is perfect.


Short and sweet

A short bio is something that causes many writers great difficulty. But it is much easier to write if you think first about the primary reason for writing it.

You want to catch people’s attention very quickly. Then convince them, in those few short words, that you are interesting enough to investigate further.

One example of a great little bio is Neil Gaiman on Twitter.

..will eventually grow up and get a real job. Until then, will keep making things up and writing them down.

Another one that I like is Mark Coker. Especially the squirrel part.

Founder of Smashwords, an ebook distributor. Also angel investor, gardener, hiker, battler of squirrels, dreamer, doer, co-author of Boob Tube.

Lastly, a clever bio by Peter Welmerink, which caught my attention and had me following immediately.

Battling crimes against Quality by day, writer by night. Family man. Lunatic with a non-stop imagination.

All three of these bios have one common quality. They attract attention and interest in just the couple of seconds it takes to read them.

At the same time, they are informative and make it quite clear what they do. But without the need to use tired clichés or a list of bragging rights.

One other similarity is that none of them use the verb to be in a bio. Now there’s a writing tip, perhaps.

Make people curious by writing just a few words that you construct with the sole intent of attracting their interest. They will be following you and discovering your books soon enough.

Is it time to revisit your author bio and use your imagination, creativity, and inventiveness this time around?

Derek Haines

A Cambridge CELTA English teacher and author with a passion for writing and all forms of publishing. My days are spent writing and blogging, as well as testing and taming new technology.

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One thought on “Always The Same Old Tired Cliches – The Same Avoidable Mistakes

  • Avatar for Susie P Fernandez
    June 12, 2018 at 1:53 am

    Great advice. I changed my bio and removed author – I would never use “bestselling” on anything. Hope you like my change, check out @susiefer

    Thank you!

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