Book Trends Blog

September 10, 2012

Selling Yourself to the Book Industry by Bob Spear

Filed under: Uncategorized — bobspear @ 5:12 pm
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My bookstore’s writers group has asked me to tell them what is needed to present themselves to agents and publishers. What I came up with for an answer was a sample of short bios and elevator synopsis for a fiction and a nonfiction book and a press release. Bios are like good resumes. They are written from the perspective of the agent’s or publisher’s needs, not the author’s.

Here are two samples:

Bio for Senior Citizens’ Self Defense (Nonfiction sample)
Bob Spear, a 67-year-old retired martial artist, holds an 8th Degree Black Belt in the Korean art of Hapkido. An American pioneer in this battlefield defense system, Bob was the first American to obtain a 3rd Degree Black Belt and Instructor’s Certification in Korea. He has trained over 11,000 students throughout the world and eight people are known to have been saved from death or serious injury by his instructions, videos, and books. Now a physically handicapped elder, he understands the concerns of older people and how there are still things they can do to protect themselves.

Bob is well known with a Twitter following of 3,907, a FaceBook following of several hundred, and a Book Trends Blog with 14,080 hits.

Bio for Quad Delta (Fiction sample)
Bob Spear, a Leavenworth, KS resident since 1981, is a retired Military Intelligence professional of twenty-five years. He has written 17 books, five of which are a series of mysteries set in Leavenworth, Kansas. He is Internationally known as a self defense author. Owner of a bookstore located in downtown Leavenworth, he has a keen interest in the underground complex beneath the downtown which provides the setting for his first mystery, Quad Delta.

Bob is well known with a Twitter following of 3,907, a FaceBook following of several hundred, and a Book Trends Blog with 14,080 hits.

Note: Note how the bios are written differently to support the books’ themes. Also, each mentions your platform size in social media.                                                                                                                                           
Imagine walking onto an elevator and finding an agent riding with you. What do you do if he asks, “What’s your book about?” You are getting off at the 10th floor, so that’s how long you have to tell him. These are short explanations that you should have memorized.

Elevator Synopsis for Senior Citizens’ Self Defense (Nonfiction sample)
With a rising crime rate set against an expanding senior citizens’ population, what is an elder to do when suddenly faced with a violent confrontation? This DVD/Training Manual explains the dangers of the streets and the simplest, most effective ways to counter these threats which can be done by anyone, even the handicapped.

Elevator Synopsis for Quad Delta (Fiction sample)
A PTSD suffering retired Military Intelligence Lieutenant Colonel, Enos Hobson, is dragged into the private investigation world when an old military friend asks him to save his mother and their family fortune from a diabolical Satan worshiping cult that hides its unholy chapel underneath the streets of Leavenworth, KS.

Finally, here is a sample press release. Remember to put the most important things up front.

Sample Press Release for Senior Citizens’ Self Defense

“Old Folks Can Be Deadly”
Local author and self defense trainer Bob Spear says the elderly can defend themselves. With a rising crime rate set against an expanding senior citizens’ population, what is an elder to do when suddenly faced with a violent confrontation? Spear’s DVD/Training Manual program, Senior Citizens’ Self Defense, explains the dangers of the streets and the simplest, most effective ways to counter these threats which can be done by anyone, even the handicapped.

Spear uses true stories to illustrate his program. One describes a confrontation an 83-year-old woman experienced in her rental-assistance apartment in Leavenworth with a night time intruder. He tells about how she used a screwdriver and her common sense to survive the ordeal. Spear says such illustrations are meant to entertain and give confidence to his readers and viewers that they are not helpless.

Bob Spear, a 67-year-old retired martial artist, holds an 8th Degree Black Belt in the Korean art of Hapkido. An American pioneer in this battlefield defense system, Bob was the first American to obtain a 3rd Degree Black Belt and Instructor’s Certification in Korea. He has trained over 11,000 students throughout the world and eight people are known to have been saved from death or serious injury by his instructions, videos, and books. Now a physically handicapped elder, he understands the concerns of older people and how there are still things they can do to protect themselves.

This timely training package is available at The Book Barn at 410 Delaware, Leavenworth, KS 66048.

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I hope you find these tools helpful.

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