Tuesday, June 11, 2013

14 Twitter Bio Tips for Aspiring and Published Authors by Victoria Scott

Before I started writing, I spent four years studying marketing at Texas A&M University. After that, I worked in marketing for some of the largest media companies in North America. I then returned to college to get a master’s degree in the field. Needless to say, marketing was a big part of my life before writing, and it still is today. I adore the subject, and today I want to talk about something that many writers overlook—the Twitter bio.

A strong Twitter bio does three things:

1)Narrows your specialty.
2)Tells other Twitter peeps why they should follow you.
3)Shows people you’re human.

Let’s take a look at an aspiring author’s bio that could be stronger (made up):

Mother of 3 and writer of fun fiction. Lover of chocolate, comedy, and a strong margarita. And dancing!

Let’s start with why this doesn’t work. First, it doesn’t narrow your specialty (are you a specialist at mothering, writing, chocolate?). Second, it doesn’t tell us why we should follow you (what can you provide us?). It does show us you’re human, but in a vague way.

Here’s how I would change it:

Writer of paranormal romance and a member of RWA. Currently querying literary agents. Lover of dark chocolate and strong margaritas!

In this bio, we’re told what this person specializes in (she’s a writer of paranormal romance). We find out why we should follow her (maybe you like para-romance too!). And the last line lets us know she’s human.

Let’s do one more. This is a bio for a published, agented author (again, made up):

I write ghost stories that make you want your mama. Parent to two Cocker Spaniels. I make a mean hot chocolate!

Now, let’s rewrite it:

Writer of horror and paranormal romance. Author of A GHOST STORY (Penguin, May 2013). Represented by Jane Doe. Cocker Spaniels = Awesome.

This tells us her specialty (she’s an author of horror and paranormal romance), why we should follow her (she’s published and represented, maybe she has writing tips/ARCs/excerpts for me!), and we know she’s human (she loves her some hot chocolate).

Another way to think of this bio writing stuff is what NOT to do:

1)Don’t congest your bio. Tell us one or two things you like and/or do, not seven.
2)Mention what you specialize in FIRST so people who aren’t interested in that can move on.
3)Avoid mentioning anything that’s too generic (i.e. I love my kids/pets –don’t we all?)
4)Don’t post buy links. Instead, post a link to your website where readers can learn more about you and your book.

A couple more suggestions:

1)Use a nice, clean avatar image.
2)Include a link to your website (but not in the Twitter bio text field).
3)Most importantly, ignore advice you don’t like, including mine!

Now go Twitter!

About the Author

Victoria Scott is a teen fiction author represented by Sarah Crowe. She’s the author of the DANTE WALKER series (Entangled Teen) and the FIRE & FLOOD series (Scholastic). Victoria lives in Dallas with her husband and adores cotton candy.

Check out Victoria's website
Follow Victoria on Twitter

About the Book

Dante Walker is flippin’ awesome, and he knows it. His good looks, killer charm, and stellar confidence have made him one of Hell’s best—a soul collector. His job is simple: weed through humanity and label those round rears with a big red good or bad stamp. Old Saint Nick gets the good guys, and he gets the fun ones. Bag-and-tag.

Sealing souls is nothing personal. Dante’s an equal-opportunity collector and doesn’t want it any other way. But he’ll have to adjust, because Boss Man has given him a new assignment:

Collect Charlie Cooper’s soul within ten days.

Dante doesn’t know why Boss Man wants Charlie, nor does he care. This assignment means only one thing to him, and that’s a permanent ticket out of Hell. But after Dante meets the quirky Nerd Alert chick he’s come to collect, he realizes this assignment will test his abilities as a collector…and uncover emotions deeply buried.

Buy The Collector on Amazon
Find The Collector on Goodreads


  1. Thanks so much for the twitter bio tips. I'm planning to join in the next month or two and this is really helpful. Heard so many great things about your book. Can't wait to read it.

    1. I don't know how you are going to find time to add another social network, Natalie! You're a constant source of inspiration.

  2. This is actually really helpful considering how much twitter is about condensing. And, you know, just specifications, in general. It's like writing a one line pitch for yourself.

    1. Well put. In essence our Twitter bio is a great place to perfect our pitch for ourselves.

  3. Hmm, maybe i should go look at my bio again...

  4. Nice tips. I've recently started a Twitter account.

  5. Thanks for the tips - heading over to review my twitter bio now! :-)

  6. Victoria, this is such great advice! I am going to have to take a look at my own bio, I'd pretty much completely forgotten it.

    Thanks so much for sharing your insight with us. It's been an honor to have you here.

  7. Great tips! I had to go check my Twitter bio to make sure I had the most important stuff first. (Yep!--@Artzicarol) I probably could swap my SCBWI membership phrase with my hobbies/interest line I suppose to display it earlier in the bio, but otherwise I'm good. Thanks for the food for thought!

  8. This is great advice, Victoria. *runs off to update Twitter bio*

  9. Very helpful. Thanks for the tips!

  10. Updated my twitter bio this morning. Thanks for the tips, Victoria, and thanks everyone else for giving me the kick in the butt I needed to actually get it done :)


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