For writers, when we talk about author brand we're mostly talking about "voice." Each of us offers a unique experience to readers. But the emotional experience you deliver to readers can also be applied to visuals like your author photo, book covers, and website.

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Finishing your first draft is a major milestone, and here are your next six steps in your quest to publish a novel.

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Your book is riveting, but your author bio is a snooze. If you're afraid the above sentence may describe you, well — don't be too hard on yourself; plenty of brilliant authors freeze up when it comes to writing about themselves in sound-bites. They're more comfortable creating lush fictions, not highlighting their own career achievements and personal anecdotes in (as Morpheus from The Matrix says) "the desert of the real." But comfy or no, you need to create a brief and compelling author bio for use on your website, book jacket, press releases, and more. In this article we'll take a closer look at the key elements of an interesting bio, and also figure out which details should be omitted.

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Book Promotion Checklist for Indie AuthorsSo you finished your book. Congratulations! That's a major accomplishment. Now it's time to put together all the stuff you'll need to help you sell your book once it's published, including...

1. A short book description

There are a handful of reasons you'll need a short, compelling book description (one or two sentences at most): as a soundbite in interviews, as a teaser on your website, as the hook in your press materials and communications with folks in the publishing industry, and maybe even as the tagline in your email signature!

2. A longer book description

Once you've hooked 'em with the soundbite, they'll want to read more.

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