How To Establish Credibility as a Published Author September 1, 2016 – Posted in: Marketing, Writing – Tags: ,

As an aspiring book author who opts for traditional publishing, you will need to prove to agents and publishing houses that you know what you are talking about. A known publishing house will likely invest thousands of dollars into your book and they do not want to lose money. Your job is to convince them that you and your book idea are worth their time and money. How you establish credibility with them depends on your ability to demonstrate to them that you are an expert in your field.

You can also establish credibility in front of your potential clients and prospects by self publishing or assisted self publishing your book through a company like Distinct Press. At Distinct Press, we do the work for you and you get all of the credit for writing your book. You also get 100% of the royalties!  One thing that is most important no matter which route you decide to pursue is that you must believe in yourself. If you don’t then you will probably not land a publishing contract nor will you have the stick-to-itiveness to finish your book and self publish. That is another area where we excel. We shepherd you through to the end so you walk away with a book in your hands.

This magical thing called credibility is something that others bestow upon you once they have seen the fruits of your labor. There is no one-size-fits-all recipe for establishing credibility, but there are ways you can position yourself to help others see you in that light. Successful authors on the very same topic may be credible in different ways – but the point is that the reader and potential client sees you as a credible expert in your subject matter.

We establish credibility by strategic positioning and placing you in all of the right places for both the reader and the prospective client. The best way that’s done is by writing your author bio in a way that allows others to understand that you are an expert in your field.

Typically, an author bio is one paragraph long, at the most two. If you want to go into more detail, it is a good idea to write out an extended bio and attach it separately to your blog or website (or if looking for a traditional publisher, then into your proposal). Remember to keep your bio as short, but as strong as possible. Make sure to cover the following areas in your bio:

Education and Training

Summarize your formal education, training and other educational experiences. You will want to include any advanced degrees if they apply to your topic area. If your book is on how to grieve the loss of a loved one, you will want to include your degree in counselling. However, if your book is on how to create beaded handbags, then your Ph.D. in History will probably not make much f a difference. The training you received at the crafts and jewelry conference, however, will and would be important to mention.

Professional Experience

The same rule of thumb applies here. Only include experience that is relevant to what you are writing about. Also consider experience that you may not think about at first, like your involvement with professional organizations, internships or mentorship programs (either as a mentor or a mentee). Describe any volunteer work and involvement in community service groups as well, such as the Rotary Club, the Chamber of Commerce, American Legion, or the Soroptimists. Cite your participation in city-based celebrations and/or events.

Personal Experience

Include all personal experiences that relate to your topic. If you want to write a book on how to travel on a budget, include your own travel experiences and the many ways you found to save. If your book is about training puppies not to chew your slippers, then include a description of how you stopped your and your friends pups from doing so. Make sure that the events you mention relate directly to what you write about.

Promotional and Writing Experience

Include any way you have engaged in campaigning, advertising or publicizing yourself or anyone else. Maybe you have been interviewed by a local newspaper, or you’ve written press releases to advertise your service club;s upcoming event. Perhaps you appeared on a local television program or spoke at a conference. If you have a website or blog (and you should!), and active followers on social media, you can demonstrate how popular you and your information is.

The bottom line is that you will want to collect as much evidence as you can, such as news clippings, videotape, dvds, conference programs, letters of appreciation, professional references and referrals and so on. This information won’t make it to the author page included in your book, but it will help to convince agents and editors that you can handle the media and it will also show your prospective clients and followers that you are truly the expert who knows his or her stuff!

Writing Experience

Becoming an author is as much about writing as it is about the topic you will address. Your writing expertise is shown in the quality of your writing. If you are not a writer, don’t worry! Ghostwriters capture your words and the essence of your unique voice and you can still author a book. In fact, it’s done that way all of the time. (We know this because it’s one of the many services we offer our clients.)

Bolster your writing expertise by listing anything you have published – even if the kind of writing is different from what you will use in your book.  Anything that has been published is fair game here – guest posts, articles, newsletters – it all works. Simply having written something publishable also helps to establish credibility in front of your ideal clients, prospects, readers and potential publishers.

Remember that it’s okay to be a first time author too. Everyone started in the same place and you are not alone. The key is that you show yourself as a seasoned professional right from the beginning and don’t make the typical amateur mistakes that are a dead giveaway to those watching. You want to make sure you edit yourself in just the right way and avoid making a mistake in your positioning. Start where you are and as soon as possible because a book is the game changer.

We’ve seen it happen for so many people. They publish a book and voila! They are the new expert!

It’s your turn now.

We know how important having a book is and we’re here to help. Contact us with any questions.