Book Country members are writers who come from all corners of the globe and all walks of life. They write in over sixty literary categories. Some are writing series of epic novels; others are perfecting each word of a short story. Lots of us are new to writing; on the other hand, many members draw from years of writing experience.
I also know that, like me, niclf loves JANE EYRE, and I know that she’s a Brit teaching English abroad. I know that DCLabs (hailing from Canada) works in IT and loves Fantasy and Historical Romance. I know Leonardo Ramirez is the author of Young Adult Steampunk and Science Fiction novels who’s favorite books are THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS and STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND. Angela Donnell, whose book SYZYGY is an Editor’s Pick this month on Book Country, is a graphic artist who is learning Japanese.
How do I know so much about our members?
Because they’ve filled out their Book Country profile! And so should you.
Here’s a quick list of the top five things you want to make sure to have in your profile:
- A photo. The photo helps members relate to you, and reminds them that a real person wrote this book, which translates into better feedback.
- A short bio. I love reading these, especially the quirky ones. Tell the community a little about your day-to-day life, whether you are a student, a stay-at-home parent, a full-time writer, or a corporate CEO. That helps us get to know you and gives us a sense of how writing fits into your life.
- A good description of yourself as a reader and a writer. This is a great spot to tell us more about where your writing falls on the genre map, and what your writing goals are. If you have published your writing or won awards, tell us that as well. You can get even more specific about your reading habits by choosing your favorite books, authors, and genres from the drop-down choices (we’ll get to that below).
- Your location. In the same way that this is one of the first things you’d find out about a co-worker or someone you meet at a cocktail party, learning where a Book Country member is from helps break the ice and bond the community despite the great distances between us.
- A name! This one is more complicated than it might seem. Some folks write under a pen name, others have an online screen name that they use across their social media channels, and see it as a part of their identity. For Book Country, I recommend choosing a display name that reflects how you want to be known as a writer, and something that is easy for other members to remember so that they can find you and your books when they use the search tool.
Now that I’ve been a Book Country member for a few months, I have a better sense of how I want to present myself to other Book Country members. So I decided to give my profile a makeover. Here’s how I did it:
From the logged-in homepage, go to “My Profile” via the Connect tab:
Go to the gray “Edit My Profile” Button at the top right hand corner of your profile:
When you click on it, it will lead you to a screen that looks like this, where you can input profile information and choose your privacy and messaging settings:
The “Before” Picture:
I’m doing okay in that I have a picture and am using my real name (the same name I use for all my writing). I’m also giving the community a good sense of the genres I like. But my bio is very short, and I don’t say anything more specific about what I like to read and write. Let’s fix that!
To my bio I add a little more about where I am from and the things I like to do. I make sure to keep the box next to it unchecked so that it will display on my profile. (Only check the boxes next to information that you do not want to display.)
Then I add more information about the things that I have written, what I’m working on now, and something about my long-term writing goals:
Then I scroll down to fill out my favorite authors, books, my e-reading preferences, and my Twitter handle. There are also spaces here for members to add their website and blog addresses. At the very bottom of the page is where you can choose your messaging settings: Check these boxes to sign up for the Book Country newsletter and subscribe to promotions. Toggle the drop-down to set your preference about whether or not other Book Country members can send you private messages on the site (We recommend checking all boxes and allowing private messages). Finally, click the blue “Save All” button and you’re finished!
The “After” Picture:
You might also like: How to Upload Your Book to Book Country.