Your Online Author Profile: Getting Started
- This profile is on a public website and can be seen by organisers, authors and audiences.
- It is up to you to keep your profile up to date.
- You should only list the contact details you are comfortable sharing with the public.
Here are some of the main things to consider when you are writing your profile.
Organisers are reading this profile in order to see if they want to invite you into their space to meet and work with their audiences.
Tip: Write in the first person and, if possible, try to give a sense of your own voice. If an organiser feels like they have a sense of who you are, they will find it easier to send you an email and you are more likely to get bookings.
Tip 2: Let people know who they're getting in touch with by including a photo of yourself on the database. For tips on how to take a good author photo, check out our blog here.
Know your audience
Ask yourself why people are reading your profile. People want to know what kind of session you can do, whether you could work with their audience, and how to get in touch with you.
Tip: Don’t assume organisers will know everything that you can do or have time to research you in depth before booking a session. Have you said you can give readings and lead workshops? Have you listed a few topics you could theme a workshop around and who they would be suitable for? Do you have any workshops you run regularly you could use as an example?
Tip 2: Our database has a keyword search function. If an organiser is looking for an author with particular knowledge, they may use this, e.g. by searching for ‘WW2’.
Make it manageable
How often do you have time to check if your online profiles are up to date? Try not to phrase your profile in a way that will make it look dated straight away and creates extra work for you, e.g. ‘my new novel, published next month...’
Tip: If you don’t want to update multiple websites, condense the information and send people to your platform of choice e.g. ‘Find out what I’m working on right now at my website.’
Tip 2: Check out this blog by Miss Write about keeping your social media presence manageable.
Make it comfortable
Decide your boundaries and stick to them. If you would rather not link to a platform where you engage with friends, not audiences (eg, a personal Twitter account), then do not link to it.
Tip: We do not recommend putting your home address on the website. Scottish Book Trust needs to have your postal address on file but it doesn’t need to be on the website. If you do not want to include a phone number or postal address, you can just list your email. Most people will make initial enquiries by email.
Frequently asked questions about online profiles
How do I update my profile and contact details?
Send your updates to firstname.lastname@example.org. As we are moving to a new website, with new profiles, we are currently only able to update factual inaccuracies on the current website.
Do I need a disclosure to carry out Live Literature sessions?
No. Organisations supported by Live Literature should always have appropriate supervision in place if the audience will contain children and vulnerable adults. If you have any concerns about this before attending an event, Scottish Book Trust can speak to the organiser on your behalf. Disclosure checks are commonplace in some types of organisation and organisers might think you need one, but this is not the case. If you need advice about disclosures or public liability insurance, please contact the Society of Authors or the Cultural Enterprise Office.
Can I be registered to carry out Live Literature events if I am leaving Scotland?
You will no longer be eligible for the Live Literature database as authors must live and work in Scotland. Please let us know and we will take you off the database at the appropriate time. If you will be living in Scotland for part of the year, and you would like to remain listed for events, get in touch with us and outline your availability. Authors who live in Scotland for some of the year may remain on the database at the discretion of Scottish Book Trust and Creative Scotland.