In this article, you’ll find seven critical ways to make it so much easier for us to cover you. Now, none of these will guarantee that you’ll make it into the next issue. But these are best practices to help you get into all kinds of media. We’re going to go over…

  1. The 2020 Christian Fiction Readers Poll
  2. Be A VIP Author In The Christian Fiction Summer Special
  3. Your Author Website
  4. Your Author Information
  5. Your Book Information
  6. Your Essential Images
  7. Your Pre-Prepared Author Q&A



When FamilyFiction runs our Christian Fiction Readers Poll, we want LOTS of Christian readers to vote. You know what would help make that happen—you telling your readers to vote!

Here are three reasons you should promote the poll:

  • It helps other authors. Listen, this isn’t just about whether you feel good or bad about “promoting” yourself. Every voter is asked to tell us the names of five authors, so you’re helping four other authors who aren’t you. Why would you want to deprive those four authors of being voted for? (What did they ever do to you?)
  • It helps FamilyFiction. More voters means more Christian readers being introduced to FamilyFiction and joining our family of subscribers. Why don’t you want to introduce us to your people? (Are you embarrassed with us?)
  • In past polls, some authors only needed like 5 more votes to show up on the list or get a better placement. When we tabulated the votes in past polls, there have sometimes been authors who only missed making it onto the list by a few votes. For some slots, the difference between one author’s rank and another was maybe a dozen votes. Was that you? Does your author email list have five or more subscribers? Does your author Facebook page reach five or more followers? Are you telling me that if you had just sent out an email you would have made the list? (Or placed higher in the rankings?)


In any given month, we have like to have few available slots available to promote an author—but there are dozens of authors hoping to appear in one of those five slots. Want to move to the front of the line? Our Christian Fiction Summer Special is like a VIP pass that can get you in front of our readers.

Every year the June issue of FamilyFiction will be our Christian Fiction Summer Reading Special Edition is dedicated to Christian fiction of all types. Following the campaign, the issue will continue to be available on our website as a free download, and all content posted on the website will continue to be available as regular editorial content.

This special will be promoted for MONTHS in our email newsletter and on the website.

We are offering the opportunities for Authors to participate in this Special Edition issue with the following specially priced advertorial packages. Whether beginner, self-published author or long-time, bestselling author…there is a package that will fit your needs…

NOTE: In each tier, the authors will appear in the magazine in the order of purchase. The sooner you get on board, the better your placement in the magazine!

Check out the VIP packages here:



It’s this simple: You need an author website. This should be the center of your online presence—the hub that any other online profiles point back to.

It needs to be hosted at a unique custom URL that is either your name (or pen name) or possibly your distinct brand. The URL needs to be something that is relevant now and will continue to be relevant when you release future books. (So—your URL should not be a particular book title.)

When the FamilyFiction team is scrolling through upcoming Christian releases, we often look at an author’s website as part of determining whether and how to add that author to our website. This is important if we’re creating an author profile, and even more important if we’re going to try and interview you about your book.

When we come to your author website, maybe we’re researching whether you’re a good fit for the audience. Other times, we’re prepping for an interview or need some quick information about you for a blurb. There are also times we’re looking for information for the FamilyFiction online author database.

It’s shocking how often an author’s website doesn’t include basic information to help us promote them to our readers. We’re not talking about anything complicated. This isn’t about coding or website design—it’s about text, some links, and maybe a few PDF downloads. If you can write a book and you know your category, this stuff should be easy.


You should quickly clue in website visitors what you’re about. We want to know…

  • Who you are as an author
  • What you write
  • Why you write it
  • Who you write it for
  • What differentiates you from other authors in your space

You can introduce yourself and share some of your personality and your backstory. Somewhere in there, you might even choose to share personal information—about your hobbies, about your family and friends, about your vacations…

But remember that the most important information tells us why we should care about your books. Your pets and your educational background are only relevant if you write about pets, or write stories that draw on your educational background.

There are generally, three types of author bios:

    Your short bio should be one sentence that’s the most focused, most dynamic, most targeted, description of who you are as an author. It’s pared down to the essential facts. If a complete stranger reads just one sentence about you, you want it to be this one. This sentence shouldn’t include any irrelevant personal information. Don’t mention where you went to school or about your pets or hobbies if it isn’t related to what you write. Now, if you studied a relevant topic in school or won an award related to your topic, you can bring it up. But if you went to a cooking school or won an award for square dancing—and that’s just a fun fact—it doesn’t belong in this sentence.
    Your medium bio is about fifty words, or two-to-three sentences. Still focus on what’s relevant. This length description might work on your book jacket, or your social media profile. These fifty words are still focused on relevant details. Don’t share where you went to college, or about your pets, unless those details explain why you write in your genre or category. What are your qualifications to write this? Or what draws you to this genre or category? As with the short bio, if you earned a certain degree that’s related to your expertise—education, awards, if you were published somewhere—all those things go up front.
    The long bio is about a hundred words. You have some room for personal details, but it’s not an essay. It still needs to be compact, with all the relevant information up front. You can share about yourself or your family, but you still make sure that by the time I get to that point, I understand this is what you write this is why you write it. If you really have to tell me about your cat that thinks its people, OK, you can bring that up at the end. But only after you’ve shared all the relevant stuff.


  •  Write your author bios in the third person. These aren’t from you, they’re about you. They should read as if somebody else wrote them.
  • Stack the relevant information up front. How does this information reinforce why you of all people write this category? Explain to a complete stranger why you chose this category (or why this category chose you) and why you’re an authority in this field.


  • Don’t think you have a “bio” when you really have a folksy, rambling, drawn-out letter. It’s fine if you want to write a letter to readers. Just don’t confuse that with your official author bio.
  • Avoid time-sensitive information. You want your bios to be accurate for several months to a year. It’s OK to share that you’re married or about your children or pets–just don’t mention a specific number of years or specific ages. Don’t say your book is “new” or “upcoming,” because in a few weeks or months the reference will be dated.
  • Avoid including too many personal details that don’t explain you as a writer. You want relevance before personality. Yes, you can share personal details—but get through the relevant stuff first.


It’s always puzzling to me when I show up at an author’s website and there’s nothing about their most recent book. At the very least, you should have your book cover, a brief description of it, and then links so I can look at it on websites for booksellers and retailers.

You should also include quotations from reviews or endorsements for your writing. This helps with your credibility.

The media isn’t going to buy your book—don’t take it personally—but might click through to find other kinds of information. Not to mention, readers who come to your author website need to easily click over to where your book is available so they can buy it. Right?


Your author website should include two essential images…

  • an author photo that’s a simple headshot with lots of room around your head and shoulders
  • a simple book cover that’s just your flat book cover

Both need to be available in high resolution files. It might be tempting to try and get fancy with these, but trust me when I say that the simpler these are, the more likely they will work for the media.

The members of the media—including those of us at FamilyFiction—have very specific styles about how they present images. We need them to be certain sizes and shapes. When you damage your image with formatting or cropping it too closely, that makes us have to make tough choices or just not use the image at all.

You have the whole rest of your website to show visitors photos of you at that conference and to make a 3-D book cover with a halo effect. But the media will almost never use those.


In an ideal word, the FamilyFiction staff likes to send original questions for all our author interviews. But in the process of emailing out questions, sometimes interviews fall through the cracks. Sometimes it gets stuck in the publicists’ inbox. Sometimes the author fails to get back to us.

Which means sometimes we get to a certain part of the editorial cycle when we have a slot that’s still empty and it would be really handy if we had a pre-made Q&A interview in hand.

From your perspective, you should create a pre-made Q&A interview for a few reasons. First, members of the media may use it to help them prepare for an interview. They may pull quotes from it to complement their interview after the fact.

For some media, this Q&A may be all they need. They may copy-and-paste straight out of this document to quote it, remix it, repurpose it, or run it as-is for their readers.

In fact, there are examples where I read the Q&A with the intention of sending original questions—and I couldn’t come up with better questions than those already there. Other times, I’ve decided to use the Q&A document but wanted to supplement it with two or three original questions that I emailed to the author.

A well-made Author Q&A document can range anywhere from five questions to twenty questions. (Don’t go crazy.)

For FamilyFiction specifically, we run 10-questions interviews in the front of the magazine, and 5-question interviews in our department spotlights.

You want the pre-made interview to pique readers’ interest in your book. As such, it’s important that 80- to 100-percent of your pre-made interview is not about writing or publishing. Instead, you want to share the ideas in the book, what people can learn from or enjoy about the book, or about the experience readers get from your book. The bulk of the interview should be about what makes your book interesting, and why fans of your genre would want to read your book.

As an inspirational author, the questions can revolve around a general discussion of your genre, or around nonfiction topics related to your book. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  1. What makes this story unique among other stories of this type (your protagonist, the setting, whatever)
  2. Real-life events or experiences that inspired this story
  3. Why the period or setting of the novel was important
  4. Why this genre is important to you, personally
  5. Universal themes in your fiction to which anyone can relate—these can include ideas that are spiritual, psychological, social, political, or philosophical
  6. The challenges of touching on these themes in your fiction and still telling a compelling story
  7. What made your main character(s) intriguing enough to build a story around
  8. An interesting question about a type of character in your genre—heroes, villains, side characters, etc.
  9. Your unique spin on normal expectations for your genre
  10. The challenges or benefits of writing fiction as a Christian author

Do you write historical fiction?
Put in some questions about your research; what you were surprised to learn; and the challenges of balancing a made-up story that needs to line up with historical facts.

Do you write suspense?
Put in some questions about the challenges of writing about crimes and/or jeopardy as a Christian author; research or experience that helped you write about a character’s profession in law enforcement or whatever; what inspired you to write about this crime or this particular scenario.

Do you write Amish fiction?
Put in some questions about how you know to write accurately about that world; background info to help readers understand the story’s context; and what makes non-Amish readers so fascinated with the Amish.

Do you write fantasy or science fiction?
Put in some questions about the challenges to world-building or keeping a fantastical story grounded in biblical truth.

Do you write romances?
Put in some questions about your favorite kinds of leading lady and leading men, or the benefits of writing abut love from a Christian perspective.

Do you write for younger readers?
Put in some questions about the unique challenges of writing for that age group, or the about the best ways for parents and youth workers to engage with younger readers.

These questions should dig deeper into your category or your story or this topic. The Q&A answers should sound conversational and work as standalone quotes that can be cherry-picked. Make sure that your answers aren’t “writerly.” Try to sound like yourself as if you were talking.

Some ideas to help your answers sound conversational:

  • Write out your answers to these questions, read them out loud, and edit them to sound more natural. (MS Word has a function that allows the computer to read it back to you aloud.)
  • Record your answers into a free program like Audacity, then play it back to hear what it sounds like. Make a transcript.
  • Team up with another author. Interview each other through email or record your conversation through a free video chat program like Zoom. Edit your email answers or transcribe the recording.

There you have it! Seven simple things you can do to help us share your Christian fiction book with more readers. When you make it easier for us–or, for that matter, make it easier for any media to cover you–it significantly raises the odds that more people will find out about your book.