An important consideration for every new author is to compose a succinct author bio in order to publicise themselves and their book. By having a well-written bio (plus a high-res head-shot photograph), an author can build ‘brand awareness’ with their reading audience via such places as on the back cover of their book, their author website/blog, Facebook and other social media sites, or when appearing as a guest blogger. The purpose of an author bio is to give your readers an idea about who you are and what your book is about.
Tips for writing a great author bio
Writing an author bio can be daunting, especially for new authors, so here are a few tips to help you draft a winner bio:
It is a good idea to create several author bios of different lengths for different media. You can use the longer version on your personal website or blog, or for author pages on Amazon or Goodreads. In contrast, you will need to use a shorter bio for the back cover of your book(s) or for guest appearances on other writing blogs. Typically, your shorter bio should be between 75–100 words (give or take about 10 words).
Limit listing all your accomplishments
When writing your author bio, you don’t need list every job you’ve done or every course you’ve undertaken. Focus on a few key accomplishments (no more than three) to highlight. Also, don’t list every book you have written. It is preferable to provide contact details (in particular, your website address) so your reading audience can find out more about you and your other books and accomplishments.
Keep it updated
Don’t forget to update your author bio as your writing career progresses. As you grow and mature as a writer, your bio should reflect these changes. And while updating your bio, make sure you include a recent photo of yourself – not your dog or your book cover! (This holds true especially for Twitter.) Readers want to be able to relate to you and to picture you as a real person.
An author bio is like your business card. It should provide readers with a way of getting in touch with you. Your contact details should appear at the end of your author bio. You can use your Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ or email address as your contact info or simply provide your web address.
If you don’t give readers some way to contact you, then you have missed an opportunity to interact with a fan (and hopefully for them to provide positive feedback about your book!). Interaction is vital to success in today’s high-tech world, even if it is just virtual interaction.
Important considerations when composing your author bio
Some dos and don’ts to consider when writing your author bio:
- It should always be written in third person.
- Keep the information relative to who will be viewing it and tailor it to that audience.
- Don’t include resume style information such as your educational background and job history as this tends to be boring unless it’s relevant to the book you are promoting. (On the other hand, these details could be key if you are writing a non-fiction book and want to establish yourself as an expert.)
- Include biographical information such as marital status, number of children, pets or hobbies as these show you are a ‘normal’ person and help readers to relate to you.