Writing a bio can be a tricky part of your marketing process as an author. Many people judge a book by its cover, so your author bio can make your readers decide whether to purchase your book or not. That’s why you have to ensure your bio is attractive to your audience.
Many authors shy away from writing their bio and pay professionals to do it. But it’s not as difficult as it seems. With some guidance, you can write your author bio.
This article will give you the guidelines you need to write an attractive author bio. Keep reading to get more details.
What Is An Author Bio?
An author bio is a short story about you as an author. It gives you room to tell your audience who you are. Most writers avoid doing it themselves, but you shouldn’t take it lightly. That’s because it affects your marketing efforts, sales, and reputation.
Furthermore, your bio is like a mini-story and should be a reflection of your book. For instance, a humorous book should go with a biography that has humor.
It also presents you as an authority in your field or subject. Your bio is an opportunity to sell yourself. It allows your readers to know who you are and why they should buy your book.
How To Write An Author Bio
The following steps will help you write a good author bio that’ll impress your readers.
Step#1: Write in the third person
When you write your bio in the third person, it makes it seem as though you’re writing about someone else, and that’s professional. If you write from any other point of view, your bio will seem amateur and unprofessional.
Writing in the third person also helps your bio not to seem out of place when you brag. After all, someone else is talking about you.
Step#2: Mention your credentials
It’s essential to include your credentials at the top spot of your bio. Include certificates that show you are credible in the subject you’re writing on.
You can also mention your educational degrees, but be specific only when it relates to the book. For instance, if you have a Degree in Nutrition and are writing a book on diet, it’s a good credential.
However, if you don’t have credentials that suit the subject or genre you’re writing on, don’t make anything up. Instead, put more effort into other parts of your bio.
Step#3: Write your most outstanding achievements
Your achievements should come after your credentials. It can also be an excellent way to show off, especially if you don’t have related credentials. Remember that your bio shows your readers why they should listen to you.
But don’t go overboard when you mention your achievements. Be careful not to write about irrelevant things. Write what matters to your readers. You can write your interests and passions. You can also include your hobbies if they’re relevant to the subject.
Step#4: Add your previous books
If you have a book that’s published, you can write that. Write the title in italics and not quotation marks. Then you can add the publisher and year published in parentheses. Also, specify if you’re a bestselling author.
You can also include relevant awards you received. You’re free to update your bio as you acquire more accolades. However, aim to be brief as you do so.
It can help to add your author’s website or page to promote your brand. But be careful not to overdo it or appear too salesy. So, make it simple with an excellent call to action. You can add this part at the end of your bio.
Step#5: Mention some important names
If you include some well-known names the right way, it can boost your bio. It can be helpful, especially if you’re not a known author. Get a known or renowned author in your genre to comment on your book.
It’s a way to boost your credential with the renowned author’s reputation. For instance, you can write, “The man Jack Roberts called “the writer whose words captivate your mind” explains what it takes….”
You show your ability if you drop the name of well-known people you’ve worked with before. Ensure that it’s relevant to your work, else leave that out.
Step#6: Don’t leave out anything important
Make sure you don’t leave out anything important, especially when it relates to your subject. But excitingly present everything. Be careful not to sound arrogant, and don’t brag too much. You can add your location at the end of the bio.
Ensure you don’t exaggerate your accomplishments. You don’t want to bore your readers with exaggerations and unnecessary details.
Step#7: Keep it short
Your bio shouldn’t be too long. If you notice that it’s too long, cut down unnecessary details. It may discourage your readers from going through your bio. A word count of about 250 words or less is okay, especially if it’s going at the back of a printed book.
Generally, your bio should be as long as you can hold your reader’s attention. Since people have a short attention span, it’s best to be concise. Writing only essential things will help you maintain it.
Step#8: Check out the bios of other authors
Look at other bios that are in your field or genre. Pick out authors that are in a similar level or stage as you. You can check blogs or any other place you’ll find writers at your level.
Furthermore, you can search online or bookshelves for the bios of other authors in your genre. It’ll help you structure your biography better as it relates to your genre. You’ll also be able to write your bio in different patterns.
Step#9: Write three versions of your bio
Your bio should be in three versions. They include brief, medium, and extended biography. All of them serve various platforms and media. The brief bio is short and is suitable for social media or radio interviews. It’s also useful for other media platforms that allow only limited characters.
The medium-length bio is more than a brief bio. It can serve as marketing material for selling your book or for guest websites.
The extended biography is the longest and is suitable for proposals, interviews, and your website. You can use it for your Goodreads author profile.
Step#10: Edit and proofread
Like your book, your bio requires editing and proofreading. You don’t want it to contain errors, as you may come off as less credible. Do a thorough spell check and grammar check. Also, ensure you proofread it. You can ask your friends to read your bio and give you feedback.
It’ll help if you read it aloud; you’ll know how it sounds and adjust anything that says out of place.
Step#11: Include a professional photo
Get a good photographer to take a professional photo of you. Once you have a perfect shot, you can use it for your book’s jacket. You can also use it on your website and social media.
An author photo is a critical part of your brand, so put in great effort to make it perfect.
Step#12: Continuously rewrite your bio
Bear in mind that as your credentials and career advances, your bio continues to change. That’s why you have to keep rewriting and adding more relevant credentials or accomplishments.
How To Write A Bio For An Unpublished Author
As an unpublished author, you’ll need an author bio to submit manuscripts to publishers or share your work online. Here are some steps to write one.
Step#1: Describe yourself the right way
If you’re not a published author, describe yourself as a freelance writer in your bio. Don’t make the mistake of depicting yourself as a novelist.
Step#2: Write in the third person
Even though you’re not a published author, you should be professional when writing your bio. It helps you to appear as a separate personality from the writer or author.
Step#3: Write relevant accomplishments
Add accomplishments that are relevant to your genre. It should be able to give you credibility. Some examples include work experience, education, press credits, and so on. You can also mention your writing group if you belong to one. Don’t write that it’s your first book, even if it is.
If you don’t have any exciting accomplishments, then add something personal and compelling.
Step#4: Show off your genre
Let your bio reflect your genre. If it’s non-fiction, work on the credibility as much as you can. Furthermore, if it’s a young adult novel, let it be funny and less formal.
You can also mention your social media page or blog at the end of your bio.
Step#5: Be brief
Since you don’t have much to show off, it’s best to keep it brief. Your bio should be shorter than that of an author with awards. So, don’t bore your readers with anything that’s not interesting. Because it’s brief, you can use it for social media, book publication, and website.
Step#6: Edit and proofread
Ensure you edit your work thoroughly. Don’t let the publisher or online audience look down on your book due to errors in your bio. After you edit, proofread and revise it. Ask your friend to go through it for extra corrections.
It would be best if you got your author bio right. It’s usually the only information your readers get about you and your book. So put in the effort to bring out a great piece.
Finally, constantly rewriting your bio will help it get better over time. Now, go ahead and write your biography.