As writers, we could spend days at a time talking all about the characters in our books (trust us, even our friends can attest to this). But when it comes to talking about ourselves, we often come up empty. This makes writing an Author Bio for our books a nearly inconceivable task. We’ll spend hours combing through our favorite authors’ bios trying to understand the not-so-uniform formula that everyone seems to get except us. Rather than overthink something that is actually very simple, here are some tips on how to pen your author bio the write way:
1) Always write in third person.
Though you’ll be the one writing it, your bio shouldn’t be written in first person. It should always read, “John has experience with…” as opposed to, “I have experience with…” Readers need to feel like this biography is being presented to them in an unbiased and factual manner…and that can’t come from you directly.
The main goal of your author bio is to build your credibility. This involves listing factual statements regarding your credentials- especially in regard to the subject matter of your book. So if you wrote a health and fitness book, listing off any certificates, degrees, or training in that area will help readers know that you’re someone that knows what they’re talking about. If you don’t have credentials specific to your book genre (if you wrote a fantasy book, an autobiography, etc.), focus on building up your credentials as a writer. List any degrees, job experience, positive reviews, etc., that would prove to readers that you’re experienced.
3) Mention your website and any books you’ve previously published.
Make sure you always list off your website and any books you’ve previously published. If you have a previous book that was successful in any capacity, list its achievements as well. If it made it onto a bestsellers list or was reviewed by any author or outlet of importance, mention this as well. Don’t be afraid to namedrop a little, if a source that a reader trusts liked your book then the reader is more likely to buy it. Just make sure you don’t go overboard with the name dropping, that will clutter your bio and seem braggy. Also, make sure you include your author website (if you have one) so readers who like your book can follow you in your future endeavors.
4) Keep it short.
Make sure you always keep an author bio short and sweet. This isn’t the time or place to show off your writing prowess or creativity- that was what both your book and your back ad were for. This should solely consist of short factual statements regarding your credentials and accomplishments. Think of your Author Bio like your resume for being an author- lose the flowery language and stick to the facts.