Your author bio can, in some cases, encourage someone to pick up your book and read it instead of the one next to it on the shelf. But writing an author bio isn’t necessarily as simple as writing an “about me” page. It’s important to consider not only what you want to present, but how you want to present it in terms of a brand strategy (and yes, when you become a writer, you are a brand).
These tips to consider when writing your author bio can help you strengthen it and make it stand out, so that you’re setting yourself up for as much success as possible.
1. Write a few different versions
You should have a longer version for your website and media kits, a shorter version for other marketing material, and an even shorter one to introduce yourself on social media. You should also craft a few different pieces and try out different tones before you settle on a final copy. (You can even splice the best parts of each version together!)
2. Use third person
A first-person bio automatically evokes skepticism, regardless of how humble and modest you are. A person writing a summary of themselves is not nearly as reliable as a third party writing about said person. Even though people will likely know it’s you writing your bio, a third person bio reads more comfortably and professionally.
3. Keep it short
A reasonably-sized paragraph (about 250-300 words) is really what you should be aiming for (not a whole second book about your life). Brevity is the soul of wit (and also of holding your audience’s attention).
4. Focus on your writing
Start by writing about your work – cater to your genre and make people interested in what you have to say. Leave your birthday and the names of your kids for the end of the bio (not that personal touches aren’t important, because they are. But writing a bio is a bit like writing a news story – the most important, relevant information should come first).
5. Reference any relevant awards and credentials
Awards that pertain to your writing are normally relevant (though if you have a lot of them and some are old, you only need reference the newer ones). And if you’re writing a non-fiction book, your credentials in the subject you’ve written about are also great facts to include in your bio.
6. Edit your bio periodically as your career moves forward
Treat your bio like it’s your specialized resume – keep it updated with the most recent, relevant information for the book you’re publishing.
7. Don’t be afraid to add a creative touch
Author bios are important, but that doesn’t mean they need to be boring! As a writer, you are no doubt familiar with expressing things in your own unique, interesting way, and you shouldn’t shy away from that on your bio any more than you would in your writing itself.