Have you ever read and online article and thought, “Man, that was pretty good!”?
(If not… you need new blogs to read.)
But me… when I read a great article, my first thought is… Who wrote this? And there’s just one place to look. The author bio.
Now, those bios can be the defining point for authors. They can mean the difference of gaining an avid follower or losing a potential reader. Some writers fail to see the importance of these. They may believe that only the writing counts.
However, the majority of these writers aren’t Stephen King. They are not household names whose name carries the weight of their career. But heck, even Mr. King understands the importance of a good author bio. If he didn’t, why would he have an author bio on each of his novels and an “About the Author” page on his website?
So how can you build an author bio that would make you (and Stephen King) proud? Follow these simple tips to be on your way to a successful author bio.
When writing your author bio, remember to KISS–no, not your grandma, but I’m sure she would appreciate it.
KISS stands for Keep It Short and Sweet. You see, your author bio doesn’t need to be a full biography. It needs to be well-crafted and to the point. No need to tell your life story. Save that for another book.
Your author bio is a perfect place to list some of your personal achievements and accomplishments. The key word here is some. Save excessive sharing for your author social media, where an algorithm will stop it from annoying too many people!
You don’t want to sound too ostentatious, but a little bio boasting here isn’t too terrible. The real trick is to do so while showing humility and modesty.
Write In The Third Person
Here’s the deal. I know you will write your own author bio. Your reader will know you wrote it. Everyone will know you wrote it. But that’s not the point.
By writing in the third person, you will sound much more professional. It gives an additional flair of credibility to your bio as well. Not to mention all that bragging you did in the tip above… a third person viewpoint will help to mitigate some of that unavoidable pomp from earlier.
Hopes and Dreams
It’s not a bad idea to sprinkle in some hopes and dreams of yours. But be careful. Not all of your hopes and dreams are good author bio material.
For instance, stating a quirky bucket list goal could be a nice addition. Like saying you’ve always dreamed of going to the moon when writing a space novel could work. But saying you’ve always dreamed of heading to Ireland after writing a travel guide to Dublin… not such a great idea.
Speaking of dreams… nobody really wants to hear that you have been dreaming of being a writer your whole life. I mean it’s awesome that you’re out here living the dream. Seriously. Most people don’t get that opportunity. But unless you are writing an autobiography…don’t bring it up.
Nail Your Opening Statement
Your opening statement should really grab your reader’s attention. This is the most important part of your author bio. If after reading your first sentence and the reader leaves, everything else in your bio goes to waste.
I really like this statement from Robin Perini, author of Forgotten Secrets. She starts her author bio with:
“Internationally bestselling and award-winning author Robin Perini is devoted to giving her readers fast-paced, high-stakes adventures with a love story sure to melt their hearts.”
Starting with some simply-stated accolades and finishing with some great descriptive language, Robin grabs hold of the reader’s attention and doesn’t let go. This is a perfect example of what to do and how to do it.
Don’t Let Them Leave Empty Handed
Let’s say you’ve written the perfect author bio. You hooked the reader with your opening statement. Kept them occupied with witty banter and interested with mentions of your accomplishments. So what’s next?
Don’t let your readers leave without getting your contact information. This info could include your social media accounts or a dedicated email for readers and potential clients. (I mean, how are they going to contact you otherwise?)
This is also a great place to mention any other works you have completed that the reader should check out. Your author bio is essentially your time to self-promote. So… go ahead and self-promote!
So, Now What?
With a little practice and by following these tips, you too can become a master of the author bio. This skill will prove to be invaluable if you choose to pursue a proper writing career. Remember your author bio doesn’t have to be a sloppy nightmare. It can be something that you really can appreciate and be proud of.