An author bio can and should encourage a reader to pick up your book and read it. A poorly written bio might discourage a reader from taking that step, so it’s important to put some thought into writing an author bio. The exercise of writing a bio is a lesson in being comfortable writing about yourself. It might not be an easy exercise, especially if you are branding yourself as an expert in the subject matter your book is about.  Authors should embrace this challenge and think about what’s important for their readers to learn about them. With some practice, it should all fall into place.

8 Tips for Writing an Author Bio

  • Write it in the third person- Writing your bio in the third person reads better and comes across more professional. Even though most readers will know you had something to do with writing your own bio, writing it in the third person feels better talking about your accomplishments.

author bio

  • Keep it short- You have seconds to captivate your audience and should focus on the most relevant information first. Use your judgment when it comes to how long your bio should be. Too short and it might come across as you just threw it together. Too long and you’ll lose your audience.  You will know when it’s just right!
  • Write multiple versions- It’s best to have a few different bios for different applications. Create a short version for social media and your ‘elevator pitch’, a mid-size version for blog articles, and a longer one for the media.
  • Update your bio as you update your skills- It’s not unusual to rewrite your bio dozens of times throughout your career. As your skills advance so should your bio. Add things that are relevant and remove things that don’t serve you anymore.
  • Your bio is NOT about YOU! – Readers are the ones who care about your bio. Write it with them in mind!
  • Your bio should establish credibility- As an author you should include information about why you are qualified to be writing on the topic. If your advanced academic degrees are relevant to your work, list them toward the end of the bio. If you have received any recent awards that are relevant, list those as well.
  • Only use a high quality author photo- Your author photo should compliment your well written bio, not confuse people. Only use professional or well shot photos where the image and style represents you best. Think of the audience that will be looking at your work and decide what photo would be appropriate.
  • Get ideas from others- There is nothing wrong with looking at a bunch of bios on the internet to get ideas of how yours could read.

Once you’re done with the bio it’s always a good idea to have some friends or colleagues read it and give you honest feedback. Writing an author bio for the first time should be the most challenging. You will most likely re-write your bio several times within the first year and more throughout your career. Feel free to comment on this article and share it with other authors.

 

Rick Lite of Stress Free Book Marketing, stands at the forefront of the ever changing book industry. He is a seasoned book marketing professional with over 13 years of experience in the industry. Rick’s expertise comes from tirelessly working on new and innovative ways to market his own books and CDs with his company and parent company, Stress Free Kids. Embracing the core values of integrity, innovation and growth, Rick works closely with authors to create custom, robust book marketing programs. His easy-going manner provides “stress-free” support and comfort to authors going through the book marketing process for the first time. Rick is quick to share his knowledge and “insider tips” for a successful marketing campaign that will lead to increased exposure, awareness and most importantly, sales.

 

4 Comments

  1. Ralph Meyers says:

    Rick, Should I have several versions of my bio? I feel that when I’m forced to use my shorter one, it’s not enough information. I find myself taking bits and pieces of the bio and rewriting it instead of having one coherent one. Love to get your thoughts. Very informative!

  2. web28mkt says:

    Absolutely. You will need different versions for different applications so it’s a good idea to have 2 or 3. Keep in mind you should revise it as time goes on and you develop more skills in your tool belt. Thanks for the comment. Rick

  3. Hey Rick don’t you think using third person in a bio will give an impression that we have hired someone to brag about ourselves. It becomes very wierd when the complete article is in first person and the bio is in third person. What’s your opinion on that?

    • web28mkt says:

      Mirian, That’s a great point to think about. As the topic expert, an author has the credibility to boast a bit. Plus your choice would be bragging about yourself in the first person (which seems more awkward) or in the 3rd, which is more acceptable and widely used. This is a great question so thanks for sharing.

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