This post is the sixty-first post in a series about writing a novel. You can check out the list of past topics at the end of this post.
Every author needs an author bio, whether it is for their back matter in their book, their web page, Facebook, author page or when appearing as a guest blogger. The purpose of an author bio is to give readers a clue about who you are and what you are about.
Here are a few tips for drafting your author bio.
I suggest you create two bios. You can use a longer one on your website or author pages on Amazon or Goodreads, but you will need a shorter one for your books or for appearing on other blogs. Typically, your shorter bio should be about 75 words (give or take about 10 words).
Limit your accomplishments
When writing your bio, don’t list every book or award you have ever won. Focus on a few accomplishments (no more than three) to highlight. If you have written only a book or two, you can list them but once you have a list of books, you don’t need to list each one.
Keep it updated
Don’t forget to update your bios as you continue writing. If you are using the same one as when you first became published, you probably need to change it from saying you finished your first book to you are now on book seven. (This is what makes Draft2Digital so awesome. With one click you can update the bio in all your books published through them.)
An author bio is like your business card. It should provide readers with a way to contact you. The contact information should appear at the end. You can use your Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or email address as your contact info or simply provide your web address.
If you don’t give readers some way to contact you, then you have missed an opportunity to interact with a fan and interaction means everything in today’s high-tech world, even if it is just virtual interaction.
A few other dos and don’ts
- An author bio should always be written in third person.
- Keep the information relative to who will be viewing it and tailor it to that audience.
- Don’t include “resume” type information such as education and job history, which tends to be boring unless they are relevant to the book you are promoting. (This could be key if you are writing a non-fiction book and want to establish yourself as an expert.)
- Include biographical information such as marital status, number of children, pets or hobbies as these items show you are a normal person and can help readers relate to you.
As with your author bio, you want to take some time and find the best author photo. If you are serious about being an author, you need to think of writing as your business. If you want people to take you seriously, invest in the time to find a good, professional-looking photo.
This means don’t use the fuzzy photo taken of you at the last picnic or use one where you have cropped out your honey’s arms around you. You don’t need one of you with your cat or your kids (unless you are known for writing about these topics.)
Now this doesn’t mean you need to hire a professional photographer or go down to a studio for pictures. In fact, studio pictures may be too formal for your author photo. You can opt to do the photo yourself (or with the help of a friend). There are many websites that can help you with setting, poses or clothing.
It is a good idea to use the same photo everywhere, so you can build face recognition. But you may need to crop the photo depending on the use – a tighter crop for Twitter while using a wider shot for Facebook or your own website.
Whatever photo you decide to use – formal, fun, serious, or happy – just make sure it projects the image you want to convey as an author.
#45 – Pricing your e-book
#50 – Marketing your E-book