How to Write an Author Bio

Thursday, November 16, 2017

You’ve got your book ready to go, but it’s time to consider the auxiliary writing you must do in order to support the publication of your masterpiece! Now that the writing is “done,” it is time to write your author bio.

Many writers struggle to figure out how to write an author bio for themselves. It can feel weirdly self-promotional to list out your strengths and accolades, but the person that knows your achievements best is almost certainly you. A good author bio introduces your potential reader to you and also helps search engines pull your author website more easily by using keyword-rich descriptions. Your bio can be witty or straightforwardly informational, and the tone you take will be informed by both your personality and the author brand you are building. A few key areas to include in the majority of author bios are: achievements, personal facts, education, and contact info.

Author Achievements

It’s likely your bio will include awards or achievements in relevant fields to the topic of your book. (This is especially important if you are backing up your authority to speak as an expert with a nonfiction title.) I say relevant because an overly enthusiastic inclusion of accolades could end up disjointed and confusing for readers. For example, the author of a book on fly-fishing does not likely need to say that he won the Great Chili Cook-off Award at the local Rotary Club. A Best Trout Catch might be a fun thing to include, though! Staying on theme will help your bio remain relevant to your readership.

Personal Information

Often, author bios include some personal information such as where the author lives (and who with), and maybe even a few hobbies he or she enjoys (especially if they are somehow of pertinence to your writing subject matter). Mentioning clubs or associations you are a member of is also an important piece of personal information that may cultivate additional professional credence. Our fly-fisher might have a line about where he prefers to fish, which will create connection points to local fishers in that area.

Educational Background

Sometimes, your educational history makes sense to include in your bio. If you attended a prestigious institute it’s probably worth mentioning—your yearlong stint at a community college is likely not the type of education you need to include.

Author Contact Information

The last piece of your author bio puzzle is your contact information. Making sure to list your author website, twitter handle, or other way for readers to find out more info about you is a vital part of building your author brand. Make sure you take advantage of this easy way to gain social media fans!

Example of an Author Bio

We have come this far, so let’s build a faux bio for our fly-fishing friend. I might write this for him:

Wade Troutson is a professional fly-fisherman, angler, and dedicated outdoor sportsman. He has been named a Master Angler for Region 4 of the U.S. every year since 2013 and most enjoys fishing for local varieties of his namesake in the Elk River. Wade is a member of the local Fisherman’s Club of Lynchburg where he resides with his wife and 3 dogs. Visit him at www.WadeTroutson.com to stay in touch.

If I wanted to include educational info (which doesn’t have high relevancy to this book or author), I might add a line such as, “Wade was previously an immigration law attorney and holds his law degree from Columbia University, though he much prefers schools of fish to classrooms full of lawyers.”

You’ll note that keywords that would help search engines that are in that bio are: fly-fisherman, outdoor, sportsman, Master Angler, Region 4, Elk River, and Fisherman’s Club.

Using these keywords is important because it increases the chance that someone’s random Google search for information about a topic related to you and your book might pull in your bio from your author website, Amazon etc. and lead this searcher to you. In your bio, make sure to use keywords that are very relevant to your field of interest and book genre to accomplish something similar to Troutson’s bio in terms of keyword relevancy for competent Search Engine Optimization.

Now that you’ve read about author bios, do you feel prepared to write your own?

 

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Sara Wigal

Sara Wigal has worked on the agent side, in publishing houses, and with private publicity firms, and brings her varied perspectives about all aspects of an author’s writing career to the team at JKS Communications as a Senior Publicist. A friend to writers both personally and professionally, she enjoys reading most genres and loves channeling her creativity to spread the news about each wonderful book she encounters. Authors are inspired by her ideas and high-octane energy!