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  • Writer's pictureWendiFournier

Let's Talk Author Bios

Updated: May 23, 2022

Love it or hate it, writing a picture-perfect author bio is every bit as important as the writing pieces you produce. And as much as we’d like to scribble down a few fast and loose sentences about our lives, it takes a lot more thought than that to get it to stick.

Why? Because now more than ever, readers want to connect with their beloved authors in the same way you, as an author, want to connect with your readers. How you craft your author bio can be a deciding factor whether a reader buys your next book, or decides to even give you a try in the first place.

A good author bio is crucial because it helps readers get to know you beyond the pages of your books. Yes, your book is a great way to introduce yourself to your audience, but an author bio can set you apart, create a stronger following, and help you sell more books if done correctly.

But what goes into creating a power-packed author bio? Well, I’m so glad you asked! Here’s a list of a few must-dos writing tips I put together to help you nail that first impression.

1. Style matters.

2. Know your readers.

3. Stick to the facts.

4. Open the door to your background.

5. Let your personality shine.

6. Get personal.

First, consider how you want the world to perceive you. Your bio is your unique brand perfectly packaged with a crisp, shiny bow that will be everywhere you leave a footprint: your Amazon author page, your Goodreads page, your author about page, your book jacket, and so on.

Next to the gorgeous artwork on your book cover, your author bio is by far the next most important tool you can create to connect with your audience and establish credibility.

Let’s take a closer look at that list mentioned above.

Style matters. Every bio, no matter what platform it’s intended to be used on, should be written in third person. Use either your first or last name instead of “I” when referring to oneself.

Refrain from simply pasting a single bio for every application. Mix it up, buttercup! While a colorful and dynamic version for your website and Amazon page are highly encouraged, you may want to tone it down for that writing conference you’ve been invited to present at.

Take your time to exclusively craft each bio for its targeted purpose. The length and content of your bio depend on what application it will be used for, whether it be your website (more in-depth) or book jacket (3-5 sentences) or submission letter (3-5 sentences).

Keep your eye on the target. As interesting as your world might be, readers don’t need to know your whole life story. Skip the part about the time in 8th grade when cute boy Dylan broke your heart between science and math period.

Know your readers. Think of your bio as a bridge connecting your story to you, and there’s no better way to do that than to know your readers. A good way to understand your following is to interact with them, especially on social media. Read their feedback, comments, and questions. What are their interests, views, and passions? How do they resonate with you and your story?

After you’ve created your first draft, run it by those close to you to see if your bio is a true representation of who you are, and make adjustments as needed.

Stick to the facts. Once you lose credibility, it will be a whole lot easier to move mountains than to polish a tarnished image. Be honest. Be you. You’re an amazing writer so leave the fluff on the editing floor. Better yet, don’t let it find its way onto your page in the first place. You’d be surprised how easily people can sniff out deceit and waste no time calling you out on it.

Is it okay to toot your own horn? Of course! But be selective and only include the most relevant accolades. You can save the entire list of awards you’ve ever won for that special page on your website.

Remember, trust breeds trust, and you’ll come out farther ahead if you’re genuine right out of the gate.

Open the door to your background. If you’ve written other book titles please do list them, but try to limit it to three. Let your readers know what countries they’ve been published in and the number of copies sold if worth mentioning.

Include your related field of study if you have one. For instance, if you write historical fiction and you have a degree in history, that is worth mentioning. Include any successful blogs or Podcasts or YouTube channels you’ve created, and your most important literary memberships.

Whatever you decide to use, be selective. Remember you can boast a well-groomed list of all your accomplishments for your fanboys and girls (and your mom) to gush over on your author website.

Let your personality shine. One of the coolest things about being a writer is that our beliefs and passions and views bleed into our stories. If a potential reader likes you from your bio, they are likely to connect with your creative writing too.

Don’t be afraid to rev up your tone and add a little spice. Get creative and silly with how you describe yourself. For instance, you don’t just enjoy drinking cups of coffee—you enjoy heaping doses of potent caffeine!

If you struggle on this personal part, ask your friends and family members what the most interesting thing about you is.

Get personal. Provide a bit of personal information about you to give your audience a reason to connect with you. Think about your best friend in high school. You became friends for a good reason–you have a commonality that bonds you together. Give your potential readers the same opportunity.

Share what city or town you hail from, your hobbies, interests, and family make-up. I’m a huge University of Michigan fan and have no problem chanting “Go Blue!” every chance I get. Love the Wolverines or hate them, this piece of info gives readers something to connect (or heckle) me with.

Above all else, craft an author bio that is unique because you are unique. No two bios are alike (for good reason) and there is no supercharged formula to abide by. What I’ve offered here are tips that have brought me success with my author bio.

But don’t just take my word for it! To learn more about crafting your author bio, check out this clip by fellow YA fantasy author and all-around good human, Natalia Leigh.

Now get off that starting line and burn some rubber!


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