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A little introduction - Tips for writing a short author bio

When a reader picks up a book, invariably they’ll want to know a little about who wrote it and whether they’re a good writer, this is where your author bio comes in to play. Your bio gives your book credibility, as well as promotes you as an author. Here are some tips on what to include to get the best out of your bio.

You would be forgiven for thinking that the author bio is just a little bit of fluff that authors put in their books for the sake of it, because a lot of them do. You could tell readers about your love for your three dogs, and how you live in the rolling hills of Hampshire, or even that you enjoy baking cakes on a Wednesday. Unless any of this is relevant, you’re missing a great opportunity.

What your author bio should do for you

  • Promote you - If writing was like another business, you would be the brand and your books would be your products. Like any other company, you need to promote your brand.
  • Promote your career - You might have other published books out there.
  • Promote other things you are doing - More focused toward non-fiction books like self-help, cookery books, etc, you could have other things that you’re doing that link in with your book.

What should you include in your bio to get the best out of it?

Who are you?

This isn’t as obvious as it might seem. You clearly need to start off with who you are, but don’t leave it as just your name, you need to qualify yourself. Things to consider:

  • How long have you been writing?
  • How many books have you written?
  • What makes you qualified to write the book?

For non-fiction this should be reasonably easy because you can list actual qualifications, if you’re the founder/owner of a company, the years you’ve been in business, any related work you do.

For fiction, you need to mention other books that you’ve written or any short stories that have been published, establish that you’re a successful author. Being a success isn’t just measured by published work, so don’t worry if you’re a new author, think about what you feel is a relevant accomplishment.

However, if you haven’t been published before, don’t be embarrassed, but don’t make a big deal of it. Everyone has to publish their debut work, but pleading with your readers to help make your dreams come true, it won’t instil confidence in your reader. Remember to be professional.

Here are some examples:

  • Sam Smith has been writing short stories and novels for ten years.
  • Sam Smith is the award-winning author of Great Story.
  • Sam Smith has written ten award-winning books.
  • Sam Smith published his first novel in 2005.
  • Sam Smith is a leading expert in health and fitness.
  • Sam Smith is the CEO of Great Company Ltd, the country’s leading provider of relevant business solutions.

Mix them up, play around, combine different things to make a sentence that applies specifically to you.

What are your awards?

Once you’ve established who you are, you need to blow your own trumpet and list any awards that you have won, or that you’ve been associated with. You should also list any relevant credentials or qualifications you have, or where you’ve been featured in various media.

Examples:

  • He was nominated for the prestigious 2015 Writing Award.
  • She won the Best Fiction award in 2015 for her book Great Story.
  • His book, Great Story, has received glowing reviews from the Times, Post, and Herald.
  • She has worked with many major companies, including Global Business, Company Inc, and Industry Ltd.
  • He has been published in various major journals and magazines, including Writing Weekly, Sci-Fi Monthly, and Romance Magazine.

Get personal

Now’s the time to mention a personal detail if you’d like. You could include something like where you live, your partner, mention your children, or yes, you cold mention your pets.

A few more things to consider:

  • Write it objectively. It’s not a message from you to your readers, but a short
  • Keep your short bio under 100 words.
  • Your longer bio should be included in the back matter of your book.
  • Keep it relevant to the book. Tailor your short bio depending on the piece and where it’s published.
  • Include your website address.

Your short author bio will be used across various media, including your book, author profile on sites like Amazon, articles about you, and elsewhere. It’s important to get it right so that you give the best impression.

Let us know what you include in your author bio below, and be sure to sign up to our newsletter which includes tips and tricks, and special offers for our services, including ready-made book covers and designs, eBook formatting, and promotional tools.

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