We all know the old adage, ‘Never judge a book by its cover’. But here’s what many people don’t easily realize: it is often the back of the book or the end of an article that truly captures potential readers. While a pretty cover can grab anyone’s attention in an instant, it is usually what’s written on the author bio that compels them to actually flip through the pages.
An author bio is also a great place for online writers to build a connection with their intended audience. In a world where information is served at such a fast pace, it is very difficult to compete with other writers for a reader’s attention. And so an author bio serves as a small window where you can advertise who you are and what you can offer. But how do you write a professional author bio as someone who has just started?
Why New Authors Should Write Their Author Bios
Perhaps you have just submitted a guest post to a popular blog, or you have just published your very first ebook. While you may be celebrating your win, you are also very worried about the performance of your written work. After all, no one has ever heard of you before and you may feel that your opinion may not be important to others. One way to banish this insecurity is by writing a professional author bio.
Many authors tend to shy away when it comes to branding and self-promotion. This leads them to skimp on the details or to write a generic author bio just so that they could fill up space. But it is good to remember that the way you present yourself as an author is most likely how your readers will perceive you. So how exactly can you write an author bio without coming off as an amateur or as a show-off? Here are some simple tips you can follow…
5 Tips On How To Write A Professional Author Bio
1. Tell Them Your Background Story
As an author who has just started to build their audience, credibility and authority may not be on your side. Many people tend to believe that possessing a diploma or a license can already suffice to prove their credibility on a topic. Although they are an impressive addition to your profile, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have already gained the trust of your readers. To create a balance of both authority and trust, share your story on your author bio.
Tell them about passion, your goals and even your humble beginnings and what you’ve learned along the way. Give your readers a chance to be able to relate to you and to find out who you really are. An author bio does not have to contain a list of stellar achievements because sometimes all it takes is a real person writing in their own voice.
2. Write For Your Audience
An author bio may seem like a very personal space and there is nothing wrong with making a self-introduction with it. But if you would like to use it as an opportunity to connect with more readers, you need to write about them too. Let them know what they can get from reading your content and what they can expect from your work. You already had their attention with your beautiful book cover and your interesting title. The next step is to follow it up with a clear description of your intentions.
Unless you are a household name, your potential readers need some information about you. The harsh reality is that they often do not care if you have a Master’s Degree or if you have graduated from a prestigious university. What matters most to them though is why they should be reading your work in the first place.
3. Humility Is Key
Nobody likes a show-off and if your author bio contains nothing but a long list of achievements, your audience will definitely think of you as boastful. As they say, first impressions last. Your book cover may have a lasting impression on your written work, but your author bio will carry your name as an author. Although you may have a long list of achievements under your belt, humility is a great place to start for first-time authors. After all, you may be a veteran in your chosen topic but you are still a novice as a published author.
With that said, bringing in your personality when writing your author bio is also a very important aspect. This gives you a chance to share with your readers what makes you unique and interesting to read about.
4. Keep It Short And Sweet
Don’t write an author bio that’s long enough to make out a whole new novel. Create one that has a strong impact and leaves a bit of mystery for them to enjoy. When there are just too many details you would like to share, your author bio then becomes overstuffed with possibly irrelevant information. Remember that you don’t need to answer all the questions your readers may have about you. You just need to answer a few important ones like who you are, why you’ve written your piece and what your readers can learn from it.
Keeping your author bio short and sweet also makes it a lot more compelling to read. Not everyone can fit their whole personality into a few sentences, but being able to do so allows your readers to connect the dots and to truly figure out what you’re about.
5. Build A Connection
There’s also another benefit to adding a bit of mystery to your bio. Once you’ve gotten your reader’s interest, invite them to follow you on your author platform. This could be your website or blog, your social media network or even on your email list. It is important to remember that your connections are the business of your writing. Having people visit your author platform could help you graduate from being a new author to one that has a bit of a following.
Authors tend to think that a bio is a place for shameless promotion. And that asking readers to connect with them on social media almost feels like sales talk. However, being able to connect with your readers is a great chance for you to discover what your readers would like to read. This gives you an invaluable source of information for what could possibly be your next book.
6. Write Using The Third-Person View
Many writers make the simple mistake of writing in first-person, making their author bio a bit awkward to read. However, writing in third-person makes it appear like someone else is introducing you to the world.
Although it may feel a bit uncomfortable at first, it also gives you a different perspective that may prove to be beneficial to you. By writing as someone else, you also have the idea of how another person will write your professional author bio. It’s almost similar to how a friend might introduce you to someone whom they think would be a perfect match for you.
7. Use Your Network
Have you had the privilege of working with someone popular? Or are you related to someone who is highly-respected within the industry? A lot of writers feel uncomfortable about using their networks when they write their author bios.
When used in the wrong way, it can come off as a scheme to raise your own popularity. Name dropping should only be used when it is relevant. Perhaps your book is about your experiences working with a master of the arts. This is a perfect time for you introduce who you have worked with and your experiences with the said person.
Not only will you be able to grab the attention of those interested in your experiences, fans of the said master will most likely open the pages of your book as well.
8. Write Multiple Author Bios
Practice the art of writing a professional bio by preparing several different versions. You may want to keep a handful of them depending on the type of publication. Remember that as you grow as a writer, your author bio will also change.
By having multiple options, it also offers you a good chance to ask for feedback from those around you. Ask them which author bios best represent you and your work. Get to know how others will perceive you as an author and take notes of which areas need improvement.
It’s ironic how writers are able to weave up an intricate framework of words in a novel, but struggle when writing about themselves. Your author bio is said to be some sort of business card in the publishing world. Choose your words wisely as you would for your written work.
Take it as an opportunity to build up a rapport, connect with more readers and most of all, to give yourself the recognition that you truly deserve.