If you’ve published a book, blog post, or article with your byline, you’re considered an author. As a result, you need an author bio for your book, website, and social media. An author bio is your opportunity to encourage your readers to get to know more about you. It’s where you get creative in presenting your professional and personal accomplishments and achievements. Here’s how to write your author bio and five examples of how it’s done.
Why Do You Need an Author Bio?
The first thing your bio will do for you is to build credibility. You’ll use this space to demonstrate to your readers why you are qualified to write the material you’ve published.
Second, it’s your chance to intrigue a reader, introduce them to your style, and catch their interest enough to convince them to read more. In other words, you’re selling yourself here, not your content.
Third, it allows readers to relate to your personal story within which they may find a connection.
Fourth, having an author bio helps you sell more writing.
Your author bio can also inform the reader about other pieces of work that you’ve published and can include a link to your website or your contact information.
Different Kinds of Author Bios
There are several types of author bios. Each one requires a different length and writing style. You’ll need to do some homework to discover good author bios on the social networks you use.
Find out how other successful authors are crafting theirs, and then emulate that. Chances are, you’ll need to use a combination, if not all, of the following bios:
Book: If you’ve published a book, this is your best opportunity to allow a reader to get to know you on a deeper level. Here, you can use up to around 300 words to enchant them. Many authors stay at or below 200, several averaging about 90 words.
Blog: Your blog is a great place to feature a short bio on the front page or side column and a more extended bio on the About page. You can use two to three sentences on the front page; you want it to be reasonably short.
Share an interesting fact about you that makes you unique and worth reading. Then add some zest on your About page with around 300 words or less.
Guest Writer: Being a guest writer on other people’s blogs is a great way to promote yourself and your work. Each blogger will have their own guidelines on how long your bio can be. Some will permit two or three sentences, while others permit an entire paragraph or more.
Social Media: Each social media network you’re on is going to require a unique author bio.
- Facebook allows you to use 255 characters in the about section that appears on your author page. It’s possible to make it much longer, but it’s not visible unless a user clicks to read more.
- Pinterest is also generous with 200 characters for a bio.
- Instagram allows you to include one link, but you’ll only have 150 characters to work with. Who are you in a few simple words?
- Twitter makes it even harder with just 140 characters, many of which are used in hashtags.
Be True to Your Voice and Genre
Writing about yourself isn’t nearly as easy as writing about other subjects, but it’s essential to build your reputation and further promote your work. Don’t change your writing voice to try to sound more dignified. Use your skills as a writer to add flavor and spice to your bio.
If you write humor, then weave a bit of that into your bio. If you write romance, woo your reader. Whatever genre you write in, write your bio the same way.
If you need a bit of inspiration or constructive criticism, ask your friends and family to contribute by suggesting ideas and giving feedback.
Write in Third-Person Point of View
A professional bio is always written in a third-person point of view.
Third-person point of view is when you write about the subject (in this case, yourself) from an outside perspective using pronouns like he, she, or they rather than I, me, or my, which is a first-person point-of-view.
Don’t write, “I love animals.” Instead, say, “She loves animals,” or refer to yourself by name, such as, “Jane loves animals.”
Credentials, Achievements, and Fun Facts
Start your bio by listing any credentials you have that make you an expert about the topic you write about.
For example, if you’ve published a book on parenting and you’re a child psychologist, you’d open with that fact.
Establishing yourself as an authority in your field creates trust with the reader and builds your reputation as a reliable source of information.
If you’ve received any awards or accolades for your work, mention those here, but do so sparingly. You don’t want to oversell or brag.
Make yourself a real person with an exciting story by including some fun facts about you, such as your hobbies.
Use a Professional Photograph
Be sure to use a high-quality professional, head-and-shoulders photograph of yourself in your author bio. While your written biography should be unique to each platform where it’s published, your picture should be consistent across all networks and print materials so that your face is easily recognizable.
Five Examples of Author Bios
What makes this bio great is that it comes in at about 90 words but says volumes about the author’s accomplishments and why he’s a reliable source. He also tells the reader exactly what they’ll gain by reading his work:
“Chandler Bolt is the host of the Self Publishing School podcast & the author of 6 bestselling books, including his most recent book titled “Published.”
He’s also the founder & CEO of Self-Publishing School, the #1 online resource for writing your first book. Self Publishing School made the INC 5000 in 2018 (#2,699) and in 2019 (#1,483) as one of the 5,000 fastest-growing private companies in the US.
Through his books, podcast, training videos, and Self-Publishing School, he’s helped thousands of people on their journey to writing their first book.”
What’s excellent about Rodney’s bio is that he comes out of the gate with an abundance of information communicated in one opening sentence. He continues to build on his foundation of experience and skill. He mentions all of the books he’s published and includes the fun fact that he’s married to an author, too. He’s used 242 words, which is about the ideal length, keeping it under 300.
“Rodney Curtis has worked in a dozen newsrooms in Michigan and the East Coast during his 30-year career. A photographer and photo editor by training, Rodney also counts being an author, blogger, and college professor among his many talents. Rodney brags a lot too but does so under a third-person guise, so it’s okay.
His career has taken him to New Hampshire covering presidential primaries, the former Soviet Union, Haiti, Central America, and all across Europe. He has won numerous photography, editing, and writing awards.
Rodney has been lucky enough to have four books published, including Hope’s Diamond — a novel about Detroit, baseball, relationships, and the funny things that happen when you toss a little mystical “Hope” into the mix; A “cute” Leukemia — a book of funny and heartfelt essays about him dealing with cancer and a transplant; Getting Laid (off) about losing three jobs in one year and Spiritual Wanderer — his first book of essays. Rodney has been described as Dave Barry meets David Sedaris.
He has taught several journalism courses at Michigan State University. And every fall he teaches at the prestigious Mountain Workshops, where he helps students photograph and edit a book about a different small Kentucky town in less than a week.
Rodney is married to photographer Marci Curtis who is, most notably, the author of three children’s books with more than two million copies in print.
You can visit Rodney most anytime at RodneyCurtis.com”
Meg’s bio pops because she opened with an entertaining inventory of her interests vs. her expertise. But she established her experience and skill in her second paragraph as a best-selling author of more than a dozen books. She also uses some of her 85-word count to include a call to action to subscribe to her newsletter for a free gift and to chat with her on Facebook.
“Megg Jensen is all sorts of strange things: medieval history buff, Ren Faire goer, fairy garden builder, swing dancer, and lover of movies everyone else hates. She spends too much time waiting for The Doctor.
She is the USA Today bestselling author of Dragonlands, Dragons of the Nether, Forsaken Stars Saga, Cloud Prophet Trilogy, The Swarm Trilogy, and Shucked.
For more information on Megg please visit her website at http://www.meggjensen.com/.
Want a FREE gift? Newsletter: http://www.meggjensen.com/#!newsletter/ch36
Hang out & chat with Megg on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/meggjensen”
Courtney opens with credentials, includes personal information about her family and where she lives, and name-dropped without name-dropping with clever verbiage as she further established herself as an expert in a variety of high-performing jobs.
“Courtney Milan’s books have received starred reviews in Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and Booklist. She is a New York Times and a USA Today Bestseller and a RITA® winner.
Courtney lives in the Rocky Mountains with her husband, an exceptionally perfect dog, and an attack cat.
Before she started writing historical romance, Courtney got a graduate degree in theoretical physical chemistry from UC Berkeley. After that, just to shake things up, she went to law school at the University of Michigan and graduated summa cum laude. Then she did a handful of clerkships with some really important people who are way too dignified to be named here. She was a law professor for a while. She now writes full-time.
If you want to know when Courtney’s next book will come out, please visit her website at http://www.courtneymilan.com, where you can sign up to receive an email when she has her next release.”
Two hundred words may not seem like a lot, but they can speak volumes when used strategically, as demonstrated by the brilliant bio of award-winning author Colleen Hoover. One of the things that add interest to Colleen’s bio is that her personal information ties in with her profession. She founded a program in cooperation with other authors to raise funds for different charities.
“Colleen Hoover is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of twenty-two novels and novellas. Hoover’s novels fall into the New Adult and Young Adult contemporary romance categories, as well as psychological thriller.
Colleen Hoover is published by Montlake Romance and Atria Books. Colleen also has several indie titles, including her psychological thriller, Verity.
In 2015, Colleen’s novel CONFESS won the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Romance. That was followed up in 2016 with her latest title, It Ends With Us, also winning the Choice Award for Best Romance. In 2017, her title WITHOUT MERIT won best romance.
Her novel CONFESS has been filmed as a series by Awestruck and is available on Prime Video via Amazon and iTunes. Katie Leclerc and Ryan Cooper star in the series.
Colleen founded The Bookworm Box, a charity subscription service and bookstore, with her family in 2015. The Bookworm Box is a subscription service that provides readers with an exciting opportunity to receive signed novels in the mail each month from authors all over the world. All profits from the subscription service are donated to various charities each month. To date, The Bookworm Box has donated over $1,000,000 to help those in need.”
Your author bio is your chance to introduce yourself, your topic, expertise, and other works to potential readers. You’ll need several variations of your bio to fit different publications and occasions, such as books, blogs, and speaking events.
The shorter your bio is, the better, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be chock full of rich information. One well-crafted sentence can clue a reader in a lot about who you are, what you write, and what you’ve accomplished in your career.
Visit your favorite authors’ websites to see what they’ve written on their About pages, noting what they have in common. Then, you can produce an author bio that matches what the best authors are doing.