Tips for writing author bios
“Readers love a good story. Give it to them.”
Your website bio (“meet page” / “about page”) is where your readers will connect with you. We have some tips for writing author bios for you!
If your website bio is only a single, press-ready paragraph it will function, but not endear. Here at Wax we recommend using your “meet page” to endear. Tell a story, and be warm, if that is your style. Some great examples: Grace Burrowes, Eloisa James, Megan Crane…
Some authors tell us, “I never read long bios,” and ask if they have to write more.
No, you don’t have to, but you should. Longer bio “meet” pages have a longer stay time than short bios do. The viewer is engaged, and this is the goal.
This isn’t a page often revisited. This page is where people discovering you go.
The same way you hope to really interest a reader with an excerpt, and thus put up more than 500 words, why skimp on writing more about yourself? “She’s a bestselling author who has these awards, and lives with her family and two pesky cats in the Pacific Northwest,” is not enough to do the job. It’s adequate. It will do for your media kit or other space where journalists or other professionals who need to introduce you will copy/paste from. But readers love a good story — give it to them.
A few guidelines:
We always recommend using evergreen copy (what’s that?) for your bio. That means you don’t have to update it every few months. And it means your bio doesn’t look neglected. Timely copy that is clearly past is a sure-fire way to have your site look unloved. 🙁 If you evergreen it, however, you won’t ever have this issue.
You shouldn’t use the word “will” as in you “will be releasing a book in the fall.” You will never remember to update that.
Don’t refer to your “New Series” in your bio — that’s great for news, but again, your “new”, series won’t be new at some point, and you will never remember to update this. (It’s not just you — no one does.)
Don’t start with your name, either, like “Jennifer Author is…” Say something about you.
We recommend that authors never include a list of novels in their bio. Your site includes a list of novels. This is where you connect with your readers. And besides, that list will be out of date as soon as you release your next book.
If you have a tagline we recommend that you not use it in your bio as it’s probably going to be right in the masthead. And even if it’s not, taglines are not usually paragraph-ready, and will read somewhat stilted.
Remove any and all upcoming dates.
Don’t use the future tense because the future tense will become the past tense without you remembering that you wrote your bio before. “Her next book will release in June 2017” will only get you in trouble.
and, lastly, we understand that writing about yourself can be a challenge (second only to book blurbs). Enlist a friend or professional (Wax does that!) to help you.
In addition to our tips for writing author bios….
Waxcreative Design designs and builds websites for authors, but did you know we help authors manage their websites as well? Check out our other services. P.S. we also design book covers, graphics and campaigns for social media, and swag for authors and author events.