Writing Your Author Page – The Dos and Don’ts

 

So many people can write books but when it comes to writing their author page or author bio (and their synopsis – but that’s an article for another day), well, it’s a whole different story.

This is why I’ve put together a list of Dos and Don’ts for you.

 


 

Before we dive into the practicalities, please consider this: your author page can take both long and short forms and serve different functions. You may need an:

1. ‘About the Author’ page/section for your book
2. ‘About the Author’ bio for the back of your book (alongside the blurb)
3. ‘About the Author’ bio on your Amazon Author Central page.

So take what fits and be mindful of the rest to call on another day. When I help clients to write and/or self-publish their books, I always encourage them to add an ‘About the Author’ page to the back of the book. Why?

Because a well-written ‘About the Author’ page is a great marketing tactic. Not only will it introduce you to your readers and encourage them to connect with you, but it’s also a powerful way to spark and nurture the know, like and trust factor. And the more books you write and publish, the more these first readers will be likely to buy from you again.

 

‘About the Author’ Page – For Your Book

Usually situated at the back of your book, this page offers an insight into you, the author. This page will be naturally longer than, say, your author bio on your blurb and/or your Amazon Author Central page.
Word of warning… ensure your ‘About the Author’ page matches the genre of your book. A women’s romantic fiction writer won’t have a similar bio to, say, a business book writer or someone who pens horror/sci-fi.

For non-fiction/business related books, offer a snapshot of:

1. Your relevant background/professional expertise.
2. Any awards you’ve won or professional memberships you’re a part of.
3. Who you work with/write for/support in your business and how long you’ve been doing this.
4. How readers can connect with you (website links/social media etc).
5. And a little something personal (where you’re from, what you enjoy doing in your spare time or a little-known fact that will make you memorable (and human).

For fiction writers, think about including:

1. A little bit about your books/your plans for future books.
2. Why you love writing (women’s/humour/horror/dystopian) novels.
3. And then add something related to your genre (ie if you’re a chick-lit writer, you could profess to be a hopeless romantic).

Dos

  1. Show your face – add a professional headshot to the page (if there isn’t one on your blurb/jacket cover. It’s a good idea for readers to be able to put a face to a name.
  2. Reflect your genre – as I’ve said, make sure your wording reflects your genre. If you’ve written a heartfelt memoir, don’t try to be a comedian in your bio. It doesn’t sit right.

Don’ts

  1. Write too much. Again, see this as ‘a page’ not another chapter in your book. 250-300 words should suffice (that’s about 3 paragraphs).
  2. Be a narcissist – yes, this is your ‘All About Moi’ page but it’s a good idea to weave some of your reader’s traits into this section too. For example, let’s say you’ve written a book called ‘Learn to Master Crocheting in Just 5 Days’. You could talk about your own crocheting story – the catalyst which sparked your crocheting journey, what had you stumped, why you kept persevering with it even though you felt like quitting, and why you want to help them do the same – so the reader can resonate with you.

 

About the Author – The Bio (For Your Blurb/Jacket Cover)

Dos

  1. Short and sweet is key – a couple of pithy, well-written sentences will suffice. You won’t have room for much more.
  2. Write in the third person – for example, let’s say you’re a business book writer who specialises in money management… “Hannah Jones, Money Management Expert and Serial Author, has written more than 20 books about wealth management. She has her own weekly podcast ‘Money Matters’ where she shares her expertise on how to take better care of your cash.
  3. Add your website link – even if someone doesn’t buy your book, they may still look at your website, so make sure you share it.

Don’ts

  1. Don’t overdo this – don’t try to be too sassy or smart or funny if it’s inappropriate otherwise you’ll put readers off.
  2. Sound like a robot – remember, this is your chance to get readers interested in you so sprinkle some personality in there.

 

‘About the Author’ bio – Amazon Author Central Page

Dos

  1. Blend the professional and the personal – a couple of well-written paragraphs about your writing/other books/your author mission with a final paragraph offering a glimpse into the ‘you’ behind the scenes should be just enough to hook your reader.
  2. Encourage a connection – you could add your website link in here or a sign-up link to your newsletter so that anyone snooping round your Amazon Author Central page can keep on following you (obviously, in a non-stalkery way).
  3. Make it memorable – share a little-known fact about you that will make you stand out from the ‘Average Author’ who blends into the rest of the crowd. If you have 6 Shih Tzus or you’re a Northern Soul fanatic, sword-swallower, fire-eater, or the drummer in a rock band at weekends, this is the kind of detail people remember. If it feels right, write it.

Don’ts

  1. Don’t be modest – shy bairns get nowt (that’s what we say in Co Durham, anyway). You’re an author, you’ve written a book (which is something most people dream of) so be proud of yourself. Unleash some of that passion and confidence in your bio.
  2. Don’t be a big head – a big head is someone (again, in my neck of the woods) who is pompous, overly confident and full of themselves. Don’t be a big head. You’ll put readers off.

 

So, there you have it. The Dos and Don’ts of Writing Your About the Author content. As with other aspects of your self-publishing journey, remember that whatever you write today isn’t set in stone. It’s easy to alter your bio and/or your author pages. See what fits, really think about what feels right and go with your gut. Oh, and don’t be afraid to ask for feedback either. (And take it on board.)

If you really don’t know what to write, have a scoot around Amazon and read what everyone else writes… it’s a great way to spark some ideas.

 

Michelle

Self-Publishing Services UK