Having an appropriate bio as an author sends the right message to your readers and potential readers. The bio is the first introduction a reader has on you. People are looking for reasons why they should spend their time reading what you have written. You need to instill confidence in your readers that you are knowledgeable on the subject matter.
How to Write an Author’s Bio
1. The first step is for you to identify your purpose and audience. This is important because it shapes the ‘how to’ write the bio. This includes your tone, language, and levels of formality. A bio can be funny, personal, formal or professional depending on the target readers but it should always communicate briefly who you are and what you do in relation to your work.
2. Invest heavily once to reap a hundred times. Write a lengthy bio of yourself detailing every aspect of your life. If you do it well, you will be able to customize that information for the different platforms demanding your bio. Though it takes time to do it well, it will serve you well over many years.
3. Do your research – don’t re-invent the wheel just re-align it to fit in your plans. Thousands, if not millions of authors have written bios in the past, you can save time by going through what others have done to shape yours. Ensure you search for bios from authors in the same line with your writing.
4. Be precise and to the point. In as much as your life has so many interesting facts, most information will be irrelevant to certain target groups. A writer should mention their writing achievements and awards from the past. Mentioning their weight or physical fitness may not be relevant unless the book is about exercising. Every single information must be purposefully selected and committed to building the author’s credibility. Make sure to mention any awards and recognitions you have received in the past towards elevating your credibility.
5. Write in the third person to make your bio sound more objective – like it’s been written by someone else other than yourself. Instead of writing, “I am an author of two books” you should write, “Paul Mukwema is an author of two books”. The latter is much more formal and professional.
6. Always begin with your full names because it is likely that the reader of your book does not know who you are. Use two names as you prefer them but avoid nicknames because they tend to water down the seriousness of your bio.
7. How much is too much? Ensure you give enough information that will humanize you. You have to give a little more personal information (in moderation) to help the readers to connect to you. It becomes too much if the information is not relevant to the readers.
8. Always include contact information. In the world of convenience that we live in, people do not want to stretch as much and so provide the information they need right where they need it.
9. Check the work again and again. Once you are done with the bio, ensure to read it again to check for any typing errors or grammatical errors. Having a poorly done bio will do more harm to your credibility than not having a bio in the first place.
10. Ask for help from your family and loved ones. It’s always good to have someone check your work to make sure the messaging is clear and to the point. Those close to you should be able to give you actionable feedback.