What is an author bio? An author bio (biography) is a valuable tool that an author creates to entice buyers to read his/her story. It can make or break an author’s reputation, sales, and acceptance within the literary community. A well developed, creative bio leads to more fans which, in turn, leads to more sales and acceptance.
How long should my author bio be? For a short bio you should try to keep it under 150 words.
What is in a short author bio?
• a brief description of your writing (genre, detail of your title ratings—G, PG-13, R, etc.—what inspires you, who is your target audience, etc.)
• positive things about you (e.g., outgoing, great smile, additional talents, etc.)
• fun facts about you other than those associated with writing (e.g., favorite food, favorite vacation place, where you grew up, etc.)
I hate pictures that are taken of me. Do I have to have a head shot along with my bio? Head shots and author bios go hand-in-hand. If you plan to succeed as an author, you will want to have a head shot to accompany your bio. Always use a true picture of you. Using your book cover, a flower, a cat, or something else that is not you is a BIG NO-NO. It is important for your fans to know you for who you are. Don’t keep changing your photo every time you’re asked to send one. Instead, be sure to use the same head shot each time you present your bio; this allows you to become “branded,” and people will get to know you by your photo first (though you will want to keep it current by updating it every 10 years or so).
What other changes should be made in an author bio? As time goes by, authors often branch out into different genres or interesting personal life changes (e.g., a new pet, moving to a new city, becoming a grandma, etc.). These are great attention-getters. Becoming a well known speaker in the literary world is another fine example of what can change in your bio.
How many author bios should an author have? An author should have both a short and a long bio that are ever-changing. (Long descriptive bios and vitaes will be covered in next week's blog.)