The business of writing isn’t just about being able to write down a good story. Especially if you’re a self published author looking to release their work through a platform like Reedsy or Lulu, you should also know how to promote yourself well, how to format your book – and how to write a blurb or biography that tells readers more about who you are and why they should be reading your work.
Here’s useful and practical advice for how to write a killer blurb or bio.
About the Author: What’s the Point?
So, what’s all the fuss about an About the Author page or blurb?
It’s what tells readers a little more about you. It tells them more about you, more about your interests, more about your life and more about what you’ve written before – all in just a few sentences.
If you want to learn how to write an About the Author page or bio that works, choose five of your favorite writers and read what their books or website has to say about them.
Next, ask what you would like to tell your readers about yourself.
There IS Such a Thing As Too Quirky
Sure, it’s fine to be funny or quirky in your author’s biography – but there is something like pushing it, too. Don’t try to be a comedian when you’re not, and don’t include a bunch of information that the reader might not want to know. (Yes, there’s something like too much information, too.)
The best About the Author bits are condensed to a few sentences, and tell readers about your experience and who you are, then a bit about your work, and then The End.
Jot Down Some Keywords
Start your About the Author page by doing research on what works and what doesn’t. After this, start with some simple keywords that you can think of which can help to tell people more about you. Keywords are the simple skeleton of the piece that you’ll get to flesh out later – it’s fine if it seems random at this point in the process.
If you have too many keywords written down now, don’t worry about it too much. Refine this later and discard the words that you don’t use.
Mention Previous Publications
If you’ve already published work before, then your About the Author page is the best place to mention it. Book titles, story titles and awards are good things to mention in an About the Author section, especially if you need readers to get to know you in just a few sentences.
List Your Website Here
An About the Author blurb or page is always a good place to leave your website link. There are many websites out there that are willing to publish excerpts of work with a bio and link at the end – many of these markets might not pay for contributions, but they’re worth the publicity that the link back to your site can give you.
Write Several Drafts
It’s a good idea to write several drafts and versions of your About the Author blurb. Once you’ve done this, put them side-by-side and it’s much easier to see which one works best for the back of your book, your website or an excerpt.
There are some writers who just can’t write about themselves no matter how hard they try. If you’ve tried a few drafts and it’s just not working for you, it might be easier to contract another writer to help out. (You can find many willing writers and good contacts on websites like Fiverr that can help you to write a biography when you can’t.)