Writing an impactful author bio is important on a number of fronts. Whether you’ve authored an article or a book, this is your opportunity to give the reader a small but vital snippet about who you are. It can be frustrating, because your space is limited. In an article, you have a very small paragraph. For your book, it’s not much more. The idea, of course, is to maximize every word, so it’s actually a good exercise. It is also an opportunity to invite readers to your author website or your social media presence.
At Mark Graham Communications, we don’t take the creation of your author bio lightly. Here are a few rules that we generally employ:
- Use the third person. Then you can say things that otherwise might be construed as self-aggrandizing. Start with your full name and then toss your first name into the mix instead of overdoing “she” or “he.” You know what I mean.
- Don’t bore them with your credentials. Yes, you want to tell the reader where you work or the name of your various books, but giving them a sense of what is important to you as a writer makes the reader more interested.
- Just like your website, the author bio is meant to inform the reader rather than sell them something. Give them a snippet of the person. Tell them in a very few words what is important to you.
- Answer the question, “why am I the person to write this article or book” without sounding like you’re bragging about your accomplishments. This is more or less like the written version to the question, “So, what do you do?”
- Personalize without getting too personal. You can say you’re a cat lover, but remember that not all people are. Try saying you’re an animal lover, which makes you sound more worldly and less like your grandmother.
- If space allows, post a photo of yourself. Not a selfie taken at the bar. Make it professional, but friendly. Make it appropriate for the publication.
Always try and work in your website address, your Twitter handle, and your Facebook page, in order of importance.