Once you’ve finished writing and formatting your book, there are usually still a few things left to do if you’re a self published writer or looking to publish your debut yourself. One of these things is an About the Author page – and this is the part of the book that tells readers more about you.
The best About the Author bio or section is short (just a few sentences) and skims over the details enough to tell readers about you as a writer, what you have published before and who you are.
Even though a lot of writers find it hard to write about themselves, it’s not as hard as you might think to come up with a strong About the Author section to include at the front (or back) of your next book.
Here are the things that readers want to know from your About the Author section, split up into questions that you should answer before you write yours.
Do You Have Experience?
If you have any experience as a writer before this (or in the linguistic or literary field), your About the Author page is the best place to mention it. Readers will also sometimes want to know if you have any experience writing about a specific topic: This is the most important when we’re talking about nonfiction, but can also be important for certain types of procedural fiction – for example, a lawyer who writes legal fiction (e.g. James Patterson).
Where you have experience that’s relevant to the book or e-book people are looking at, now is the time to mention it.
Have You Published Before?
If you have had any of your work published before, whether or not you were paid for it, your About the Author section is another great place to mention it. Where you have already published a few books or articles, mention the markets they were published in.
As you publish more than one book, you might also find it useful to update the About the Author section in your next book with one that includes any work that you’ve published between then and now.
Do You Have a Website?
Any self-promoting author worth their salt should have at least a basic website set up where they can (1) show off their work, (2) update readers on anything new and (3) include their biography.
If you have a website set up – preferably with a registered domain that isn’t dot-anything-else – your biography is a great place to mention it. This can tell readers where to find more about you and your work.
As a writer, your website gives you a unique chance to connect with your readers. If you aren’t using it to your advantage, you’re missing out.
Who Are You?
When anyone reads an About the Author section at the end or beginning of a book, they want to know who the author is. This can include little bits of personal information that can make readers feel like they know you better by the end of it.
Many details are irrelevant and things the reader might not want to know. Some details (“The writer lives with two kids in the Colorado mountain range.”) are worth including and can be a nice touch to finish off your About the Author page.
Where Did You Grow Up?
Small details (as mentioned earlier on) can include little details like where you grew up, where you studied and where you spend most of your time now. Including these little details and information about yourself as a person can add a lot to your biography.
Don’t over-do it on personal details, but tell readers enough to get to know you.