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The Secrets of Writing an Author Bio and 5 Examples to Learn from

The Secrets of Writing an Author Bio and 5 Examples to Learn from, guest post by Alicia Clarke


Once you’ve written a book or another literary work it should be fairly simple to produce an author bio, shouldn’t it? The truth is different and many talented writers find themselves clueless when it comes to producing an autobiography that sells.

The author’s biography establishes authorities and tells readers why the respective person is qualified to speak about the subject matter at hand. This isn’t the only purpose, however. An author biography can also be used to establish likeability and build a connection with the audience.

When it comes to writing a stellar author bio, it’s always a good idea to learn from some of the best. Here are a few examples of excellent biographies and the characteristics that make them stand out.

List the Cool Things You’ve Done

Why should people pay attention to what you have to say? The answer is simple – you have the experience needed to back up your claims and make you someone intriguing.

Timothy Ferriss is one such individual and his biography is a stellar example of how it should be done right.

In the biography, Ferriss tells the world that he’s an entrepreneur, an angel investor and the creator of rapid learning techniques. The biography is dynamic and straight to the point. It doesn’t come with literary bells and whistles, in fact the language is quite simple. The brilliant aspect of this biography is that the information is allowed to speak for itself.

Ferriss also throws in some reputable publications that have spoken about his work. The mention of these names is yet another tool for establishing credibility and making sure that the audience knows this particular author has already gained industry recognition.

Make it about the Reader

This concept may seem strange at first but when you take a deeper look at it, you’ll know that it makes a lot of sense.

Instead of making the biography all about you, focus on the reader and how your knowledge could potentially impact that person in a positive way. Let’s take a look at an example of a biography that relies on the technique.

Matt Southern is a writer for Search Engine Journal. The biography suggests what Southern is passionate about and what audience he writes for. The information is highly specific and the niche is defined right from the start. It’s easy to see – Southern writes for marketers and professionals who have experience in the field.

While there’s nothing brilliantly creative about the example, this biography works. It is a straightforward presentation of the author and it also nods to the benefits that the audience will get by going over the texts. There’s no need to add a whole lot more to the bio.

Focus on the Credentials that Matter

Experienced writers know one very important thing – information overload is real and it can have a negative effect.

Very often, authors who have lots of credentials will feel compelled to throw all of this information in their biographies. While it may seem that reputation is easy to establish this way, the biography will be seen as pretentious and confusing rather than beneficial.

Take a look at this biography – it’s a perfect example that you don’t need to list dozens of qualifications in order to be seen as an authority.

Dr. Benjamin Carson highlights solely the skills and the competences that matter to the audience. The biography is straightforward and easy to read. There’s no excessive use of jargon or terminology that people will feel confused by.

If you look at medical topics, you’ll come across dozens of biographies that sound pompous and ring hollow. Don’t go down this road. Focus on a few key competences and tell the audience why they’re relevant. Such an approach will pay off.

Make it Fun

An author bio doesn’t have to be all about your knowledge, extensive experience and best-selling status. A little bit of humor sprinkled throughout the biography can help you go a long way.

Author Glynnis Campbell has made an excellent use of humor in her bio. She brings together fun personal facts (she’s the wife of a rock star but also a typographer) and her writing experience. Lighthearted and engaging, this biography makes the reader engaged.

Have a Call to Action

A good author biography features actionable information. The example we’ve linked here comes with a call to action, encouraging readers to sign up for the writer’s newsletter.

Look at your biography as a marketing tool. It tells the world who you are, it tells people why they should buy your books and it encourages potential readers to undertake a specific action. There’s nothing wrong with requesting a subscription, a Facebook like or an honest review once the reader is done with the book.

You can get people to follow the call to action by offering special perks and bonuses. These could come in the form of additional book chapters, special previews and personalized notes from the author. The more you’re willing to connect with the audience, the better results you’re going to get.

While these examples may make it seem easy, writing an author biography is definitely a challenging task. Take some time to think about your career, your credentials and the information worth focusing on. Next, think about the audience that you’d like to appeal to. These people have to be addressed in a specific manner in order to get maximum engagement. Keep it short, keep it focused and don’t be afraid to do something unorthodox. If you know your strengths and your readers, you will produce a biography that the target audience will enjoy.

The Secrets of Writing an Author Bio and 5 Examples to Learn from
Alicia Clarke is a writer. She is mad about writing and giving a piece of advice for readers. Befriend with her on Facebook

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