If you’re reading this, then it’s safe to assume that (1) you’re a writer and (2) you’re about to publish, interested in publishing or have already published. Being a writer is about more than just being able to write a good story – often you also have to write blog posts, promotional material and About the Author blurbs for books and websites too.
Sometimes writing about yourself for the About the Author section in your book can feel like the hardest thing to write. Where do you start? What do you say? How long should it be and how much should you tell readers about yourself?
Here’s how to approach writing an About the Author blurb for your self published book.
Let’s Talk Length
Full About the Author pages for your website are usually a little longer (100 through to 500 words) than shorter biography or blurb sections. For a book, an About the Author blurb doesn’t have to be longer than 100 or 150 words – and ideally, shouldn’t be.
The goal of an About the Author blurb is to tell readers more about you and your work. Nothing more and nothing less. If you include less information than the reader would like, they get bored – but the same is true if you ramble on for five pages about what could have been said in five sentences.
What to Say
You should mention things like your relevant career and writing experience together with any work you have published before in your bio – and if this is your debut, be proud to say it!
You shouldn’t mention things that have no impact on your work or the reader. While you can say that you have experience in other careers, don’t ramble on about your six engineering degrees when it’s the back blurb of a fiction book.
It’s a good idea to look at some practical examples of blurbs and bios from writers you know and like to see how they did it. Ask yourself why you would say that their version of a written bio works so well.
Write Several Drafts
Just like writing and editing several drafts of your book, you should do the same to your About the Author section for your book. Go through several drafts and rewrites (and compare them as you go along) to see what works best – eventually, you’ll find a draft you like, or be able to put together sections of several drafts to create the right About the Author section that showcases you and what you do.
Blurbs for Books: A Note
If you’ve written more than one book and you’re about to release the next, you might also want to think of the fact that your About the Author page might change between books. For example, has anything happened in your writing career since the publication of the last book that would warrant the writing of a new bio – including new awards or newly published stories?
Lives change, and the biographies authors write should change too from one book to another for this reason.
It’s not necessary to change your bio for every single book you publish, but sometimes it can be a nice touch if you’ve built up a following already.
Blurbs for Books: Where Does It Go?
Some About the Author pages go at the beginning of the book, while others go at the end. Some even include this section at both the beginning and the end of the text. Know what? It really doesn’t matter whether it’s at the start or end – that’s up to personal preference and where you believe it fits. Do you want readers to get to know this little section about you before or after they have read your book?