How to Write the Perfect Author Biography

The main purpose of an author biography is to introduce yourself to your reader in the most concise way possible, and also to encourage them to purchase and read your book.The main purpose of an author biography is to introduce yourself to your reader in the most concise way possible, and also to encourage them to purchase and read your book.

As you can probably appreciate, author biographies vary. Some authors write something short, while others go into a lot of detail, especially if they have a writing career and other books to talk about. At SilverWood, we understand this is easier said than done so here are our top tips and examples for writing the perfect author biography for your book...

A great place to start is your own bookshelf

Have a look at the books you already own, by your favourite writers, and you’ll be able to see the variety. The key thing for you to think about when writing your author biography is what you want your readers to know about you that is also relevant to your book. If you’re a children’s author you may wish to keep it short and simple like V.S. Minou, author of Thomas Angel and The Order of The Cataibh:

V.S. Minou lives in Scotland with her three cats. Find out more here.

Minou has mentioned something personal to herself and equally relevant to her book (cats), and then used a simple and clear call to action to direct her readers to her website.

As a non-fiction writer you may want to mention your credentials on your book subject to establish your authority and credibility in your field. We particularly like SilverWood author Natalie Trice’s author biography from her book PR School: Your Time to Shine:

Natalie Trice is a PR Director based in Devon. From CEOs of international TV channels and Finance Directors of IT companies, to entrepreneurs at the forefront of their industry and ambitious start-ups, Natalie has worked with them all.

Today, as well as retained clients, Natalie teaches people around the world the fundamentals of PR and gives them the skills and confidence to go out and talk to the media. With her ideas, contacts and cheerleading approach, her clients secure the column inches and airwaves that help them to stand out from the crowd, and shine.

Cast Life - A Parent’s Guide to DDH was Natalie’s first book and sits alongside her charity, DDH UK, which supports thousands of people around the world dealing with hip dysplasia, a condition one of her sons has been treated for over the past decade.

Natalie has straightaway detailed her credentials in her book’s topic area (without going overboard), helping her audience understand why they should spend their time and money reading what she’s got to say.

If you’re an author of fiction, try focusing more on why you write in your specific genre and what inspires you to write. This can be an effective way to relate to your readers. Tagai Tarutin, first-time author, does this particularly well for his mediaeval romance novel Hellalyle and Hildebrand:

Hellalyle and Hildebrand is Tagai Tarutin’s first completed novel.

There are two others of a completely different genre, that lie unfinished, awaiting inspiration.

He has worked most of his life in sales but has always had an interest in Arts and Humanities. Things that are beautiful and appealing play an essential part in his imagination.

Besides travelling in West Europe, he has journeyed to the far South Atlantic, and European Russia, anxious to see parts of the world that are for many mystical destinations on a historical map.

Tarutin offers the reader a lot of information in only a few words. He establishes himself as a first-time novelist, who is also working on new material. Then he briefly mentions his day job, and seamlessly links it to the inspiration behind his writing that is also relevant to his book.

We understand that the characteristics of author biographies do vary between genres. However, we’d recommend a few general rules when writing an author biography:

  • roughly up to 200 words (keep it concise and interesting)

  • write in third person (you’ll sound more professional)

  • mention writing achievements or awards, other books (establish credibility)

  • finish with a call to action to encourage readers to visit your author website and connect on social media

  • include something interesting and/or relatable about yourself that’s also relevant to your book

  • With these points in mind, we hope you’ll be able to step back, visualise your book and yourself as a marketable product, and identify the key attributes you want to highlight to help sell yourself and your book.

    Happy writing!

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