Crafting an Author Bio that Helps Sell Your Book

[This post is part of a series on how you can maximize your ebook sales.]

Almost every book includes an author bio. There's a reason for this.

The author bio tells the reader why he or she should care what the writer thinks. It tells the reader that the writer knows their stuff.

This is often clear with non-fiction and how-to books; the author's bio includes the things that make them qualified to give advice or report on a given subject. But the same thing is true for the author bio on a work of fiction.

What to Include in a Bio

  • Writing Creds: Be sure to include anything that demonstrates you know how to write. This includes any literary awards, past writing experience.For example: Molly Harper worked for six years as a reporter and humor columnist for The Paducah Sun. Her reporting duties included covering courts, school board meetings, quilt shows, and once, the arrest of a Florida man who faked his suicide by shark attack and spent the next few months tossing pies at a local pizzeria. Molly lives in western Kentucky with her family."
  • Things to Make them like you: If a potential reader decides they like you, they are much more likely to buy your book. One of my favorite fiction bios is the one Patricia Briggs' husband wrote for her on her website.It starts out: "Patty is a prevarication professional. She lies for a living, telling whoppers and fibs so outrageous that people pay her to fib some more. Her only concession to honesty is that she tells people she's lying to them. And that is what separates a fiction author from a politician..."

Humor is great when done well but don't force it. The key is to tell people something interesting that relates to your role as a writer. That's it. Simple enough, right?

Many authors also include their geographic location. They write something like: "Sally Jean lives in Kentucky with her family and three dogs." Including a sentence like this is purely optional; most often it won't influence a potential reader's decision.

When done well, an author bio creates a connection between you and the reader. They decide that you are something they'd like to know... or at least someone they'd like to meet and have tell them stories, which, fortunately for both of you, is exactly why they should buy your book.

Want help with your bio? Share it in the comments and I'll respond with some critique! Also, take a moment to check out the rest of this series and See How You Can Maximize Your eBook Sales Today.

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My name is Melissa Breau & I’m a Raleigh-based tea-drinker and dog aficionado. If you’re local, let me know—I’d love to grab a drink.

By day, I’m a keyboard junkie, and (shameless plug) craft killer marketing content for small business owners far and wide.

By night (and sometimes on the weekend) I help out at several nonprofits, teach my dog new tricks, and try to spend as much time outside in the sunshine as I can.

Before joining the world of marketing I spent several years at various publishing companies in NYC, including both magazine publishers and book publishers. I also earned my Masters in Publishing from Pace University.

Want to chat? Find me on twitter or drop me a line via my website.

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