Now that you’ve written your book it’s time to write what’s called an about the author. Readers want to know a little about the author whose book they love so much, so this is where your about the author comes in. It’s a professional snippet of who you are, your credentials, and what you’re passionate about.
Whether you’re writing fiction or nonfiction, an about the author helps your marketing purposes and gives you great content for your social media bios or a short website bio. You can even include your about the author in your media kit and use specific phrases on a business card.
In this article we discuss:
- What Is An About The Author?
- Why An About The Author Matters
- What Should I Say About The Author?
- How Do You Write An About the Author?
- How Long Should an About the Author Be?
- About The Author Examples
- Next Steps
Remember, whether you write fiction or nonfiction, an about the author is a crucial addition to your book. The voice you bring should reflect, at least in part, the genre you write, but be sure to make it professional.
Let’s dive in!
What Is An About The Author?
Your about the author is a few-sentence biography that articulates who you are and the work you do. In your about the author, you can include a few credentials, hobbies, perhaps the university you graduated from, who your family is, and the state, province, or country you live in.
We’ll dive into examples of about the authors a bit later, but keep in mind what different points you could jot down. What is an interesting, memorable, or fun fact your readers may be interested in hearing about?
Why An About The Author Matters
An about the author matters because it is one of the first ways a reader meets you. Even if you are a well-known public speaker, chances are, not every reader has seen you speak in person or met you at a meet-and-great.
Including an about the author on the back cover of your book (or if you have a hardcover, on the inside, back flap) is a quick way for your reader to get an idea of who you are and why you wrote this book.
Authors want readers to remember their work, to share it with their friends, and for it to impact their lives. One way to do this is by including a memorable about the author so readers feel more connected to you.
What Should I Say About The Author?
Your name and a personal fact that correlates with why you wrote this particular book is a great place to start. For instance, if you wrote a nonfiction book on how to run a start-up business, majored in Business at Yale, and started your first business at 18, these are some important facts to include.
While we’ll get into specific examples with real authors, consider this one:
- John Smith started his first successful business at 18 years old. A Yale graduate with a degree in Business, today he writes on the topic he loves and speaks to audiences at….
From the first sentence, there is a memorable fact about our author John Smith, and just one sentence in, he builds his credibility by stating that he graduated from a prestigious university.
How Do You Write An About the Author?
Write a compelling about the author by starting with a long, rough draft. Include all your major credentials, how you got your start, any passions that relate to your book’s topic, and something personal to make the reader feel connected with you at a more personal level.
After you have these facts written down, begin to organize them from most crucial to least. For instance, if you wrote a middle-grade fantasy and are a fourth-grade teacher, that’s an important fact to include.
How Long Should an About the Author Be?
An about the author is usually between 50-150 words.
About The Author Examples
To help you get a feel for exactly what works (and what doesn’t) when it comes to your own about the author examples, below is a list for you to take notes from. This list is a compilation of real authors who sell books in a variety of genres.
As you browse through these examples, note which genre most resonates with your own and how you can take inspiration from these successful authors. Of course, it’s important to make your about the author true to you, your voice, and your writing goals, but examples can help you get there.
Here is a list to draw from:
- #1 – “Veronica Roth is the New York Times bestselling author of Divergent, the first book in a trilogy that she began writing while still a college student. Now a full-time writer, Ms. Roth and her husband call the Chicago area home. You can visit her online at www.veronicarothbooks.com or on Twitter (@VeronicaRoth).” (51 words)
This about the author starts with credentials, goes on to describe the origin of her debut novel, and goes into her personal life: She now works full-time as a writer, is married, and lives in the Chicago area.
- #2 – “Glynnis Campbell is a USA Today bestselling author of swashbuckling action-adventure romance. She’s the wife of a rock star, and the mother of two young adults, but she’s also been a ballerina, a typographer, a film composer, a piano player, a singer in an all-girl rock band, and a voice in those violent video games you won’t let your kids play. She does her best writing on cruise ships, in Scottish castles, on her husband’s tour bus, and at home in her sunny southern California garden. Glynnis loves to play medieval matchmaker, transporting readers to a place where the bold heroes have endearing flaws, the women are stronger than they look, the land is lush and untamed, and chivalry is alive and well!” (123 words)
Because Glynnis Campbell isn’t as well-known of an author, her bio needs to be memorable. The way she articulates her author bio makes it sound like her life could be a novel all on its own.
- #3 – “Eric Carle invented writing, the airplane, and the internet. He was also the first person to reach the North Pole. He has flown to Mars and back in one day, and was enthusiastically greeted by the Martians. ‘Very strange beings,’ he reported on his return. He has written one thousand highly regarded books; a team of experts is presently attempting to grasp their meaning. ‘It might take a century,’ said the chief expert. Carle is also a great teller of stories — but not all of them are true, for instance those in this book.” (95 words)
Eric Carle’s sense of humor sets his about the author apart. If your genre has any bit of humor in it, consider adding a bit of this type of voice to your own about the author.
- #4 – “Alex Ross, music critic for The New Yorker, is the recipient of numerous awards for his work, including two ASCAP Deems Taylor Awards for music criticism, a Holtzbrinck Fellowship at the American Academy in Berlin, a Fleck Fellowship from the Banff Centre, and a Letter of Distinction from the American Music Center for significant contributions to the field of contemporary music. The Rest is Noise is his first book.” (69 words)
Alex Ross can’t build his credibility through a list of previously published books, so he reveals why he is so qualified to publish his debut.
- #5 – “NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Thriller Author JFPenn.com. Creative Entrepreneur. Podcaster. Professional speaker. INFJ. Travel junkie.” (17 words)
This is a simple, straightforward about the author that does not waste the reader’s time. Starting with her qualifications and including important facts such as her website and occupation is a cut-and-dry way to communicate to her audience in a timely way.
- #6 – The about the author for Joyce Carol Oates simply says: “Author.” (1 word)
If you’ve ever heard the writing mantra, “Tighten, tighten, tighten,” you know this is exactly what Joyce Carol Oates did. And somehow, it works.
In this article, we have primarily focused on the about the author section that you’ll use on the back cover of your book when you publish it. Any time you upload your book to other sites, like Amazon, you’ll usually have the opportunity to upload an about the author section specific to that site. Occasionally, those will have word limits or character limits, so it is a good idea to have about the author segments that are various lengths.
- On your book, you should stay in the 50-150 words as mentioned above.
- On Amazon, a large range is acceptable, as low as 50 words up to 400 words.
- On your personal website, you can go longer: 500-750 words is not uncommon.
For more information on this topic, check out these articles:
Draw from the above tips and let us know how your about the author turns out! Getting close to publishing or trying to figure out how to publish your book? Be sure to check out the training below.