I’ve noticed recently that some authors use their Author Bio as their About Me page on their websites. I think it’s a missed opportunity… in marketing… not just your book… but you as an author! We know why the bio is important to readers and agents alike; it builds authority and reputation. The tighter the facts, the quicker to read and decide. But what if they want to know more? Not about the book, the blurb covers that. And not about your qualifications, the bio covers that. But about you, the author.
Your bio will be impersonal information that qualifies you to write about your subject or subjects, but your about me page should be personal information that invokes the feeling of familiarity. A good Author Bio says, “this person is an authority and I need to pay attention to them.” A good About Me page says, “this person is a lot like me so I trust them and I want to read more from them.”
Biography is defined as “an account of someone’s life written by someone else”, therefore it’s important to remember that your Author Bio should read in third person. Of course, you’re going to write it because no one knows you better than you, but a reader wants to believe it was written about you not by you.
Your bio should include facts that the reader can research and find. Most readers probably will not go to the effort to make sure you have a master’s degree, but if they did, they could find the information independent of you. You can include jobs you’ve done, classes you’ve attended or even clubs you belong to, as long as they relate to your writing career or to your authority on a particular subject.
You’ll want to make sure your bio is short and to the point. Keep it simple but full of golden nuggets. Not only do book lovers use this information, but oftentimes, media agents and publishers make a swift decision based on the facts in a bio.
Your About Me page on your website, though, will be much more personal than the bio. Your reader has come to your website to learn more about you as a person. This is the place to be all about me, me, me. Here is the perfect spot for telling your readers interesting things about you that have nothing to do with your ability to write. Hobbies, places you’ve visited, and things that take up your time away from writing, are great factoids to help your reader feel a personal connection to you.
You can wax poetic, if that’s your style, all you want! You can talk about the mishaps of daily life, such as always having a coffee cup ring on the manuscripts you send to publishers, or accidentally including your son’s homework in a press release package you handed out at a book signing. Your readers want to know that you’re an average Joe just like them; they want to be able to relate to you.
By all means, make sure your Author Bio includes all the pertinent facts you want your readers and publishers to know about your qualifications, but remember that if they go the extra mile to visit your website, they want more than just intellectual jargon; they want to know the real, every day you. Give it to them in your best literary style on your About Me page!