If you want to sell more books on Amazon (and elsewhere), you’ll want to step up your book bio game beyond the typical “about me” that you threw together a long time ago and probably use everywhere, for everything. If this describes you, then rest assured, you’re not alone. However, it’s time to upgrade and step beyond the lackluster bios that you see everywhere. You know what I’m talking about—the bios that talk about where an author lives, their pet’s name, and how they spend their time away from work. Here’s how!
Start at the VERY Beginning
Before you even write a sentence about yourself, start with a comprehensive list of anything and everything you’ve done that’s related to your book—from research to accreditations to real world experience, and even other books you’ve written. From here, you’ll simplify your list of inclusions, but start big and narrow down.
It’s Not About You
Although we are in fact telling the reader about you, they ultimately don’t care about you…per se, but more about how what you include relates to them. Keep it short, sweet, and relevant to your book.
Write in the third person. When it comes to writing a bio, never use words like “I” and “me” because writing a bio in the first person is an awkward read.
Explain Why You Are the Expert They Seek
Believe it or not, as a first-time author, you can still be credible. Even if this is your debut novel, you can lay the foundation for why you know your material like no other—this can include how long you’ve been writing and any techniques or resources you used in writing the book. But remember, you’ll want to be relevant too. So maybe your professional career sets you up as knowing your stuff, but it’s also important to know which information your readers will or won’t actually care about.
Add in Keywords That Drive Traffic
If you’ve been following me for any length of time, you know I often talk about keywords, and with good reason. You see, keywords matter greatly on Amazon, so it’s worth your while to spend some time on keyword research. And once you have, be sure to add these to your book bio too. Now you don’t have to worry about re-working your book cover to include these keywords. But, how many should you include in your bio? Well, that’s where your writing skill comes in—include as many as you can and still make your bio meaningful. It shouldn’t read like they’ve been slammed in there simply for the sake of including keywords. And, if you’re wondering why it’s important to include at least one or two keywords in your bio since Amazon is a search engine, it spiders your content (your book and author pages) looking for keywords.
Make It Personal & Even Funny
If you’ve written about your personal struggles, like a memoir, it makes sense to add a more personal touch to your bio. You can talk a bit less about your level of expertise and more about your personal background and life. Similarly, if your writing is funny, then your bio can be too. Can you imagine Tina Fey writing a totally serious book bio? Nope! So, keep your subject matter in mind when writing your bios.
Short is the New Long
The days of long-winded bios are gone. Keep your readers (and their attention spans) in mind. Keep your Amazon book bio short; while people do care who wrote the book, they don’t care enough to read about you for more than a few minutes. Save the lengthy version for your website, the foundation of your infrastructure, where truly motivated readers can go to learn even more about you!
Your Book Bio Shouldn't Be Static
In fact, I recommend changing your book bio regularly (once a quarter or so). If there’s a current event that ties into your book, mention it! And if you’re reading this and are with a traditional publisher and thinking “they won’t let me change my bio!” trust me, you don’t need your publisher to do this, just change it up in your Amazon Author Central Page.
Also, make sure to update your bio as you win awards, get more mentions, get some fab new reviews. For example, you could easily add “The New York Times calls this book groundbreaking…” at the end of your bio for a nice, strong finish.
Include a Call to Action & How to Find You
What action would you like readers to take, who are interested in learning more about you? Are you giving something away on your website? Do you have an exclusive VIP Facebook group you want to invite readers to? Want them to sign up for your newsletter? Then mention this in your bio. Don’t forget to add your website address so they can find you.
Once you’ve taken these steps, your book bio will be optimized for the best possible performance on Amazon. And, I think you’ll start seeing more traffic to your book page as a result since these changes can help trigger Amazon’s algorithms. So, invest the time now and you’ll have something to build from as you publish more books and grow as an author. And that list of everything you’ve ever done that you made in the first step? Save it! Keep it handy—because you can use it for other projects and build on it as you go.
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