Is Your Author Bio Compelling Enough? Sell More Books With a Great Bio!

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How To Write A Compelling Author Bio

author-bios

When you wrote your Amazon book page, how much thought did you put into the author bio? Did you quickly throw together some random sentences just so you could finish the page and hit “publish”?

Did you even bother to write an author bio at all?

No one reads the author bio… so it doesn’t really matter, right?

Wrong!

Unless you’re a household name, the author bio matters!

I’m assuming you’re not Grisham, or Godin, or Ferriss, or Fleming (that last one would be particularly difficult to achieve) – which means very few people other than your mom will buy the book purely because you’re the author.

Instead, those who end up on your book page will rely on a few key details to help them determine whether or not to buy it. Those details are: book reviews, book description, and author bio!

(It’s a given that you need a stellar front cover, an attention-grabbing book title, and a sophisticated keyword strategy. But those are the elements that get users to your book page in the first place – not what keeps them there.)

The author bio is where you establish yourself as the kind of person who ought to be read by your target market. It’s where you forge a connection with your potential readers and get them to trust you, believe in you, and want to read what you have to say. If you take the author bio seriously and get it right, you’ll sell more books. *That’s* why the author bio matters.

In This Article, You Will Learn:

  • How to decide which information to include (and what you can leave out) in your author bio
  • The best “tone” and “personality” to use
  • Tips on making sure your author bio is persuasive and engaging
  • How to add the bio to your book listing page
  • An author bio template checklist

First, though, a quick explanation of which author bio we’re talking about. On Amazon, there are two kinds of bio: the generic bio on your “Author Page,” and separate bios for each of your books. The advice in this post is aimed at your bio on your individual book pages (although much of it will still be relevant to your main “Author Page”).

Let’s go!

STEP 1: STRATEGICALLY PREPARE FOR  YOUR AUTHOR BIO

Before you write your masterpiece of an author bio, ask yourself the following questions.

What’s Your Book About?

If your book is a contemporary romance novel with a middle-aged female protagonist, the personality and content of your author bio will be markedly different from if you’re writing about tax-deduction strategies for real estate investors.

While this may seem like the most “obvious” advice ever, you’d be surprised by just how much unnecessary or inappropriate content (in terms of the book’s subject matter) finds its way into the author bio. If your nightmare-inducing horror novel contains a perky and cheerful author description about your love for puppies and former career as a glassblower, it’s just going to confuse readers and lose their connection to your writing.

Who Are You Writing For?

Closely linked to the question above, you need to think about your target reader.

Who did you have in mind when writing the book?

Who do you want to buy and read it?

Will that person be looking for evidence of your credibility in the field and reassurance that you’re an authority on the subject? Or are you hoping to attract people who are drawn to your personality or unique opinions or insights?

Figure it out, then write for that person. Try not to add information to your bio “just in case” a different kind of reader might appreciate it. You’ll end up with a behemoth of a bio that no one reads because it’s simply too daunting.

 

What Tone And Personality Suit The Author Bio?

Again, this ties into the previous questions. If you’ve written a funny fictional story, go with that same humor in your bio. If your book is a spiritual guide to personal growth, some life-affirming positivity wouldn’t go amiss.

You can also use the author bio to guide the reader into understanding what the personality of the book will be like – which is particularly useful when the tone of the book is unusual or surprising compared to the subject matter.

For example, there’s a book called Profit First: A Simple System To Transform Any Business From A Cash-Eating Monster To A Money-Making Machine. If anyone reaches the Amazon page thinking the author will have an overly aggressive or arrogant approach, the bio (a fabulous combination of humor, credentials, and authority on the subject) will set them straight:

“Mike Michalowicz (mi-KAL-o-witz) is the author of Profit First, The Pumpkin Plan and the “entrepreneur’s cult classic” (BusinessWeek), The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur. With a popular, quirky website MikeMichalowicz.com, he is a globally recognized entrepreneurial advocate. Mike is a former small business columnist for the Wall Street Journal, is MSBNC’s business make-over, has built and sold two multi-million dollar companies and currently runs his third.”

STEP 2: HOW TO WRITE AN AUTHOR BIO

While you’re writing, keep asking yourself: Is this relevant to my reader? Will they be interested in the fact that I was born in California or that I was top of my class in Physics once?

And while we’re on this topic… no one cares that you always wanted to be a writer. Well done that you’re living your dream, but seriously: leave it out unless you’re writing a memoir.

This isn’t to say that your bio should be impersonal. On the contrary: it’s your opportunity to connect with readers and make them feel like they know you and *want* to read your work. You just need to make sure the information you include is relevant and will be of genuine interest to them.

Here are some other things to consider while writing:

Go With The Third Person

“About the author” demands the third person. While it may feel a bit weird to write “he” or “she” rather than “I,” there’s one major benefit: it’ll come across as less boastful when you start mentioning all your (relevant) accomplishments and accolades.

That said…

We All Know You Wrote Your Own Author Bio

You can’t go waaay overboard showing off because – even though the author bio is in the third person – every reader will know you wrote it. State your achievements, sure, but don’t become a braggart: try to bring a little humility and modesty to the text.

Keep Your Author Bio Short

Even if you have a ton of biographical information that relates to your book, very few people will be prepared to wade through nine paragraphs of it. The faster they can read about you, the faster they can click the link to buy your book.

The general consensus on word count is aim for 75 words, but definitely don’t go above 150. It takes effort and practice to distill everything into such a short space, but once you’ve nailed it you’ll be able to fit a great deal of personality and information into those words.

Use It Like A Business Card

Give readers a way to interact with you by adding your website or social media info. At the very least, they’ll be able to find out more about you and explore your other works.

STEP 3: ADD THE AUTHOR BIO TO YOUR BOOK PAGE

You can do this in one of two ways:

  • Visit Amazon Author Central, click on your book, and add it in the “About the Author” section OR…
  • If you published a paperback version of your book on CreateSpace, you can enter the bio in the “Author Biography” section for your book. There isn’t an equivalent field in KDP, but when you include this information on CreateSpace, it’ll automatically get included on the Kindle version of your book on Amazon.

USE THESE AUTHOR BIO EXAMPLES AS INSPIRATION

Here are some real-life author bios that combine most or all of the tips above:

Damn Delicious: 100 Super Easy, Super Fast Recipes: “Chungah Rhee is the founder, recipe developer, and photographer of Damn Delicious. What began as a grad school hobby is now a top food blog, with millions of readers coming to her site for easy weeknight recipes and simplified gourmet meals. She lives and continues to cook non-stop in Los Angeles, with her baby corgi, Butters. Visit her at damndelicious.net.” [60 words]

Long Range Shooting Handbook: Complete Beginner’s Guide to Long Range Shooting: “Ryan Cleckner served as a special operations sniper team leader with the U.S. Army’s elite 1st Ranger Bn. on multiple combat deployments. Ryan is a graduate of the premier Special Operations Target Interdiction Course (SOTIC), among other military training courses, and has taught snipers and police sharpshooters from around the world. Ryan has a series of online instructional videos known for their ability to explain complex topics in a simple and digestible way. Ryan is currently a firearms industry professional and an attorney.” [83 words]

Diary of a Farting Creeper: Why Does the Creeper Fart When He Should Explode? (Volume 1): Who is Wimpy Fart? Wimpy Fart loves Minecraft and writes awesome Minecraft books for YOU because you are the best Minecraft fans in the world. You can email Wimpy Fart to tell him about your favorite Minecraft books, or to talk about really loud farts. wimpyfart@gmail.com Oh – Wimpy Fart reads all your awesome Amazon reviews and likes to know what you want to read about in Minecraft books! [68 words]

Forgotten Secrets: Internationally bestselling and award-winning author Robin Perini is devoted to giving her readers fast-paced, high-stakes adventures with a love story sure to melt their hearts. A RITA Award finalist, she sold fourteen titles to publishers in less than two years after winning the prestigious Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Award in 2011. An analyst for an advanced technology corporation, she is also a nationally acclaimed writing instructor and enjoys competitive small-bore rifle silhouette shooting. Robin makes her home in the American Southwest and loves to hear from readers. Visit her website at http://www.robinperini.com. [94 words]

Screen Shot 2017-01-17 at 5.25.27 PMDave Chesson’s Own Blog Bio at Kindlepreneur: (Added by Dave here) I probably don’t have to tell you but I’m pretty much a techy goof ball.  And hopefully, my bio does a great job of conveying it. Using humor and an upbeat manner, I hope I’ve created a dialogue that lets Kindlepreneur readers know exactly who I am as a writer for this site in 34 words. But the inspiration for such a bio came after I read an amazing biography of John Scalzi at the end of his book “Old Man’s War.” It was this biography that drove me to buy John’s next book and follow him on his blog…does that make me a stalker?  John Scalzi, what do you think?

USE THIS AUTHOR BIO TEMPLATE

The information you include in your author bio (and the personality of your text) will depend on a combination of many factors.

There’s no “one size fits all” approach. Having said that, the following checklist provides a structure you may wish to consider. If you browse many of the best author bios, you’ll notice they tend to follow this sequence:

Punchy, impactful intro sentence

Introduce industry/field/authority area

Build credibility without overly bragging

Add a personal touch

Finish on a call to action (check out new book, follow on social media, etc.)

YOU’RE READY!

The steps in this post take you through everything you need to think about and do when it comes to writing your own author description. Refer back to them when you start writing – and you’ll have a persuasive, engaging author bio that wins more fans and sells more books in no time!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: MISH SLADE

Mish Slade, author of the How to Write a Author Bio article

Mish Slade is the founder of copywriting agency Mortified Cow  – which takes a decidedly different view on how businesses should promote themselves. Her latest book is called May I Have Your Attention, Please? Your Guide to Business Writing That Charms, Captivates, and Converts.

If you are curious, here is Mish’s “Bio” from the About page of her website (and yes, it’s funny)…

About Us
We’re Mish and Rob, and we’re on a mission to help businesses discover their greatness and win their 
dream customers. To be honest, we’re only doing it to save our marriage.
Trouble is, looking at bad business copy puts us in such a foul mood we start sniping at each other. One too many lame clichés or labored passages of jargon, and before you know it the dinner’s in the dog and sex is off the menu for the rest of the week.
So we’re working through the problem, one business at a time – it’s our own form of relationship counseling.

The Right Way to Save and Share your Book’s Amazon Sales Page Link

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Amazon sales page link

Ever wonder why some of the reviews on your book’s Amazon sales page are removed by Amazon?

It could be because of the way you saved and shared your Amazon sales page link.

There’s a right way and a wrong way to do it. When you do it the wrong way, you’re signaling to Amazon that you shared the link with lots of people.

When you do it the right way, Amazon doesn’t know that book buyers and reviewers got the link to your book’s sales page from you rather than on their own.

So how do you do it the right way?

It’s easy. Watch this short, two-and-a half-minute video to find out how.

Did I get this information directly from Amazon?

Nope.

But it’s been widely promoted on the Internet by authors and others. And it makes sense, so I feel comfortable sharing it.

And really, it can’t hurt — it can only help.

Saving your Amazon sales page link with the Associates program

There’s another way to share your link, although it’s comes with restrictions. You can enroll in Amazon’s Associates (affiliate) program so you make a few extra pennies every time someone buys your book with the Associates program link you provide. If you do that, though, note thatAmazon doesn’t allow you to send Associates/affiliate links in emails or include them in e-books. You can use them on your website and blog, but that’s it.

Why? Because it’s Amazon.

From: https://buildbookbuzz.com/

Learn more about the Amazon Associates program and how to use it on the Amazon website on BUILD BOOK BUZZ..

If you’re starting to realize that you need to learn more about how to maximize your book’s presence on Amazon so you sell more books, our video training program is for you. “How to Sell More Books on Amazon” teaches everything you need to know. Learn more about the training at this link.

Think other authors might need to learn how to share their Amazon sales page link? Please share this article with friends and colleagues who need to learn this important step.

 

 

17 Things for Authors to Share on Social Media in 2017 (instead of advertising their books)

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HAPPY NEW YEAR! Welcome to 2017!

Make this year the year your book goes viral and becomes a best seller!

Some authors are much more comfortable writing books than they are writing tweets and other social media posts. If you are one of those writers who stares at a blinking cursor and wonders what to share that would endear you to your readers then this article from AME is for you.

17 Things Authors can Share on Social Media in 2017

Happy New Year and welcome to 2017!

The end of 2016 was a time for introspection and family, and now that 2017 is here, we are already hearing from indie authors who are hitting the ground running on their book marketing! If you haven’t yet begun to make a plan of action for 2017, then you may want to read our December article that offers 17 ways to sell more books this year! The third item in that article is to “refine your social media.” But even if you’ve already figured out which social networks are driving traffic to your book and/or website, like many people, you may have a tough time deciding what exactly to share on social media in 2017.  Our team has compiled these 17 ideas for you to consider as you begin kicking your social media—and book promotion—into high gear.

  1. Ask Fans for Input – Ask your fans to review your book, or who their favorite characters are – they may even give you an idea for a future book or novella, but more importantly, you’ll keep them engaged!
  1. Share Quotes – Use Canva to pull together an easy image, whether using a quote from your book, a quote about your book, or even just fun memes (those funny pictures with text you see people sharing).
  1. Share Books You Love – Not every post has to be self-promotion, and in fact, it shouldn’t be. Share a book that you really enjoyed, and what you loved about it. This will give another author a potential boost, but it also sets you up as a valuable resource to help readers find their next great books.
  1. Share Your Love for Writing and Books – Tell your readers why you do what you do; help them get to know you. If they feel like you have connected with them, they’re more likely to follow your accomplishments and future books.
  1. Thank People – Each time someone does something great, be sure to thank them. And while personal notes are great, what will really make them stand out is a social media mention. If they offer a great service, tell your fans why you love working with them. This goes back to connecting with people on a personal level and being a great resource.
  1. Share Good News – Have something exciting coming up? Get a major review for your book? Your fans will cheer on your success – so share with them.
  1. What Are You Reading? – Just like #3 above, telling people what you’re reading is a great conversation starter and potential boost for another author!
  1. Share Your Library – This could be a picture of the wall-to-wall bookshelves that are overflowing with books, or it could be a snapshot of your to-be-read (TBR) pile.
  1. Contests? – Know of any great giveaways? They could be books, products, whatever! Give a nod to whoever is offering them and then share, share away with your fans!
  1. Fill in the Blanks – Mad libs was a fun game when you were a kid, and now, with social media, it’s just as entertaining! See what fun ideas your fans have – and maybe, just maybe, in addition to boosting engagement it’ll spark the idea for your bestseller!
  1. Share Song Playlists by Book or Book Character – This is a fun one! What would your characters be listening to? Or, what songs describe their moods or attributes? Help your readers get inside your character’s – and your – head!
  1. Answer FAQs – this is fun! What are some of the common questions you get? What do you think people would be most likely to ask you? This can turn into a great blog post or article series… and if you’re stumped, think about what you’d like to know from some of your favorite authors.
  1. Promote Things You Love (charities, etc.) – Simple. If you love it, your fans deserve to know, and, especially in the case of charities, the charities deserve any extra love too!
  1. Share Good News (not just yours) – I always say that we should be connectors. Share in your friends’ successes, and take delight in what goes well for others…. One day they just might return the favor.
  1. Celebrate Your Character’s Birthdays and/or Major Life Events – this will help make your characters real to your readers! Real people have birthdays (or un-birthdays), weddings, anniversaries, etc!
  1. Share Things You’re Interested in (so fans can get to know you) – Be a connector! If your fans like your work (and they do!), it stands to reason that they might just love some of the same things you do.
  1. Show off Your Pets – this is my favorite thing to do. Pets are very personal, and everyone who has one loves seeing the exploits of other people’s furry, four-legged kids.

These 17 ideas should give you a great place to start! And, if you need some ideas on how to make the most of social media, check out some of these articles we wrote in 2016 on Facebook, (plus this article onFacebook’s Marketing PowerInstagram, and Twitter. If you’re new to creating images for use on social media, this article on creating picture-perfect images offers great advice. Plus, as we began pulling together ideas for items to share, we had a tough time stopping at 17, so tune in next week for 17 MORE things you can share on social media.

https://www.amarketingexpert.com

50 Things Under 50 Bucks To Promote Your Book, Part 1

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Penny Sansevieri is one of our favorite sources for marketing ideas. We highly recommend following her blog.