The author bio for your non-fiction book is an important addition in that it serves as a sort of résumé, showing readers your credentials and experience that allow you to write on your book’s subject matter. It’s also a chance to connect with your readers on a more personal level, provided it’s done right.
When writing a book, there are two potential places to include your author bio: the back cover of the book and the last page(s) of the book. Some authors choose one or the other, though I recommend taking advantage of both. The back cover bio is a chance to impress a potential reader, while the inside bio is often the last impression made on a reader. Both are powerful and worthwhile.
Back Cover Bio
There’s not much space on the back cover, so every word counts there. Keep a cover bio short and sweet and related to the book. Avoid wasting space on mundane details like where you live or how many pets you have, unless it’s relevant to the subject matter of the book. This is the place to mention your qualifications for writing the book and also to include a website address. This is a big missed opportunity I see too often! If you have a website, say so on the back cover of your book!
About the Author Bio
For the “About the Author” section at the back of the book, anything goes. Of course it should be interesting to read, so you don’t want to write a mini-memoir, but you can expand on details provided in the back cover bio, or add information you didn’t have space for there. Here are items to consider including in your bio:
- Professional background
- Current business or profession
- Achievements or awards
- Previous publishing experience
- Personal details (family, city of residence, personal interests, etc.)
- Contact information (you want readers to reach out to you, right?). Include your website URL. You may also want to include an e-mail address and phone number, particularly if you have a business number that readers may call to find out about your professional services, such as coaching or speaking.)
- Professional photo (please, please, please don’t crop yourself out of a group photo or use something that looks unprofessional!)
Lastly, consider adding a call to action. If your book relates to your business, use the final pages to mention your products and services or make a special offer for readers. This is prime real estate and a chance for you to generate more business as a result.
If you like this blog post, you’ll love the recordings from our previous Nonfiction Writers Conference events. Check it out!