Step5e: How to Write an Author’s Bio

Having an appropriate bio as an author sends the right message to your existing and potential readers. The bio is the first introduction a reader has on you. People are looking for reasons why they should spend their time reading what you have written. You need to instill confidence in your readers that you are knowledgeable on the subject matter.

1. The first step is for you to identify your purpose and audience. This is important because it shapes the ‘how to’ write the bio. This includes your tone, language, and levels of formality. A bio can be funny, personal, formal or professional depending on the target readers but it should always communicate briefly who you are and what you do in relation to your book.

2. Invest heavily once to reap a hundred times. Write a lengthy bio of yourself detailing every aspect of your life. If you do it well, you will be able to customize that information for the different platforms that will demand your bio. Though it takes time to do it well, it will serve you well over many years.

3. Do your research – don’t re-invent the wheel just re-align it to fit in your plans. Thousands, if not millions of authors have written bios in the past, you can save time by going through what others have done to shape yours. Ensure you search for bios from authors in the same line with your writing.

4. Be precise and to the point. In as much as your life has so many interesting facts, most information will be irrelevant to certain target groups. An author should mention their writing achievements and awards from the past. Mentioning their weight or physical fitness may not be relevant unless the book is about exercising. Every single information must be purposefully selected and committed to building the author’s credibility. Make sure to mention any awards and recognitions you have received in the past towards elevating your credibility.

5. Write in the third person to make your bio sound more objective – like it’s been written by someone else other than yourself. Instead of writing, “I am an author of two books” you should write, “Muthoni Omukhango is the author of two books – Back on My Feet and Too Busy for Worship”. The latter is much more formal and professional.

6. Always begin with your full names because it is likely that there will be readers of your book that do not know who you are. Use two names as you prefer them but avoid nicknames because they tend to water down the seriousness of your bio.

7. How much is too much? Ensure you give enough information that will humanize you. You have to give a little more personal information (in moderation) to help the readers to connect to you. It becomes too much if the information is not relevant to the readers.

It is best practice for authors in the Christian book industry to mention where they live, if they are married and have children. For example, for a marriage book the emphasis could be on family – “Muthoni Omukhango lives in Nairobi, Kenya with her husband Patrick Omukhango and their three children, Makena, Amani and Imara.”

Or for a single parents book the emphasis could be on that – “Muthoni Omukhango lives in Nairobi, Kenya with her two dogs, Charlie and Cookie. She loves training single women on financial indepedence.”

8. Always include contact information. In the world of convenience that we live in, people do not want to stretch as much and so provide the information they need right where they need it. The contacts can include:

  • Phone number
  • Email address
  • Social Media handles
  • Website

9. Check the work again and again. Once you are done with the bio, ensure to read it again to check for any typing or grammatical errors. Having a poorly done bio will do more harm to your credibility than not having a bio in the first place.

10. Ask for help from your family and loved ones. It’s always good to have someone check your work to make sure the messaging is clear and to the point. Those close to you should be able to give you actionable feedback.

Next we will look at How to Write a Book’s Blurb.

Training by: Dr. Muthoni Mercy Omukhango

Publisher in Africa | National Director @CLC Kenya |Authors’ Manager @African Christian Authors Book Award-ACABA | Marketplace Minister | Patron at CLC Kids and Teens | Advancing God’s Kingdom through literature.

Step2: Let’s Talk About Publishing

The self-publishing landscape has changed considerably in the past two decades with new technologies such as the Internet, and the $1 billion markets continuing to change at a rapid pace. Increasingly, there are numerous alternatives to traditional publishing, and self-publishing is becoming the first choice for writers.

Read More

Step5: Publishing Steps – Review

Is your manuscript due for a review towards getting published? The major focus during manuscript review is the general quality of the book. It is important to establish the overall completeness, scope and readership of the manuscript and whether the presentation and accessibility of the book is suitable. #RaisingAfricanVoices

Read More

Step5a: How to Write a Book Dedication

A book dedication is a way for you, the author to bestow a high honor on a person (or a group of people) you wish to praise or otherwise spotlight. This dedication note is often short and usually focused on one person (or a specific group of people). It’s supposed to be personal, rather than professional. It goes on the dedication page, which is in the very front of the book, after the title page. Here's how to write one. #RaisingAfricanVoices

Read More

Step5b: How to Write a Book’s Foreword

A well-written foreword can function as the ultimate third-party recommendation or endorsement for your book, generating interest and helping when it’s time to market your book. Here are the benefits of forewords and a guide to writing one. #RaisingAfricanVoices

Read More

Step5c: How to Write a Book Introduction

Are you stuck on writing your book introduction? Here's how to... Hook the reader right from the beginning with a personal story from your life, a funny story, a joke, or just an interesting fact that causes him/her to want to continue reading. #RaisingAfricanVoices

Read More

Step5e: How to Write an Author’s Bio

People are looking for reasons why they should spend their time reading what you have written. You need to instill confidence in your readers that you are knowledgeable on the subject matter by writing an appropriate bio. Here's how to write one. #RaisingAfricanVoices

Read More

Step5f: How to Write a Book’s Blurb

A blurb is a short yet descriptive account of the book that goes on the back cover or within the book sleeve of a hardcover book. It includes any information that represents the book best and intrigues the readers and shoppers to pick the book off the shelves. Here's how to write one... #RaisingAfricanVoices

Read More

Step6c: How to Use Dialogue in Story Writing

Effective dialogue is characterized by authenticity, clarity, and relevance to the story. It should sound natural and believable, reflecting the unique voices and perspectives of the characters. Dialogue tags, such as "said," "asked," and "replied," help identify speakers and maintain clarity in conversations.

Read More

1 Comment

  • Jemimah Nzola February 24, 2023

    Thank you for this elaborate article Muthoni. It’s very educative.

Leave a reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.