The definition of Public Relations in business is “Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between businesses and the public”
In the past my focus has been on book marketing, which did include how to reach potential readers with blogs, social media and as part of the writing community. Whilst this series will revisit those platforms along the way it is an opportunity to focus on some key areas of our public profiles that might influence the public to buy our books.
The focus this time is on you.. the author.
Last week I looked at the impact our Profile Photo – First contact with reader might have on potential readers.
This week it is the turn of the biography that we put on selling sites such as Amazon, Bookbub and Goodreads.
Author Biography – Tips and Translations
With approximately 150 authors across the Cafe and Bookstore and the Children’s Reading Room, I am in Amazon and Goodreads daily checking for new releases and reviews to share in the updates. In the current series of Meet the Authors I am also updating biographies to include and I am afraid that I have had to update quite a few myself with new books, or the numbers of books that have been written.
My suggestions today are not carved in stone, and how you write your biography is entirely your decision. The one area that is key and seems to be echoed around the writing sites is the fact that a biography that is overlong will be overlooked.
The biography is your advertisement that combined with your photograph is going to grab the attention of the potential reader who has landed on your author page.
Last week I shared the fact that there are 20,000 new ebooks uploaded each week on Amazon that are in direct competition with your books. Provided you have listed your books with the genre or sub-genre, when searching for books a reader will be offered a selection to choose from. Hopefully that will land them on your book page or your Amazon Author Page.
Having got them there.. and smiled at them from your author photograph they will look at the first line of your biography and with any luck will decide to read the rest.
However, they are not going to stay their long! Which is why the recommended length of an author biography is under 1000 characters (Amazon recommendation) or 300 words.
- The primary aim of your biography is to establish your credentials as a writer and to give a quick resume of your work with a dash of personality that makes them think they might enjoy your books.
- It is recommended to write the biography in the third person. I have played around with both first and third person and I have just revamped mine with the latter. (I am still playing around with it)
- Not all of us have degrees in literature or are award winning or USA Today Bestselling authors. However, those that do should lead with that.
- Failing academic credentials, then get creative on how to hook a reader into trusting you know what you are doing. One of the ways to do that is use third party endorsement by using snippets from your reviews.
For example you could select one of your top reviews for a book and start your biography.
James Smith is a writer whose readers consider ‘is a master storyteller who brings characters alive’
Samantha Johnson’s first novel Desperate Authors received five star reviews ‘Johnson’s creative world building left me breathless’
- If you have awards for other books mention you have several including two or three stand out commendations.
- Following this, and if you have more than one book, it is a good idea mention your most current book with a brief synopsis.
- It is not necessary to list the titles of all the books you have written within the biography as the covers are featured on the page. However, after the main biography you can add further information on series of books for example, so that the reader has a better idea of which book to begin with.
- Many of the sample biographies of best-selling authors that I have read over the last couple of weeks have been written with a certain amount of humour which made them stand out.
- It is a good idea to put the link to your website with a note – For more information about the author and their work etc.
Amazon new look Author Central
Amazon have made it easier for you to share your biography, not only on other sites but in other languages.
Potential readership around the world.
The other key element to think about is your visibility on an international platform such as Amazon which sells our books on 17 sites (maybe more as growing fast) with a reach of approximately 58 countries. This means that you need to make sure your biography is on as many sites as possible. If you are on the US or UK site your covers and books will automatically be on the other, but not your biography (I have noticed several where the author has not gone in to add their biography, missing a marketing opportunity.)
It is estimated that there are around 2 billion English speakers in the world, either as native English speakers or as a second language. Most of the native English speakers are from the UK, Ireland,USA, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. English is also one of the primary languages throughout the Caribbean, parts of Africa and also spoke as a second language in Scandinavia, Netherlands and Germany.
This means that it is important to check your books on the corresponding Amazon author pages. Some will let you add a biography and some won’t but you can translate your biography into a number of languages and they are available to readers if they require it. Luckily the German Amazon allowed me to upload a translation onto the site. Thanks to
I have Tales from the Garden in Spanish of which there are over 500 million speakers worldwide, so I have translated my bio into Spanish too. I use some of that bio when sharing the link on Amazon Spain to promote that edition. There are a number of Language options.
I am working around the various Amazon sites to find those that will allow me to add my biography in the appropriate language.
I was very lucky that the book was translated into Spanish by Olga Nunez Miret who did an amazing job and I can highly recommend if you are considering doing similar with any of your books.
I hope that you have found this of some help in creating your bio and spreading it around the world. Next time Guest Posts as an opportunity to expand your public profile and how to make the most of the experience.
©Sally Cronin 2021
Sally Cronin is the author of fourteen books including her memoir Size Matters: Especially when you weigh 330lb first published in 2001. This has been followed by another thirteen books both fiction and non-fiction including multi-genre collections of short stories and poetry. Her latest collection, Life is Like a Bowl of Cherries: Sometimes Bitter, Sometimes Sweet, reflects on the absurdities and sometimes tragedies that drop into our lives.
As an author she understands how important it is to have support in marketing books and offers a number of promotional opportunities in the Cafe and Bookstore Free Book Promotion. on her blog and across her social media.
After leading a nomadic existence exploring the world, she now lives with her husband on the coast of Southern Ireland enjoying the seasonal fluctuations in the temperature of the rain.
To discover more: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine and Sally Cronin
Thanks for dropping in and I look forward to your feedback.. thanks Sally.