We’ve all read online articles. They can be informative or funny. Deliberate or long winded. But there is one thing that all of them have in common. They were written by authors just like you and me. And the majority of those articles feature an “About the Author” section–simply called the author bio. But these author bios are far from the same. Each and every bio is unique.
Let’s take a look at food blogger and cookbook author Chungah Rhee. She’s really unlocked the secret to a great author bio. Let’s take a look at hers and see if we can’t solve this mystery ourselves.
Exhibit A: The Author Bio
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.”
In Chungah Rhee’s author bio, she establishes herself as an authority on quick and easy recipes by quantifying her readership. 10-20 readers may mean she’s a decent cook. But millions of readers… I’d say that qualifies her as an expert.
But is her quantification what makes her author bio special? Is that the real secret? Hmm… let’s take a deeper look.
In the bio, she mentions that she is the founder, recipe developer, and photographer of her site–damndelicious.net.
That’s got some weight to it. Not only does she write for the site, but she started the whole thing! On top of that, she does the photography and recipe development too! This has got to be the secret behind this awesome bio right?
We’re almost there. Still just a little bit more to this mystery. Let’s take a one last look at this author bio can see if we can crack this secret wide open.
This time our focus will be on two phrases.
- What began as a grad school hobby…
- She lives and continues to cook non-stop in Los Angeles, with her baby corgi Butters.
These two phrases may be our biggest clues of all. But how?
What began as a grad school hobby…
What comes to mind when you think grad school? For most, visions of non-stop hustle and hard work come to mind. Grad school is no walk in the park. I can definitely see the benefit of having a hobby during then. Something to really break up that stress.
But what does that have to do with unlocking the secret of the author bio? Maybe the next phrase will have more clout.
She lives and continues to cook non-stop in Los Angeles, with her baby corgi Butters.
Can you get what could be the most telling part of this? Is it the non-stop cooking? Nope. Maybe it’s the hustle and bustle of LA city life? Guess again.
It’s Butters. Her corgi.
You see what both Butters and and her grad school hobby have in common is… they both humanize Chungah.
Chungah no longer is just some top recipe creating superstar in the blogging world. She’s an actual human being with struggles and joys. Just like you and me. She is now relatable. And that’s the secret, right? Well, yes and no.
You see all these components–the relatability, the fame, the qualifications– they all make up the author bio. They are all parts to a whole. That whole being the energy of author bio.
That’s right. The secret to a good author bio is for it to have a great energy to it. The same energy you apply to your social media as an author.
When your reader sees your bio, you want them to feel good about it. The reader should want to know more about you and your works. That’s the ultimate goal. Get them interested and keep them coming back for more.
So, what’s a good trick to knowing the energy your author bio puts out?
Have a good friend take a look at your bio before you post it. Now… we all know how friends can get. They always tell you something’s great when in all reality it really isn’t. So make sure you ask for a brutally honest opinion.
Being a writer will always bring criticism so might as well start getting used to it. Plus, an unbiased (or minimally biased) opinion an really do wonders for you. Not to mention giving the friend a trial run for when it comes time for you to write a book!
Ask them how does it read. In particular, how does it make you sound? Do you sound snobby and pretentious? Or too goofy for a serious subject matter? Do they trust your opinion?
You see, people want to trust what they read. And that all starts with trusting the one who wrote it.
About the author: This is a guest post by Dave Chesson. He teaches authors advanced book marketing tactics at Kindlepreneur.com. His most recent project is the Book Marketing Show, Dave’s contribution to the world of publishing podcasts. He is also the creator of the leading Kindle research and advertising software, KDP Rocket.
Cover picture by Cliff Johnson