When it comes to the back cover, many people first consider the blurb – the part where readers learn what the book is about and if it’s something they’ll be interested in. But that’s not the only thing authors put on the back cover – many times (not always), they include a short bio of themselves to give the reader a little more insight.
While a back cover blurb is obviously incredibly important, the “About the Author” is right up there on the scale, too. Depending on what your writing style is, this is where readers learn your credentials, your previous works, and whatever else you include. This blurb is similar to the About the Author Page on your website, but because you have less room and the focus should be on the book itself, you want this to be short and concise.
Here’s my bio on the back cover of GIFTED:
Liz Long has been writing fantasy stories since she could spell the word “unicorn” (second grade). She fears a zombie apocalypse, though admits it would give her good reason to stay inside and write as long she wanted. She is a proud graduate of Longwood University with a degree in English. Gifted is her debut title, the first in the Donovan Circus series. She lives in Roanoke, VA with her husband Jason and their Jack Russell terror, Fisher. To learn more about Liz, visit her website: http://www.lizclong.wordpress.com.
Readers can see where I graduated from and my degree, where I live, and surely pick up on the fact that I’m not a terribly serious person. I also include my website for a quick link of how to find me. I wanted it to be fun and light, much like the book itself, and showcase that despite it being my first book, I’m not afraid to put myself out there.
Not all writers change their bios often and that’s okay too. I don’t plan to change mine often, but that one had to be updated. It was too light, too young, and too unspecific. It’s hard to get a read on me or what my forte of writing is (I fear zombies, but do I write them? Or do I stick to fluffy topics like unicorns?) I wrote that bio when I was 25 and now at nearly 28, I wanted something slightly more serious that said what I do and what readers might get out of my work.
For WITCH HEARTS, I took a different route. Here’s my new bio:
Liz Long is lucky enough to have a dream career in magazine publishing as an editor and writer, yet still have time to create adventures on the side. If you catch her staring off into space or talking to herself, don’t worry – it’s just her imagination at work.
Liz graduated from Longwood University with a BA in English, though her professors might be disappointed to hear she reads more fantasy fiction than literary novels. She also loves action and thriller genres. Her books might not change your life, but she hopes they steal you away from reality for a while.
To learn more about Liz, visit her website: http://lizclong.com.
It’s a tad longer, but hits the heart of the matter. It shows what I do in my day to day life (and that I love it), so hopefully people will take it a little more seriously as it shows I have a background in writing something other than fiction. Most people know me to be snarky and have very dry humor – because I could never be anything other than that, I stay true to letting readers know I’ll do my best to give them a laugh with the imagination line. The second paragraph includes the BA in English, and that I love action and thriller genres – this tells the reader that if they like those genres too, they might enjoy my work. I also made sure to include my new website.
Because it’s tough for me to be serious, I end it on a light note, but in a way that tells a reader exactly what I want to do – allow them an escape from reality if only for a couple hours. My line about the professors being irked I read more fantasy fiction than literary novels is a bit of a wink to what I write, too – I’m not in the writing business for literary credentials or a Pulitzer. Readers who love non-fiction or historical pieces probably won’t care about my fantasy stories. But those of you who do love fantasy, action-adventure genres? You can guess you’ll be in good hands with me. I wrote the kind of books I’d like to read and that’s exactly how I want that inference in the bio blurb to be read.
Did you make the NYT Bestseller List? Have you won awards for previous works? You need to include that. It solidifies your experience and shows the reader that you’re worth a damn or two. What other great ways can we include information about ourselves in the back cover author blurb?