Your Amazon Author Page and BIO is part of your sales strategy. It should engage your reader. It should be interesting and informative. It should SELL your books.
It should sell YOU.
I’ve worked with authors on hundreds of Amazon and Kindle promotions. The BIGGEST mistake I see is the absence of an author bio, or a wimpy, lifeless bit of nonsense that does nothing to sell you as an author or sell your book.
Your Amazon Author Page is an overall showcase of all your books, and includes your Bio and a photograph of YOU. It can also include other photos, videos, and updates from your blog.
Many authors never take the time to fill this out … that is a BIG mistake. Your Amazon Author Page gives you an opportunity to showcase ALL your books and more.
You MUST have a BIO
If you are shy, reticent or don’t know what to say, hire someone to help you.
If you write FICTION …
tell your own personal story. You can include information like:
- how you came to write your first book
- why you love the genre you are writing in
- a short run-down of who you are
- where you live
- your pets, hobbies, interests
- whether or not this is a series, or a planned series
- awards and kudos
If you write NON-FICTION …
Use your bio to sell your expertise. What qualifies you to write this book, or this series. People want to be assured that you actually know something about your topic.
Social Media Links
In addition to providing personal and professional information you can also add a link to your website/blog, AND all your other social media accounts, such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and more.
Yeah But … Yeah But …
If you are boring you wouldn’t have managed to write a book. Suck it up and get over it. You are in the business of publishing, marketing and selling. Pretend you are a character in your book and make that character interesting.
I’m using a Pseudonym
I’m not going to ask why. I’m sure you have your reasons, and some of them will actually be really good reasons. Your alter ego still needs a bio. Make it up. You can actually tell about yourself without revealing your real name.
Never Ever Do These Three Things in Your BIO
- NEVER make up credentials of any kind. Don’t pretend you are a Doctor if you are not one. Don’t say you are a licensed nutritionist unless you actually are one. Don’t put a PhD behind your name unless you have one. You could get your ass sued off for false misrepresentation … so just don’t go there.
- NEVER claim Best Selling Author status unless you actually ARE a Best Selling Author. I read one authors BIO where he claimed to be a best selling author. It took me 30 seconds to call him a liar. He had ONE book on Amazon for less than a week. He had one 3-star review and one over the top 5-star review. His overall book ranking was over 2 million … which for those of you who don’t know, means he probably made less than 3 book sales.
- NEVER mention your pet snake or reptile. I encourage you to mention your cat(s) or dog(s) or cute gerbils … but forget about the reptiles. The second some people see that their phobias will click in and they will click out. Of course, if you are selling books about reptiles and snakes … hmmmm? Up to you.
How To Add Your Bio
Your BIO is added from within your Author Central account, which is linked to your Amazon Seller dashboard. If you don’t already have an Author Central account you can create one in 5 minutes (not kidding).
My advice is to write your bio before you log into your Author Central account. Spend some time crafting a really great and informative blurb. “Some” time could mean 5 minutes if you are a fiction author … it could mean several hours of thought and consideration if you write non-fiction.
While you are at it, create two versions. A longer version for your website and a short to medium version for Amazon.
The time you spend could be paid back with greatly increased book sales. Take your time, think about it. Run it past a friend or two. Get help if you need it. Hire a professional if you need it.
When your bio is ready, log into your Author Central account. Click on Profile, add your bio and add a photo.
Your photo is uploaded from within the author section.
You are trying to sell your books right? If you’re serious … you really don’t want your visitors to see one of these “No image available” panels.
Don’t use a picture of your dog unless you are one. Don’t use a photo of your husband/wife or kids.
If you are using a pseudonym, find or purchase a royalty free photo and use it … find an over the shoulder or a photo where the “subject” is in the distance.
If you are camera shy, your photo doesn’t have to be a closeup, just don’t include your wife and the kids … because then no one will know who the author actually is! Use a silhouette if you want … just ADD a photo!
The photo below could be anyone, and is much better than the “no image available” panel.
Yes, you actually have to link to each of your books. The really fabulous news is that you can add MORE information about your books in this section.
One of the best uses of this space is to add reviews from other sources such as blogs, review sites, magazines and newspapers. Be sure to add the name and credits of the reviewer.
Spice Up Your Amazon Author Page With …
Photos and Videos
In addition to the thumbnail image that comes with your Bio, you can add additional photos and videos including book trailers.
Add a FEED from your BLOG
Connect your blog to your Author Page. This is the perfect way to keep your fans updated with the latest information from your blog. Once you connect it, a new update will appear every time you update your blog.
Your visitors can easily click through to your blog, where you can give them more information and collect their names for your email list.
Your Amazon Author Page In A Nutshell:
- Add your Bio (be sure to link to your website and other social media sites)
- Add a Bio photo
- Add ALL Your Books with additional information such as off-Amazon reviews.
- Update this whenever you add a new book.
- Add additional photos and videos
- Link to your BLOG and other social media.
Need more information?Here is a fabulous book with loads of great information and ideas.
Cecelia Dowdy says
Do you care to share some examples of impressive/exciting bios?
Hi Cecelia, thanks for your question. Why didn’t I think of that? In the next week or so, I will find some examples and add links at the end of the article. Since I was just looking at his new book and Bio … I’ll start off with Jeff shear. He has written political non-fiction and has a series of political conspiracy books. His bio definitely lets you know that Jeff knows his stuff from the INSIDE out. What is also interesting is that he has created several videos with his main character and added them to his Author Information section. The longer you can keep visitors engaged, the more likely a sale.
Wow thanks so much! You really made a great and useful article, now i will do my best for follow your suggestions. Thanks again!
Amit Arad, author of Lions of Judea series says
Great tip, like all your advice. Thank you so much!!!
Simone Leigh Martin says
Thanks Melanie. Great tool, especially for new writers. Love the list for our personal story, as well as the reminder to get out there and promote ourselves (instead of hiding behind our family and pet pics!)