Author’s “About Me” Page: How Important Is it?
Guest Post by Irene Watson
Your author “about me” page is one of the most important pages on your site! Why? Because your potential reader wants to know you are human and reassurance that you know what you are writing about. As well, they want to put a face to the name so that means your headshot – up close and personal.
First of all, let’s talk about the bio. Your bio needs to be about you, what you stand for, and how you can relate to the potential reader. It needs to be warm, friendly, and personal. Your readers want to know that you are like them. They want to get to know you before they read your book. Write like you talk so the reader can resonate with you. Be human.
It’s also imperative you have a good, high resolution, author photo. No, that doesn’t mean a photo taken with a cell phone that ends up being blurry, dark, small, and looking more like a mug-shot than an author photo. It also doesn’t necessarily mean a studio photo. But, what it means is a photo that actually looks like you do on a daily basis, that is friendly and resonates with the potential reader. (No Hollywood style headshots please!)
The photo also needs to reflect you as an author and your self-image. If you have written a business book then business attire is better than one of you with the ocean in the background. If you’ve written a mystery or fantasy book a casual look is appropriate. If you’ve written a children’s book, casual is best…not business attire. (Don’t use a stock photo of someone who isn’t you – if there is a stock photo of you, congratulations. Yes, authors have been known to use photos of someone else!) As well, be sure it’s a headshot, and not a full photo of you unless your face is very clear and the potential reader can connect with your eyes. Remember…the reader wants to resonate with you.
Make it easy to contact you from the “about me” page. Don’t give a contact address or number that doesn’t work! You wouldn’t believe how many times I’ve attempted to contact an author from their site and there is no way to do so, or the email address listed doesn’t work. It’s best to have the contact information on at least two pages – your “about me” page and your “contact me” page. (Both of these tabs also need to be very easy to find on every page of your site.) The potential reader may want to contact you and if he or she has to browse around to find how to do so it may never happen. Readers are impulsive – cater to their impulsiveness.
Credibility is also important so use third party comments to establish it. Use a lot of them. Make sure they’re both interesting and true. And, please, don’t use initials of the writer of the comment! Be sure the person’s real name (first and last) is noted, and if they are authors, add the title of the book, if they are happy readers add their city/state. Using initials does not give credibility and looks like you just made up the comments and posted them. I cringe every time I see a comment (or endorsement/review) by a D. K. or a C. R. Who are these people? Don’t sound like real ones to me. Let’s face it, if D. K. or C. R. gave an honest comment they wouldn’t mind having their name attached to it.
By comments I mean things like:
Jane writes with passion and dedication.
John’s writing skills and character development pull the reader in.
These can be taken out of the reviews of your book. The “about me” page is not where to put full reviews, but only comments that reflect on you, as the author.
So…I now encourage you to go to your “about me” page and look it over. Does it tell your potential reader who you are? Can they resonate with you? What is on that page that makes you human? What is on that page that will have your potential reader say “Yes, I want to read this book! The author sounds like someone I can relate to.”
Irene Watson is the Managing Editor of Reader Views, where avid readers can find reviews of recently published books as well as read interviews with authors. Her team also provides author publicity and a variety of other services specific to writing and publishing books.