by Erica Verrillo on Publishing … and Other Forms of Insanity:
Author profiles are an essential part of book marketing and promotion. An author profile is a mini-biography. It tells something about the author that will interest the reader, includes a headshot, and links to the author’s books. Depending on where you post your profile, you can also include a link to your website or blog, events, videos, and answers to questions posed by readers.
Profiles are useful for several reasons. First, anyone who has enjoyed your book will want to find out more about you. And second, your fans will want to read other books by you. Third, profiles provide an avenue for engagement with readers.
Your profile isn’t just who you are, it’s who your readers think you should be.
The two foundations of a profile are:
Headshot – Readers, first and foremost, want to know what authors look like. How many times have you read a book and then hunted around on the back for a photo? Maybe, you’ve even done that before you read the book. Make sure your photo is professional. Depending on what you write your portrait can be serious (literary fiction), friendly (children’s fiction), brooding (horror), congenial (general fiction), authoritative (non-fiction) – whatever you write, your personality should reflect your genre. A good photographer can make a world of difference, so work with a professional.
Bio – Bios are written in third person. As with the headshot, your bio should match your genre or topic. If you are writing non-fiction, your credentials are most important. What gives you the authority to write your book? If you write humor, make it clever. If you write for children, you can include your family, your pets. If you are writing general fiction for adults, write about your background, your professional career, where you live. (Do not write about your first writing project when you were in grade school!) Do you have any awards? Make sure to include them. Pretend that your publicist is writing about you – not your mother.