How to use your “about the author” section on Kindle to increase keyword ranking (also: how to write an author bio)

The title of this post basically gives away the whole thing, but I hadn’t considered it before, and you probably haven’t either.

I’ve written about how to use keywords in your description, title field, etc… but I just noticed one author on Amazon doing really well (a free campaign that’s up to #10 free on all of kindle).

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My Kindlespy says that’s over 100,000 downloads a month, but that’s estimated, so my guess is he’s doing a promotion and got about 5K downloads in a day. We should ask him though (Steve, care to share what you did an how successful it was? Please comment below!) It’s exciting when indie authors are doing that well, so I checked out his page, and copied his whole author bio.

Because, even though it’s keyword stuffed, that’s probably a really good idea. The author bio shows up on the Amazon page of each book. More chances for keywords.

I’ll definitely use this as a model for my author bio, remember it’s not yet a chance to be personal, it’s STILL advertising. It may be your last place to overcome objections and make the sale. Since new readers don’t know how you are yet, it’s easier to build that trust with brand transference, knowing readers will understand comparisons to other books more than just sales copy, a description of your book, or genre tags.

This is Steve’s “About the Author”:

Steve Bevil is the author of the young adult urban fantasy and paranormal book series the Legend of the Firewalker. If you are looking for fiction books like Percy Jackson, with myths and legends, or fantasy books with mystery and suspense like Harry Potter and I Am Number Four, you will enjoy reading this series.

The twists and turns and likable characters are similar to books like Percy Jackson, Harry Potter, and I Am Number Four. And like the urban fantasy book series Beautiful Creatures and the Mortal Instruments, has a fantastical new world readers can escape to.

This fantasy and paranormal book series is recommended for teens, young adults and up.

Risks

Of course, if you’re comparing yourself to Percy Jackson and Harry Potter, fans are going to have greatly exaggerated expectations, which can lead to more negative reviews. So my guess is Steve is getting more sales, but setting the bar too high, leading to more negative reviews (but, that might still be better than getting no visibility).

How to write an author bio

This can get confusing though, so I should clarify: this is just the About the Author section on Amazon. It’s a webpage, so keywords are good.

For the author bio on the back of the book, that’s still sales copy, but you don’t need keywords as much. It still might be a good idea to reference some famous books, but only if your book really delivers (as proven by natural Amazon reviews). It can make the sale. But you don’t have to repeat keywords or keyword stuff. Plus the author section on the back of the book cover should be one or two sentences, and the author website.

The is all PRE-SALE stuff. Keep it simple, don’t talk about yourself. Talk about the reader and the book and why they’ll love it.

AFTER they’ve read the book, you can have another author bio in the back, with more personal stuff like why you wrote the book. That’s your place to begin a relationship with fans, but don’t bore them: Give them a reason to come back to your website. Then on your website you can really let yourself come out (but not with terrible, cheesy web design. Keep your site clean and professional). Woo them with your words. Tell stories.

About Derek Murphy

I help authors and artists turn their passions into full-time businesses, make a bigger impact, and blaze a luminous trail of creative independence. Right now I'm in Taiwan finishing a PHD in Literature, writing several books, and managing a handful of online businesses. Find me

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