At the back of virtually every book, you will find an “About the Author” page, also known as the “Author Bio” page.
We've talked before about how to write your Author Bio, but when it comes to that back page of your book, designing an “About the Author” page is more than just the words.
There are design elements, special formatting, and even certain things you should add beyond just the bio itself.
Therefore, to help you get a better idea on how to design your About the Author page, I’ll show you some of the things to consider, and how to format them correctly so that you give the best impression to your readers, and even connect better when they get to that page.
- What components make up an Author Bio page
- A brief recap on how to write an your author bio
- How to format your About the Author page
- How to add social links the right way
- How to create reusable templates
Table of contents
Tip: Atticus is a formatting tool that will help you to do all of these much more efficiently, but I will also go over the general theory behind each step of this article so you could make some of it working other formatting programs as well. But understand that not every formatting program has the same features of Atticus, so they might not be able to do every step on this list.
Why You Should Trust Me
So I've been writing and formatting books for a long time. 10+ years as of this writing.
But I actually found formatting to be a huge pain, which is why I actually created my own formatting software that solved all my problems. I called it Atticus.
But this isn't meant to be a sales pitch. I just want to make sure it's clear that I know what I'm talking about. The amount of research that went into not only formatting my own books, but also creating a formatting software is huge.
I researched everything, from tiny margin requirements, to the specific type of quotes to use (curly or straight, it makes a difference).
And yes, of course, that includes how to format author pages.
So if all that makes sense, hopefully you'll come along with me as show you everything I've learned.
What Are the Different Components of an About the Author Page?
Before I get into how to build a beautiful About the Author page, let's talk about all of the little components you will need. These include:
- A brief bio: this is the obvious one. You will need a short paragraph or two with some biographical data or personal information about yourself.
- Credentials/awards: if you have special awards or credentials that make you an authority on a subject, it's good to mention those.
- A call to action: an Author Bio page is not just for readers to learn about the author. You want them to take action as well, which is why mentioning your email list, your website/landing page, your social media, or another book can be a good way to stimulate further action.
- Websites and social links: the About the Author page is the perfect place to add links to your author website, your social media, etc.
While these might seem simple, there are actually many different ways to put these together.
So let's dive into the steps…
Step 1: Write the Author Bio
Before you can build an amazing About the Author page, you have to write your Author Bio. Here are some brief tips to create a zinger of a short biography:
- Remember your audience: If you are writing sweet romance, you probably don't need to mention your love of Dungeons & Dragons, though that might be a good thing to include if you write epic fantasy.
- Start with a hook: You want a short punchy sentence that gets everything across and hooks the reader so they want to continue reading.
- Demonstrate your area of expertise: This is especially important if you are writing nonfiction, but adding awards or other reasons why you are qualified to write what you write is a great way to gain credibility.
- Add a personal touch: At the end of your Author Bio, you should add something personal that makes you more relatable to the audience. This can be a note about your interests, hobbies, pets, family, etc.
- Finish with a call to action: Finally, your Author Bio should finish with a brief note on what action your reader can take. This can be anything from signing up to your email list to checking out your TikTok account.
We have a lot more information about how to write your Author Bio page at this link.
Step 2: Format Your Author Bio Page
Now it is time to format your About the Author page.
Where does your About the Author page go? Your About the Author page goes in the back matter of your book. Typically, this is one of the last things that you will find in a book, with only the “Also By” page traditionally coming after. To learn more about parts of a book, and their layout, check this out.
If you have a formatting tool like Atticus, there are templates that make it easy to place your Author Bio, and make sure it is formatted correctly.
Here is an example of one of my Author Bios, formatting as you usually see in most books (kind of boring, right?):
Are there any differences between ebooks and print formatting of the Author Bio page? Yes, the main difference is that any links you include will need to be spelled out in a print version, whereas someone reading the ebook version can simply tap the link.
And of course, any formatting that you apply to the entire print book, such as trim size and margins, should be the same for the About the Author page as it is for the rest of your book.
Should I add an Author Picture?
That depends. It’s not as common or expected. However, if you have a great author picture that you think really fits your author bio page, you can absolutely do that. You can either have it centered, or have it floating to the side of your bio. But make sure that your picture fits. Here is an interview we did with a professional photographer on things to think about if you are getting your author bio picture taken.
Step 3: Add Social Links or a Call To Action
One thing many authors forget to do, is to add either social links, a link to their website, or a Call To Action (CTA) link (a link that points to something they want the reader to do, like an email signup).
The About the Author page is the PERFECT page for this. This is the best point to give them this opportunity. This is because the fact that they are on this page means that they have not only read your book, but that they must have liked it well enough to finish it. By reading your Author Profile Page, this shows that they are interested in YOU, and getting to know you better.
So, presenting them with this opportunity to follow you at this time is very important. However, how you design this without looking blasé, or convoluted is a bit tricky. Luckily there is a way to handle this.
At its very core, the one thing you should at least do is list them under the author bio separately.
However, that’s not exactly interesting or unique, right? Instead, I recommend using icons to help show the different social media platforms you are a part of so that this helps the eye of the reader perceive what they are faster. This also helps to separate a bit between your bio and your CTA section.
Doing this, you can create something like the following:
Now, if you’re using something like Microsoft Word or Scrivener, etc., creating something like this can be a bit difficult, if not impossible. Plus, for those, you would have to duplicate this for every single book, and every pen name would need a new set of social links. With enough books, this becomes unmanageable.
Now imagine that you could set up a profile for your pen name, drag-and-drop that profile into your About the Author page, and it would automatically show the links, with appropriate formatting adjustments for ebook and print.
Well that is exactly what Atticus can do. Let me walk you through it.
1. Click on Atticus's Profiles icon, then select Create new profile.
2. You can then select any of the social websites that you use, and assign your personal links.
3. Once you have the correct links, select your icon size, name your profile (we suggest your author name or pen name), and hit Save this profile.
4. You can then select from your list of profiles and click Add to included on your About the Author page.
Now you can reuse this profile over and over again in your book, and if you change your profile, it will automatically update everywhere that you have used that profile.
Additionally, Atticus will automatically adjust your formatting, depending on whether your book is ebook or print.
Here is what it looks like for ebooks:
Here's what it looks like for print books:
All in all, this is a fantastic feature to have at your disposal, and not one that is available on most other formatting software.
Step 4: Create a Reusable Master Page
Once your About the Author page is complete, there is a good chance that you want to copy the work that you have done so you can save time adding this page to other books.
If you are using another formatting program, you would have to manually copy and paste the Author Bio page into every single book.
Not only that, anytime you wanted to change your Author Bio page, you would then have to manually copy and paste the new version into every book.
It's a huge hassle, which is why Atticus lets you save your About the Author page as a template to use elsewhere. And Atticus will automatically update every book that uses that template, if you need to make changes.1. To do this, find your About the Author page in the left navigation, and click the three little dots to open up a menu. Then click Save as a master page.
2. Then, if you want to update your template, you will find some text that says “Click to Apply Changes to All Books Using This Master Page”. Click on that and you will be given a choice to apply your changes only to this book, or to all books that use that template.
3. Click Apply current changes
It's a simple and easy way to save time when structuring the back matter of your book. This is especially true of Author Bio pages, since these can change frequently as you accumulate more books, change your social media links, add awards, etc.
The Final Author Page Look
Using the above method, you can create amazing looking About the Author pages that not only look professional, but will also help to build your social media following, send visitors to your website, or increase your email signups.
Plus, if you use a software like Atticus to format your book, this process is incredibly easy to set up, and you can use it as a template so that you never have to recreate it with each book. Instead, just apply and voila, you’re complete.