How to Write an Author Bio
By Barbra Sundquist
Wondering how to write an author bio? Feeling like it has to be extra-special because you are a writer? You are not alone. Even though writers have a natural ability to put words together, most writers find it excruciatingly difficult to write an author biography. This article gives practical guidance on how to write an author bio, along with some author bio examples.
Let your author bio brand you
Here are some points to consider when writing your author bio.
1) Think about who is going to be your reader. It could be an editor but it could also include business associates, radio hosts, or even your own family. Write your author biography for your intended reader, and don’t forget that your readers might include people from different backgrounds and generations.
2) Prepare several author biographies of different lengths. Pull one out for an appropriate setting. Author bio examples can range from a short single sentence blurb for a magazine, a longer version of about 100 words in a query letter for a novel, to a full page for a press release.
3) Decide on the points you want to include. Most people find that they have more information than they need. Be ruthless in editing your bio to include only points that are relevant. Should your fishing hobby be mentioned in your bio for a murder mystery novel that you are submitting to a publisher? Probably not, unless the murder took place at a fishing lodge. You worked in a coroner’s office for a couple of weeks to learn about medical examiner’s terminology? Now that’s relevant.
4) Make a list of writing credits to highlight. Limit your credits to not more than three or else it would take up too much space in your author biography.
5) Include contact information and website so readers can learn more about you and your writing. You can include a longer author biography when you write your website biography.
Reveal your personality in your author biography
An author biography plays an important role because it communicates who you are. In the same way that a business card introduces you, an author biography serves as a short introduction to your writing. Take the time to think carefully about what you want readers to remember when they hear your name.
Readers like to know about you. Personal information such as marital status, number of children, pets and hobbies show that you are a normal person and help readers relate to you. However, if you don’t feel comfortable including personal information you don’t have to.
Reflect your writing style in your author bio
When writing your author biography, give readers a sense of what to expect from your writing. Tailoring the tone of your author biography to the content and style of your work. If you’re a humorous or satirical writer, include some humor in your author bio. If you’re an academic writer, reflect the academic world. The tone you take in writing an author bio creates an expectation of your written work.
Here are two contrasting examples:
Norman Langford grew up spying on the neighbours and taking notes in a little black book. No surprise that he ended up writing spy novels!
Dr. Laura Smith has been writing on gender studies for over 20 years. Her research interests include mothering, gender roles and media representation of women.
Have fun writing an author bio
Writing an author biography can be a fun task. The less stressed you are, the more creative your bio will be. So have fun when you sit down to write your author biography.
Have fun? Easier said than done, you may be thinking. If writing an author bio seems daunting, here’s a final tip: BioTemplates.com provides instant fill-in-the-blank bio templates to help you write your author biography. You’ll have a great bio completed within the next 20 minutes. Now that sounds more like fun!
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