10 Tips on Writing Your “About the Author” Bio

Most authors find it easier to write a novel than they do to write their own author bio. While this is an important aspect of being an author, most aren’t sure how to go about it, what to include, and what to omit from the “about the author” section on their cover. Luckily, we have combined 10 tips to help you write the best author bio! Let’s get started!

  1. You will need multiple versions of your bio. Most young authors cringe when they learn that they are going to need multiple versions of their bio. Generally, you’ll need at least three versions, all at varying lengths. You’ll need an extended, more detailed version for your website, written proposals, interview sheets, and media kits. Then you’ll need a medium length one for bio queries, guest author bios on other websites, marketing materials, and in some cases the final pages of your novel. A short bio will be used as a byline on social media sites, and the back cover of your book.
  2. Don’t be afraid to brag about yourself. This is the chance to really let your accomplishments shine! Start by writing about your greatest writing achievement, even if you are just a young, aspiring author who had an article published in your local paper—write about it!
  3. List publications correctly. If you have any published work, italicize the title, don’t use quotation marks. Be sure to include the publisher and the year published in parentheses after listing the title: i.e., Title (publisher, year).
  4. Use the right tense. Be sure to refer to yourself in the third person. On the longer versions of your bio, feel free to interject your name instead of using pronouns repeatedly.
  5. Keep bio updated with new publications or awards. While it might be tempting to write about every award you’ve earned to make yourself sound as great as you really are, be sure to only list awards that are relevant to your writing. It is important to keep your bio updated when you win new awards, or have new work published.
  6. Much like with awards, if your degree or education is relevant to your writing then be sure to list it. If you have a degree in Physics, and are writing a science fiction book about space time continuum, then be sure to list your degree. At the same time, if you have a degree in Business Administration and decide to write a steamy romance novel, leave your degree off.
  7. Your bio will evolve with your career. It is important to think of your bio as a living document that changes and evolves over time. The more work you have published, and awards you receive will require that your bio changes to reflect your recent accomplishments. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that once you have it written, you won’t have to touch it again!
  8. Professional photograph. Take the time to get your professional photograph taken, and taken right. If possible, hire a professional photographer to take the picture for you, and use it shamelessly. Your photograph will be used on the jacket of your books, your website, social media sites, and press kit at the very least!
  9. Mimic what others have done. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel, browse the internet and look at books that you have on your shelf. See what other authors have done to write their “about the author” sections and mimic. It is a good idea to try and find authors that are in the same genre as you, to get an idea of what others are doing.
  10. Read your bio out loud. As soon as you think you have a completed version of your bio, be sure to read it out loud! This sound, age old advice will allow for you to notice immediately if something is off, doesn’t sound right or if additional information is needed.

By following these simple tips, you are sure to get a quality author bio that you will be proud to have on your books, website, and social media! Your readers are sure to thank you for taking the time to write a quality “about the author” section, where they feel as though they can really get to know you!