Part of the Process: Writing An Author Bio

Sorry.... I'm boring

I got an author newsletter from my publisher today, filled with marketing tips, and one of the topics was writing an author biography.

It's just about as bad as writing a summary.

I have a confession to make: I'm boring. I mean, like, really boring. If you ask me about my stories, I'll talk your leg off, but about me, personally?  Dull topic.

My marketing paperwork asked me to list some interesting details about myself and I had absolutely no idea what to write.I don't have any exciting hobbies, no stellar academic credentials, nothing. I read. I work. I write. That's about it.

No, really, I love listening to you. Do go on.

So, I decided to try to be amusing about it:

Lissa Bryan is an astronaut, renowned Kabuki actress, Olympic pole vault gold medalist, Iron Chef champion, and scientist who recently discovered the cure for athlete's foot.... though only in her head. Real life isn't so interesting, which is why she spends most of her time writing.

Patricia Biggs's bio in the back of Moon Called is fanciful as well: "Patricia Briggs lived a fairly normal life until she learned to read. After that she spent lazy afternoons flying dragonback and looking for magic swords when she wasn't horseback riding in the Rocky Mountains. Once she graduated from Montana State University with degrees in history and German, she spent her time substitute teaching and writing. She and her family live in the Pacific Northwest, where she is hard at work on her newest project. Visit her website at"

There are many advice columns on the internet for writing an author biography. One of the things I found a bit daunting was, "Always write your biography in third person voice so it sounds as though someone else wrote it for you."

Why is that? Another site explains: "People automatically give more trust to what is said of one person by another, than to what people say about themselves -- even when they know that the bio was written by the author."

In general, they say, the author bio should contain the following elements:

  • Opening Line including name and basic info
  • Education/Credentials/Awards (if applicable)
  • Genre/Interest in writing
  • Something Interesting that will stick out to readers
  • Written in the third person (allows it to be easily transferred onto other sites and into articles)
  • Is brief (200-300 words)

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