“I hate writing my author bio!”
It’s no secret, is it?
Learning how to write an author bio takes a lot of effort for so few words.
But you’re an author, so it shouldn’t be that difficult.
Authors and even freelance writers hate writing about themselves and usually resort to the same old hackneyed clichés.
You have to know that there are more than enough International, New York Times bestselling, and USA Today bestselling, aspiring, inspiring, inspired, and perhaps perspiring self-published authors.
There are also too many award-winning, acclaimed, budding, debut, fledgling, and crazy writers to go around.
I am the author of this or that book, and I am a word wrangler.
I am a dreamer and bestselling author, and this is the official Twitter feed for my book I’ve written. Okay, okay, ouch, please, please stop.
You are a writer, so why can’t you be a little more inventive with your subject matter?
You have an overdose of imagination as a writer.
But why does it desert you when it comes time to write a simple short twenty-word author bio?
The best way to find (copy or steal) new ideas for writing your great short or long bio is to start looking for other authors who have taken the time to write a less than typical bio.
When it comes to an author bio for new writers, examples usually help.
Here are a few author bio examples of some terrific authors that I found on Twitter in only 15 minutes.
None of them resorts to using overused clichéd adjectives.
Neil Gaiman – will eventually grow up and get a real job. Until then, will keep making things up and writing them down.
John Green – I write books, including Looking for Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars. (Books are like tweets, except longer.) I also make videos with my brother.
Maggie Stiefvater – I write novels. Some are about werewolves. Some are about faeries. Some are bestsellers. I sometimes eat cookies at inappropriate times.
Paulo Coelho – Writer
Veronica Roth – Perpetually cold, sitcom addicted, frequently neurotic hermit who sometimes writes books. Welcome.
Richelle Mead – Novelist. Redhead. Scorpio. I write about vampires and succubi so that you don’t have to.
Judy Blume – Are You There, Twitter? It’s Me, Judy.
Rivera Sun – Red hair, friend of mystics, author 9 plays, 4 books, lives in an Earthship in the desert, grows tomatoes, bakes bread, drinks tea, writes about love & revolution.
Eva Rice – Writes a book. Every seven years.
John Scalzi – I enjoy pie.
Now, do you agree that these author bio examples are engaging, informative, and even amusing?
Do they read better than the standard adjective-riddled author bio?
Will these bios attract attention? Do some contain personal information?
Are there elements that you could include in your author bio?
If your answer is yes, continue reading.
The BIG secret – Stop using the verb to be and the preposition–of.
There is no big secret here, really.
The differences between the author bio examples I copied above and those I mentioned in the first paragraph are very easy to spot.
The main one is that the verb ‘to be’ is not used when referring to the author. So, ‘I am’ is out the door immediately.
The second difference is that the preposition ‘of” is not used to attribute the authorship of a book.
Also, except for Paulo Coelho, who clearly loves using absolute brevity, the rest are descriptive.
Some come with a touch of the unexpected, but none of them uses tired old adjectives.
They all have something unique and are short and sweet, and would attract the interest of potential readers.
Another big difference is the use of the active verb, ‘write,’ which is, of course, what all authors do.
Your short author bio is a vital part of your book marketing, so it’s worth getting it right.
Think of it as a very, very short story. It can only help in attracting people to read your work.
If you have an author website, you can write a longer version and perhaps include a little about your personal life.
Veronica Roth adds a nice touch to hers with the word welcome. This a simple but effective message for people who visit her website.
You can also expand a little to include what you are writing. For me, I write fiction, including science fiction and farce, with the vaguest hint of romance, sometimes.
Another advantage is that a well-crafted bio text on your blog or website might find its way into Google Search.
This can only help you to find people who might be interested in buying your book. Or even a book reviewer.
Now, repeat after me. “I will now start to write my fantastic new bio for my website and social media.”
So, there you are. There seems to be a little formula for writing an interesting and appealing short bio for writers.
Have fun re-writing your new bio without ‘to be’ and ‘of’ and then just add something unexpec …
“Oh my goodness, I just saw a stork fly by my window!”
Related reading: Five Weak Words You Should Always Avoid Using In Your Author Bios