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Tips on Writing your Author Bio

March 2, 2016

 

If you are serious about pursuing a writing career, one of the most important items you will need is an author bio. Really, it’s best to have two bios—a one-page version for sending out with your submission package, or to post on your website, etc., and a short paragraph to use for an article byline.

 

People will read your bio before they read your book, so put your best foot forward. Keep it informative, and personable.

 

Here are five tips for writing an effective author bio.

 

1. Tense

 

Your bio should be written in third person. Refer to yourself by your full name or surname, and use third person pronouns such as “he” or “she.” Writing a bio in first person is the mark of an amateur.

 

2. Word Count

 

The longer version of your bio should be a minimum of 100 words, and a maximum of 250 words. The byline bio should range between 50 to 100 words. Unless you are an established author with noteworthy credentials, try to stay within these limits.

 

3. Photo

 

Your bio should include a professional photo. Do not use that photo you took in the bathroom mirror, or the one you cropped with Grandpa’s arm draped over your shoulder. If you cannot afford professional headshots, take your own in front of a plain, white background.

 

4. Education and Experience

 

Here is where you sell yourself. Give some personal background about you as a person, and then add the experiences of you as a writer. If you hold a degree, or had some form of training or formal instruction that is relevant, be sure to incorporate it. The more educated and experienced you appear, the more credible you are as a writer. Most importantly, don’t forget to add the name of your book(s). You would be surprised to know how many authors fail to include their book title(s) in their bio.

 

5. Online Presence

 

If you don’t include anything else in your author bio, make sure you add your contact information. Give your web address, and social media contact information. You should also give an email address for direct access to you.

 

Everything you put out is helping to build your brand. Make sure your author bio reflects the way you wish to be perceived as an author and as a professional.

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