When creating a short story, poem, novel, or memoir, most authors don’t realize there’s something else they’ll need to write that’s almost as important: an author bio. The strategists know that submissions to literary agents and journals usually require an author biography. When your work is published, your author bio is often featured on the book cover or in the pages of the literary journal. While your biographical information helps existing fans recognize you and learn more about you and your writing, it should also intrigue readers who are unfamiliar with your work. Here’s how to write an author bio that will attract new readers and build your fan base.
Write An Author Bio That Will Attract Readers
Before you write your biography bio, you’ll need to determine how long it should be, what tone you should use, and what might be considered TMI (too much information). For undecided readers, your author bio could be what convinces them to read your work (or buy your book!).
Author Bio Checklist
Basic elements for your author bio:
- Your pronouns (if you’re comfortable sharing them)
- Publication credits (Don’t worry if you don’t have any yet!)
- Profession and education
- Relevant expertise or experience on your topic (for book authors)
- Writing groups you attend
- Writing awards or honors you’ve won
How To Optimize Your Author Bio
In your query or cover letter. For your query or cover letter, you’ll use all the basic elements listed above — but keep it brief. Your cover letter or query letter author bio should be short and sweet; no more than a paragraph long. If space allows, you can add an appropriate fun fact about yourself, such as a favorite travel destination or an interesting talent (like a sport or instrument you play). Adding a personal note helps editors and agents connect with you as an individual, but don’t overshare.
For a cover letter, your bio can be in first or third person. In a query letter, you should stick to first person for your author bio.