You’ve done it.  You’ve reached the publishing phase of your novel writing journey.  Your story is locked in, ready to go, and you are excited to see your creation in print.  But there’s one thing you may have put off or forgotten about:  your author bio.

This can be a daunting task to some, especially first-time authors.  While you don’t want to write an A&E Biography about yourself, you want to consider some of the following points.

Let’s talk about them!

Keep It Simple

A few short paragraphs is all you need to include at the back of the book about who you are.  You want to make sure you present yourself in a positive light and ensure the primary focus of the paragraph is you as a writer.

Use Third Person

Author bios are generally written in the third-person POV.  Yes, it may seem weird to talk about yourself like you’re someone else, but it seems to be the standard form.  

Include Relevant Information

Any previous writing you’ve done, if you have a blog, if you have a degree in English, or if this is your first novel are all good points to add to your bio.  If you’re novel is about a mountain climber, and you have years of mountain climbing experience, include that too.

If you wish, you can use the last sentence to discuss your personal life, but keep it short and straightforward.

Don’t Lie

The last thing you want to do is make up insane lies about who you are in your bio.  Why?  Let’s say you self-published the book and put in your bio that you worked at NASA, were an advisor to President Obama, and saved a bus full of nuns from going over a cliff.  

Your book becomes a success, and you are suddenly on Good Morning America.  Do they want to talk about the book?  Nope.  They want to talk about your time at NASA.  Or working for Obama.  Or saving the nuns.  Now you must lie on national TV in front of millions who have access to the internet, know Obama’s White House staff, or work for NASA.

You have just become a liar on national TV and damaged your credibility.

Don’t lie.

Read Examples

Pretty much every book has an author bio at that back – oddly, so do some autobiographies – so there are hundreds of examples to look at and use as a reference.  If this is your first novel, I recommend finding the bios in other authors’ first novels and seeing what they included.

Here’s my author bio from my first novel, The Field:

Ian Dawson is a playwright, screenwriter, and now novelist based in Southern California.  He has a BA in Dramatic Art from UC Davis and a Masters in Screenwriting from Cal State Northridge.

After working on it for 15 years, Ian finally completed his first novel, The Field, which he is excited and proud to present to readers all around the world.

Ian loves to read, write, hang out with friends, travel, cook, and try new things.  He also loves writing comedy and making others laugh.

Final Thoughts

Your novel is most readers’ first intro into your creative mind.  Your author bio should let them know who you are as a writer and give them some insight into your life.  By keeping it brief and honest, you can ensure that you have created an author bio that is informative and relevant.

Happy Writing, and I’ll see you next time!

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