Some authors will talk about themselves and their work for hours and hours. Some would rather not talk about themselves at all.
So, when writing your bio – whether for your book jacket, Amazon or Goodreads profile, or simply a by-line – you need to know who you are.
If you’re writing non-fiction, bio writing becomes a little easier because all your readers want to know is your expertise in the field. For example, you would love, trust, and probably purchase a book on painting by a painter. Someone who’s bio shows credibility on the subject of painting:
REAL LIFE EXAMPLE from the book Painting for the Absolute and Utter Beginner:
Claire Watson Garcia is an artist, writer, and teacher. She is an instructor at New England’s renowned Silvermine School of Art, in New Canaan, CT, where her workshops and courses “for the Absolute and Utter Beginner” have been popular for over twenty years.
Let’s compare that to a fiction writer.
If you don’t have a ton of published books to list in your bio, what are you supposed to say??
REAL LIFE EXAMPLE from the book There There:
TOMMY ORANGE is faculty at the Institute of American Indian Arts MFA program. He is an enrolled member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma. He was born and raised in Oakland, California, and currently lives in Angels Camp, California.
Mr. Orange simply listed his job, where he was born and raised, where he currently lives, and a detail about his personal life relating to the book’s subject matter.
When writing your own, search the internet for good examples and bad examples. Take your time until you’re happy with what your bio says.
Avoid putting personal details, i.e. your street address or phone number. Even new or unknown authors can obtain stalkers!