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ServiceScape Incorporated
ServiceScape Incorporated
2020

25 Eye-Catching Author Bio Examples

GrammarMaven

Ranking high on the list of Things Authors Hate To Write, biographies are something that can make even the most seasoned writer pull their hair out. Why do we hate writing them so much? Probably because it involves writing about ourselves. We write stories about other people, so having to turn the spotlight on ourselves can be daunting at best and downright cringe-inducing at worse.

However, a solid author bio is actually an important marketing tool. It can impact sales, your reputation, and help you grow a fanbase. The more fans you have, it follows the more sales you'll see. If you're a nonfiction writer, your bio is particularly important as it establishes your authority/expertise to write about the topic in your book and also your credibility with readers.

Check out these 25 authors who absolutely nailed their authors bios, and don't be scared to take notes! In no particular order:

  1. Courtney Milan's Author Bio
  2. Sarah J. Maas' Author Bio
  3. Michael Siemsen's Author Bio
  4. Jonathan Maberry's Author Bio
  5. Glynnis Campbell's Author Bio
  6. Kwame Alexander's Author Bio
  7. Nora Roberts' Author Bio
  8. Alyssa Cole's Author Bio
  9. Colleen Hoover's Author Bio
  10. Gillian Flynn's Author Bio
  11. David Baldacci's Author Bio
  12. Adam Silvera's Author Bio
  13. Mia Sosa's Author Bio
  14. April White's Author Bio
  15. Rick Mofina's Author Bio
  16. Chuck Wendig's Author Bio
  17. Skye Warren's Author Bio
  18. J. T. Ellison's Author Bio
  19. Karin Slaughter's Author Bio
  20. Julia Quinn's Author Bio
  21. Craig Martelle's Author Bio
  22. Vanessa Riley's Author Bio
  23. Aiden Thomas' Author Bio
  24. Tiffany D. Jackson's Author Bio
  25. Angie Fox's Author Bio

So, what makes a great author bio, and how can you write one?

Write in the third person

There's a reason this is called an author biography and not an author autobiography. Though you are the person who is more than likely writing your bio, you want it to sound as though someone else wrote it—someone who's objective and not biased toward you. Of course, being that you're the author, that sounds totally weird, since you more than likely are biased toward yourself. Still, establishing a third-person perspective when writing about yourself automatically establishes objectivity and professionalism, and inspires trust on the part of the reader.

Be mindful of tone

This is an important one, and what tone you use depends on the kind of writing you do. If you're a fiction author, you can usually get away with a more casual tone. Other subgenres lend themselves well to a bit of humor, too—generally lighthearted romance, chicklit, women's fiction, romantic comedies are good subgenres where humor tends to be well received. However, gauge this based on your writing and your understanding of your audience, or the type of audience you'd like to have. Conversely, if you're writing more serious fiction like literary fiction, hard sci-fi, epic fantasy or historical, then you might want to go easy on the humor and instead focus more on your expertise. Though it's fiction, readers might like to know that you have a Master's degree in Military History, or perhaps you've got a medical or science background that helped you write your biopunk novel. The same rules apply to nonfiction as well—humor or a light tone can be leveraged depending on the subject matter. If you're writing a lighthearted, uplifting personal development book, readers may appreciate your sense of humor. On the other hand, if you're writing a book about personal finance or navigating mental health issues, then perhaps you might focus on a more neutral tone and highlight your credentials instead.

Speaking of… discuss your credentials

The success of all books, whether they're nonfiction or fiction, rely on the credibility of the author. This credibility leaves the reader with a sense of trust, knowing that whatever they're reading was written by someone who could be called a subject matter expert. When readers trust you, they're more apt to tell the world about your book. And they're also apt to purchase your next one.

Credentials can look differently depending on the author and the kind of book being written, but they do need to align with the writing somehow. For instance, if you're a mechanic by education and experience, you're probably not the best person to write a nutrition book, unless you have those credentials. If you're a lawyer, you probably want to steer clear writing a book about medicine—unless you have those credentials as well. People want to read the work of someone who knows what they're talking about, so making it clear that you are indeed that subject matter expert immediately puts a reader's mind at ease.

You might be wondering how credentials work if you're a fiction writer. While it's certainly true that signaling authority in a field as a fiction writer is indeed more difficult—for instance, you don't have to be a scientist by education or profession to write a hard biopunk novel—subject matter expertise or at least thorough research can be indicated with a bibliography of sources, if you consulted actual medical journals or papers or textbooks on which to base your novel. If you write political thrillers, maybe your credentials come from the time you spent working for a three-letter agency, or maybe you write police procedurals because you were once a cop. You also don't need to have lived the life you're writing about. You don't need to have a law enforcement background to write an FBI series, and you don't need to have worked as a CIA asset in order to write an awesome spy thriller. But the authority you should have is a clear understanding of how storytelling mechanics function. Your writing should be top-notch and thoroughly edited—this is what establishes your authority as a professional writer, and when it comes to fiction, oftentimes that's enough.

Include your achievements

Did you graduate college with a degree in Creative Writing? Mention that. Did you attend graduate school and obtain an MFA? Have you won awards, scholarships, or fellowships for your writing? Readers need to know. Have you been published before? List those journals, magazines, anthologies, and/or individual publications.

This point correlates directly to the previous one about credentials, because they indicate to the reader that, essentially, you know what you're doing, and they're in the hands of an expert writer who is going to tell them an amazing story.

Say you don't have many—or any—achievements like the ones mentioned. That's okay, too! This could be a good place to list your relevant interests and hobbies. For instance, if you've written a political thriller, maybe you have a well-documented interest in politics, the American government, and conspiracies. Maybe in between novels, you spend your time reading tons of books about the subject. Maybe your serial killer novel is inspired by your interest in true crime, and for the writing of the book you read as many serial killer biographies you could get your hands on and conducted hundreds of hours of research. This, too, shows the reader why your book will be written as expertly as possible.

Mention your backlist

The author bio is a great place to mention your other books, if you have them. Perhaps the book the reader's holding is part of a series—do they know that there are more books? Point them in the direction of relevant work. You could briefly mention other works you have that are totally different than the one they're reading. For example, if they just completed your serial killer novel, they may or may not be interested in your contemporary romance. A safe way to introduce readers to your other work is to direct them to your website, but keep in mind you're not selling them on this, only pointing it out.

Keep it short

While you might be able to write about yourself for pages and pages, the truth is most readers only want to read about a couple of paragraphs about you, just enough to get to know, learn why you wrote the novel if that's applicable, and where they can keep up with your work. Unless you have a huge resume related to writing—you've got TV shows and movies and merch related to your books—you'll probably want to keep it short and sweet. The challenge is to weave in as much relevant information about yourself in as few words as possible, in order to entice the reader to stick with you but not overwhelm with information they simply won't care about. But, hey, we are writers, after all!

Hopefully taking a peek at these varied author bios that each feature something we touched on in this article will get your creative juices flowing—about yourself! Don't be daunted by thought of writing about yourself. This is your opportunity to show the world what an excellent writer you are, and why they definitely need to get into your book. Happy writing!

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