The purpose of the author bio is to showcase your writing experience and show that you’re serious about your writing career. The biographical section of the proposal should include your:
Publishing History – Mention the title of any books you’ve published, the year it was published, the name of the publisher, and any awards the book has won. There is no need to list sales statistics, although you certainly want to mention any were on any bestseller lists. If you have published many books, consolidate the information as much as possible (i.e. Jane Doe has written a total of 24 books. Ten of these books are non-fiction, regarding the craft of writing, including TITLE, which was on the bestseller list for no. of weeks. The remaining 14 books include 2 science fiction trilogies and 2 young adult historical novels.)
Writing Experience – Mention any writing-related degrees and any writing courses you’ve taken. If you’ve written any articles, mention the titles of the publications they’ve appeared in. If you have a long history of articles you’ve published, consolidate the information as much as possible (i.e. John Doe has written of 200 newspaper articles and almost 50 articles for a variety of Christian magazines, including…).
Writing Achievements – Mention any writing awards and contests you’ve won.
Coming up with something for your bio when you don’t have any writing credits can be a challenge, but you can still show you’re serious about your writing. Think of all of your writing-related activities and anything showing you’ve got expertise related to a theme in your novel.
Here are some additional items you might want to include in your bio:
– Memberships in professional writing groups (e.g. ACFW or RWA)
– Mention that you’re actively involved in critique groups
– State that you’re involved in numerous on-line writing communities
– Any experience related to a theme in your book (e.g. If your protagonist is a magician and you’re a performing magician; If you’ve written a legal thriller and you’re an attorney; If your novel is set in medieval France and you teach medieval history)
– State that you’ve served as a judge for writing contests
– Mention any blogs you have that are related to writing or a theme in your book, especially if you have a high hitcount.
– If you’re a speaker, mention the approximate number of engagements you speak at per year
Here is the biographical sketch I used before I was published:
– Suzanne’s writing journey began with a B.A. from Western Illinois University in Composition & Linguistics.
– She works as a consulting editor with Port Yonder Press.
– She has served as a judge for the Genesis Contest (2011) and the Touched by Love Contest (2010).
– Four of her short stories have been published in a reading workbook for Milliken Publishing.
– She is a member of ACFW and actively involved in several critique groups and on-line writing forums.
– Through her blog and critique service, Write at Home, she is becoming branded as an author who can explain both grammar and fiction writing techniques in easy-to-understand terms.
– For the last three years, Suzanne has volunteered with Midwest Raceway Ministries for the NASCAR races at Gateway International Speedway.
Whether you’re multi-published or just getting started, the key to writing your bio is to be concise and keep everything related to writing.