3 Tips for Creating the “Perfect” Author Bio

I’ve got a book manuscript due today. I made myself finish the last chapter before I went to vote yesterday. That’s a fact that is going to make its way into my bio for this particular book. When I’m doing, its going to sound like a had to finish my homework before I could do something fun. It will take cheek but that’s always good in an author bio.

I discovered that as I was finishing up Professional Gaming Careers. This book is about e-sports and as it was heading into the final stages of production, I got an e-mail. They needed my author bio and they needed it now.

When I started writing nonfiction for young readers I loathed writing my bio. But this time I didn’t have the time to work myself up. I had 3 – 4 sentences and not much time. I needed to relate the book to my life and I needed to do it in a way that would appeal to my reader. I decided to have a little fun with it and eventually I sent them this:

“Sue Bradford Edwards is a Missouri nonfiction author who writes about science, culture and history.   Her books about science and computers include Women in Science and Hidden Human Computers: The Black Women of NASA. When she isn’t working, she games with her teen son although she’s not nearly as good as he is.”

This is the first time they’ve ever called my bio “perfect.” I can’t say that I’ve achieved the same result with each subsequent book but I do go for one thing. I use my own voice — educated and cheeky. Here are three things to remember when you have to write your bio:

  1. Look at the topic of the book. Take a good look at the topic you have been writing about. Now think about how you can relate it to your body of work and your life. Maybe you’ve written a book on a similar topic. Maybe you had a similar hobby as a child. This is part of making it personal.
  2. Make it kid friendly. I game which worked well for this e-sports book. I worked in archaeology. I babysat a iguana. I know a really gross way to tell a bone fragment from concrete. Maybe you have an interesting pet. Or you and your kids built a geodesic dome out of pool noodles. speak Pig You could mention that you share your office space with your cat or a cockatoo.  Maybe you were an inventor when you were ten. Or you messed up the kitchen floor smashing candy to make ice cream. Come up with something that will make your young audience smile.
  3. Make it sound like you. Once you’ve roughed out our bio, read it out loud. Does it sound like you? If not, think about how you would relate the same info to a friend or someone fun that you’ve just met. Word had a dictate/voice function under the home tab on the ribbon.

Writing your bio may not always be fun, but customizing a bio for each book gives you the opportunity to create something that is a “perfect” match.

–SueBE