Click the image to explore the Disaster Crimes series.

NOTICE:


DISCLOSURE:

This site uses affiliate links for Bookshop.org, an online marketplace that supports independent bookstores. Chrys Fey will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

May 11, 2015

How to Write an Author Bio



An author bio is a short paragraph or two that highlights your writing/publishing achievements and gives readers a sense of who you are.
TIP #1: Write your bio in the third person.

TIP #2: Don’t list every single one of your accomplishments or publishing credentials Pick the most important ones such as an award or contest you won, and 2-3 of the best publications that featured your work (or your best published books). 
TIP# 3: End your bio with personal information such as where you live and if you have a husband/wife and kids or pets.
If you don’t have publishing credentials yet, don’t sweat it! You can leave that out for now and focus on other things. Are you part of a writing organization? Do you have your Masters in English Literature? Are you the founder of a writer’s group? Are you a teacher, librarian, editor? These are all great things to mention in your bio!

You can also include something unique. For instance, if your character is a soldier, adding that you were in the military for twenty years would be a good idea. Or if your book is a crime novel, briefly saying that you’re also a police officer would be smart.
TIP #4: Your bio will change as time goes on, so don’t forget to update it!

My First Bio for Hurricane Crimes:

Chrys Fey is the author of the short stories The Summer Bride and Fallen. She created the blog Write with Fey to offer aspiring writers advice and inspiration. She lives in Florida, where she is ready to battle the next hurricane that comes her way.

FYI: Those short stories were actually flash fiction that I published online.



My Second Bio for 30 Seconds:         

Chrys Fey is a lover of rock music just like Dani Hart in 30 Seconds. Whenever she's writing at her desk, headphones are always emitting the sounds of her musical muses -especially that of her favorite band, 30 Seconds to Mars, the inspiration behind the title.

30 Seconds is her second eBook with The Wild Rose Press. Her debut, Hurricane Crimes, is also available on Amazon.



My Bio as of 2019:

Chrys Fey is the author of the Disaster Crimes Series, a unique concept blending romance, crimes, and disasters. Fey also authored Write with Fey: 10 Sparks to Guide You from Idea to Publication.  Catch the sparks you need to write, edit, publish, and market your book! She runs the Insecure Writer’s Support Group Book Club on Goodreads and is also an editor for Dancing Lemur Press.

Fey realized she wanted to write by watching her mother pursue publication. At the age of twelve, she started her first novel, which flourished into a series she later rewrote at seventeen.

Fey lives in Florida and is always on the lookout for hurricanes. She has four cats and three nephews, both keep her entertained with their antics.



FYI: I keep the same bio on my blog and website.


SHARE: Your author bio.


QUESTIONS: Do you read author bios? If so, what do you like and what do you not like?


100 comments:

nashvillecats2 said...

Some excellent tips there Chrys, good luck with Alex's interview.

Yvonne.

M.J. Fifield said...

Just came from Alex's blog. Congrats to you!!

I like author bios that make me laugh. Mine is short, and (I hope) funny. Funny-ish?

Rhonda Albom said...

Great tips and I loved your story over at Alex's blog.

Barbara In Caneyhead said...

I usually read the author bio after I have read the book. Short with a little something personal works for me. I like to see if the "feel" I got about the author from the book matches up with the bio.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

My bio has changed with every book release. And it actually got shorter.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Writing the bio in third person always makes me think of that Seinfeld episode where a character refers to himself in the third person - "Jimmy" - and it throws everyone off. And then George starts doing it, too. Funny stuff. :)

And fingers crossed for a quiet hurricane season here in FL....

Chrys Fey said...

Thanks, Yvonne!

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you, M.J.! I'm not usually funny, or don't feel funny, so I don't think I'd ever be able to create a funny bio. :\

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you, Rhonda! :D

Chrys Fey said...

I also like short with something personal. :)

Chrys Fey said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one who changes theirs for every release. :)

Chrys Fey said...

When I first had to write a bio, it did feel very weird.

Yes, fingers crossed, but it seems that the season has started early....

Pat Hatt said...

I've still got the same one I first came up with, seems to still work haha

Chrys Fey said...

Yours is really good, Pat!

Christine Rains said...

Great tips! I do read author bios. And the dedications and acknowledgements. I'm nosy like that! I do up different bios for my various books too. It's fun to add in that extra hook linking yourself to that story in some way or another like you did with the hurricane. :)

Sarah Foster said...

I love how your bio changes for each book! Awesome tips :)

Chrys Fey said...

Hehe! I like nosy readers. After all, it would suck to write those things if no one read them. I read them too. :)

Chrys Fey said...

Thanks, Sarah! :D

Lidy said...

Great tips Chrys. And it couldn’t have come at a better time as it made me realize that I’ll have to update my author bio under my “about me” page on my website. I’ve always struggled writing my author bio’s, trying to keep it short, informative and personal. But this was the best I was able to do for my poetry ebook: Lidy Wilks enjoys blogging and writing poetry and fiction. She is also a member of the Write by the Rails. When Lidy’s not writing, she’s driving herself and others mad with her addiction to anime, manga and Asian dramas.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

After seeing a Supernatural Episode about Bloody Mary, I understand the screams of you and your friends.
Updating my bio in the many places it appears is something I forget to do.

Anonymous said...

I like tip 3. It's one I follow. All my bios say I love dying my hair the color of the rainbow and hope to have enough pets to resemble a petting zoo one day. I think it adds a nice personal touch.

cleemckenzie said...

It's true that readers like to know a little about the author.

Anonymous said...

Some good tips! I've never really gotten down how to write a proper bio. I feel like I don't have anything to put in it.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

I do read the bios. I love adding the little personal tidbit. It's makes the writer feel real to me, and that does help sell me on the book!

Have fun battling hurricanes. :)

Anonymous said...

Timely tips as I think mt bio is due a revision. Need to find my version of hurricanes living in Wales. An agent just told me that my bio needed to be shorter with less padding. And I do like yours - even if I hope the hurricanes pass you by.

Robin said...

Since I've started writing I've taken more of an interest in Author Bios. They tend to be short and sweet.

Karen Wojcik Berner said...

Great tips, Chrys.

Chrys Fey said...

I love that last sentence. It helps us to know you better and what you like. That's always a plus.

Chrys Fey said...

Haha! I remember that episode too.

It's easy to forget when life and writing get in the way, but whenever you have a major accomplishment or new release, it's good to update it.

Chrys Fey said...

I love you bio, Patricia. It shows your personality, which is great.

Chrys Fey said...

Yup. :)

Chrys Fey said...

I used to feel the same way. A little story about how you started writing is something that is easy to build a bio around if you feel you have nothing else.

Chrys Fey said...

Haha! I'm not sure if I would call it "fun." :)

Chrys Fey said...

I hope hurricanes continue to pass me by too. Good luck with revamping your bio!

Chrys Fey said...

Short and sweet is the best way to go with a bio.

Chrys Fey said...

Thanks, Karen!

Unknown said...

yup, I try to update mine every now and then! I like to always include my NBC internships and my journalism background, and then throw in something about Wheel of Fortune and my kitten lol.

Chrys Fey said...

Sounds like you know what to put in yours, Beth. Good for you!

Unknown said...

These are really great tips! I had been wondering about author bios recently, and your advice cleared up some confusion. Thanks! =)

Hart Johnson said...

I like humorous bios but I may just be twisted that way. This is my Amazon one: Hart Johnson writes books from her bathtub. A social scientist by day, Hart spends her evenings plotting grand conspiracies and murdering people on paper. You can learn more about her at her blog: waterytart23.blogspot.com

Of course at Amazon, my books are right there--I'd add the "As Alyse Carlson she is author of the Garden Society mystery series and as herself has published A Shot in the Light, a flu epidemic conspiracy trilogy." Or something like that...

Rachel Pattinson said...

Great tips :). I like reading shot bios, which a bit quirky/gives a little bit of info about the author we couldn't have known otherwise. I tried to do this with my own bio - I have a feeling I have different author bios on my blog/book, but I think it's the same in my book/on my Amazon page :).

Chrys Fey said...

That's great! I'm glad to help. You're welcome, Anne. :)

Chrys Fey said...

Humorous bios are better than the ones that are too serious...and boring.

I love the bathtub part. :) You do have a nice, dark sense of humor. I like it! ;)

Chrys Fey said...

My bio on my blog and website are different from the ones for my books, and nothing is wrong with that. :)

Unknown said...

Oh man... my bio is so ridiculous:

Julie Tuovi is a well known read-a-holic and Diet Coke addict. She obsesses over cheesy crackers and loves all things sparkly. Especially nail polish. Julie has a black belt in "Duh-I-Told-You-So," and, in her spare time, likes to hunt zombies, debate the merits of pirate v. ninja, and rescue small kittens from trees. Oh . . . and plot ways to take over the universe. A history enthusiast and law school grad, she currently lives in Columbus, OH with her knight and wee baby princess, where she hermits away writing and dreaming of far-off, magical places. The Sirens of Falkeld is her first novel. Stay tuned for more at: www.thebookmemoirs.blogspot.com.

Yeah. Um. Clearly I take myself very seriously. Heh!

I like that you change yours (slightly) with each book... I feel like that's pretty smart. I'll probably have to steal that gem at some point! ( ;

diedre Knight said...

I always read author bios! Glad to know I'm not the only one :-) What a relief to hear it's okay to change bios as you go; I found myself doing that naturally and actually tried to curb it. Not any more! Enjoyed each one of your bios, thanks for sharing and once again offering great advice :-)

And I really need to find out why my computer security has such a beef with Alex's site! Grrr...

betty said...

I like your author bios that you featured here. I do read author bios and because I'm nosy, I like to know a bit about their personal life, married, kids, etc.

betty

Chrys Fey said...

That was great! I really got a sense of you and your personality. Now I know I can bribe you with cheesy crackers, Diet Coke, and glitter. ;)

Chrys Fey said...

There are a lot of authors who use the same one for everything and only update their achievements, but that's boring!

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you, Betty! Nosy readers are the best readers. ;)

Lisa Thomson said...

Great suggestions, Chrys! I use the same Bio for anything related to my divorce book but I change it up for other areas on the web. I think you could add more about your on line communities i.e. How you write for IWG etc. it's impressive how much on line writing you do!

Chrys Fey said...

That's a great idea, Lisa! I'll have to remember that for my next release. ;)

S. L. Hennessy said...

Ugh, I HATE writing author bios. I am going to save your post to help me with it in the future!

Chrys Fey said...

Sorry you hate them, but YAY for saving my post! :) I hope it does help you.

Shell Flower said...

I've always struggled with bios, so this is really helpful. Yours really read nicely. Thanks for sharing so many!

Diane Burton said...

I like how you incorporate something from the story in your bio. I do read author bios, as long as they aren't too long.

sage said...

I've been trying to think up a witty bio for me... I'll have to work on it--maybe something like Sage enjoys writings, but would prefer to be taking a nap in hammock or drinking scotch by the fire... I do read author bios and if I like the author I try to find out more about them.

Stephanie Faris said...

I have so many different bios going--the one for my fiction, the ones for my tech freelance writing, the ones for non-tech freelance writing... And many of the freelance writing ones can't be changed, so they just linger out there with outdated information (and a photo from 10 years ago!).

Liz A. said...

I'd add one tip: read other author bios. They are all so different, and that means that one can put one's own spin on it.

Yolanda Renée said...

The hardest part of publishing is writing the bio - at least it used to be. Great tips, this will make all the difference in the world for first timers and us fuddy duddy's!

Unknown said...

I liked seeing your bio evolve. My most recent bio was for a website for the Adelaide Improv Festival. This is what I came up with:

Michael has a passion for performing of any kind. He’s a skilful stand-up comic, witty writer, genius radio producer and snappy dresser. He can sing and play guitar too, and will often grab a guitar and belt out a crowd favourite, whether they asked for it or not. Michael took to improv comedy like a duck to a carefully-planned picnic and won’t stop until all those Glad-Wrapped sandwiches are his.
Michael’s biggest passion is to make people laugh, and will often go to, well… some might say extreme lengths to get it. He makes no apologies for the time he spent $11 to send someone some bacon and eggs in the mail. He’d do it again in a heartbeat, but next time he’d probably do a nice brioche.
Michael rates himself a solid 6/10 in the looks department.

Birgit said...

I do read author's bio because I want to know who the person is and what made them want to write about that topic/novel. I like all your bios but I see how you "progressed" as you wrote more.

Carrie-Anne said...

I modify my author bio for different guest posts I've done, though I have a longer "About the Author" bio for the back of my books, updated as I gain new publishing credits. It includes my areas of historical interest/expertise, my hopes for a Ph.D. in Russian history, a few of my favorite things/people (like my favorite artist being Paul Klee and my favorite actor being Rudolph Valentino), and closes by saying I someday hope to have my own small farm on several acres of land.

Shannon Lawrence said...

Great tips! Talking about myself isn't something I enjoy, so the first bio I put together was weird. Now I do little modifications depending upon what it's for, but it keeps the same general base.

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you, Shell! And you're welcome!

Chrys Fey said...

Long bios are a chore to read. I usually skip those too.

Chrys Fey said...

I like that for a beginning of a bio. It really captivates. :)

Chrys Fey said...

That's a lot of bios to keep track of.

Chrys Fey said...

That's a great tip! I remember reading a lot of bios, but they didn't help me because they all sprouted off publications and college degrees...none of which I had. :\

Chrys Fey said...

It is really hard the first time.

Chrys Fey said...

Thanks, Michael!

I love your bio! It lets us visualize you and your personality. You are a real stand up, funny guy.

And you really mailed someone bacon and eggs? That's too funny!

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you, Birgit! That's why it's fun to change them up because I am ever-changing too. :)

Chrys Fey said...

It's a nice touch to mention your interests and favorite things/people.

Chrys Fey said...

I hate talking about myself too. Normally I clam up and say, "Umm..." My very first bio was pathetic. It's probably on some ezine somewhere or on a query letter I got back ages ago.

Cherdo said...

In an author's bio, I love to read the personal tidbits.

"How did they get to the point where they were publishing this book" is interesting, too, but that is what draws me to a blog or FB page.

J.H. Moncrieff said...

I enjoy reading author bios. Here's mine. It took me a long time to get it right:

Raised in the far north, amid Jack London’s world of dog sleds and dark winters, J.H. Moncrieff has been a professional writer all of her adult life.

During her years as a journalist, she tracked down snipers and canoed through crocodile-infested waters. She has published hundreds of articles in national and international magazines and newspapers.

When she’s not writing, J.H. loves to travel to exotic locations, advocate for animal rights, and muay thai kickbox. She’s an avid reader of many different genres, including thrillers, suspense, true crime, memoirs, cookbooks, women’s fiction, and horror.

Unknown said...

Haha! Oh my gosh, SO TRUE! Diet Coke is the way to my heart!

Side note, though... those are my favorite kinds of bios... the ones that you really get a sense of the author's personality by reading. They're just more fun! The acknowledgements for those authors are also pretty fun (yes, I AM one of those weirdos that reads the acknowledgments for EVERY book I read! HA!)

Patsy said...

Good bio advice!

Chrys Fey said...

Personal tidbits are the best. I should try to get more in mine.

Chrys Fey said...

Your bio is exciting, J.H.! I like it! :)

Chrys Fey said...

Thanks, Patsy! :)

Mary Kirkland said...

Great advice. I like reading interesting bio's.

Chrys Fey said...

Thanks, Mary!

Chrys Fey said...

I read the acknowledgements too. And I always wish I knew the people the author was talking about. :)

Unknown said...

I did. I told someone about how I was the producer of a breakfast radio show, except the words I used were "I produce breakfast" The guy found it funny and asked me to send him some breakfast after I produced it, so I did ;)

Denise Covey said...

Thanks Chrys. I've saved this for when I update my bio. I try to keep mine funny as I love funny bios. That way I don't see the author as taking themselves too seriously. Seriously, this is very helpful for many, as like pitches, synopses and blurbs, bio writing is something none of us really want to do. :-(

Scribbles From Jenn said...

I haven't arrived at the point where I need an author bio, but I hope it happens in 2015. Thanks for sharing your tips.

Kathryn Thornton said...

Great simple points to follow. Too bad it is so hard to get it right! Thanks for the examples. That always helps me the most, so yes I read others bios.

Unknown said...

All good tips. I won't be needing a bio for a novel for a while, but hopefully eventually!

Chrys Fey said...

That is epic!

Chrys Fey said...

You're welcome, Denise! Authors who take themselves to seriously are a real bore. I hope I don't come across like that!

Chrys Fey said...

I hope so too, Jenn!

Chrys Fey said...

It is hard to get it right, that's why it's okay to change your bio as needed. :)

Chrys Fey said...

I needed a bio just to query, although it...what's the word? Oh, yeah, it sucked! lol

Jeffrey Scott said...

Yes, I read Author Bio's. I find them fascinating.
No, I don't have one. It would be boring.
I have no awards, have never published anything online or off.
About the only claim to fame I could possibly mention is I'm a photographer and poet. Dedicating myself to my blog since 2008 and continually writing my R.a.n.t. series in 2012.
Like I said. BORING. yawn

Chrys Fey said...

Being a photographer and poet are great thins to mention into a bio! I'm sure you could spice it up by mentioning some of your likes and dislikes.

Jeffrey Scott said...

Jeffrey Scott hates onions, but did survive his voyage on the ill fated Titanic.

Chrys Fey said...

Perfect! It would intrigue people at last. And they'd think you were over a hundred. :)

Yanting Gueh said...

Thanks for the tips. I'm concerned that my author bio sounds dull. Time to look at it again!

Chrys Fey said...

You're welcome, Claudine. :) And I'm sure it's not dull.