Arranging Your Author's Bio Can Be Awkward
Updated: Nov 8, 2019
There are a lot of awkward moments ready and waiting for you in the authorial process.
From moments asking people for help in the researching/figuring-things-out phase… to moments in your own mind during the writing phase… to the getting-editorial-feedback phase and the sending-out-query-letters/going-the-self-publishing-route phase…
Then there’s also the whole book-marketing phase. That, of course, is where you put yourself out there – heart and soul – pleading with people to purchase what you’ve so painstakingly put together.
In short, there’s plenty of places to come across like the novice that, let’s face it, you sometimes are. That includes with the author’s bio: that obnoxious attempt to explain the real you in mere words.
Which is something you're going to have to do, so we’re discussing it right below.
As we’ve already discussed a time or two before this year, written words sometimes fail. But, sometimes, you have to pick up and soldier on anyway.
Awkward though it might feel, that might have to be the attitude you have to take about this small – but still important – part of the writing process.
Don’t you just hate that getting to know you question of, “So, tell me about yourself!” You’re such a complex creature after all. How in the world can you sum yourself up in a mere segment of a single conversation?
Obnoxious though it may be, that’s essentially what an author bio is. It’s a one or two paragraph summary of what makes you... you. Think of it from a professional, a romantic or a business perspective. Regardless, you want to come across as interesting enough for your readers to want to be in some kind of relationship with you.
As usual, there’s a lot to unpack in that Definition. So, also as usual, we’ll address some of it later on in the week.
In the meantime, we’re going to look at an actual example of an author’s bio. Just to give you an idea of what yours might look like.
I strongly encourage you to look up your favorite author’s bio in the back of his or her book(s). Or on the back jacket, if that’s where said individual puts it.
Since I don’t know who your favorite author is, however, I’ll just include my own to give you an example. Here’s what goes at the very back of my novels:
Jeannette DiLouie was born a New Jersey girl and will die the same even if she grew up in Pennsylvania, lived in Maryland and is now back in Central Pennsylvania. She’s also a cookie dough-eating, travel-obsessed bookworm, and an editor who loves helping other writers achieve their own dreams.
Ethnically half-Italian, Jeannette is tragically addicted to carbohydrates. Also ethnically half-Scottish, she’s counting down the days when she can go visit that lovely land again. And being just under five-foot three, she happily claims her short-girl rights to climb on any shelf or counter she needs to.
I’m not saying that’s how yours should look, especially considering what we’ll be talking about on Thursday. But hopefully it gives you a decent idea of the format and topics you can cover.
It’s supposed to be about you regardless. As annoying or uncomfortable or awkward as that may be, you’re center stage in your own author’s bio.
So, really. Tell us about yourself…
What makes you tick?