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10 Tips for Writing a Great Author Bio [Guest Post]

Lauren Clark is a Duolit Indie Ninja and author of two indie books — Stay Tuned and her new release, out today, called Dancing Naked in Dixie (which was formatted for paperback and eBooks by your favorite Duolit chicks!). Lauren is a great example of an author who goes above and beyond to market her books (take notes!) so we asked her to share some tips with our readers on the all-important author bio for your book. Enjoy!

Attract readers with a short, but sweet author bio

I’ll admit it–I’m a book cover junkie! I love an eye-catching concept, great colors, and crisp, bold graphics. A great cover will get me to pick up a book…but then I have to read the summary…and check out the author bio!

Anytime I’m shopping in a bookstore, or checking out a novel online, you’ll find me turning to a book’s inside back flap (or Kindle page) and reading the paragraph below the author photo.

If you’ve ever tried to write a bio — your own included — you know that it’s a challenging process! Here are my Top Ten Tips for making ‘Bio Writing’ a little easier and a lot more fun!

1. Read author bios from ten to twenty different books. Jot down what you like and don’t like.

2. Write out another list–this time, 20 to 30 things about you! What do you enjoy? What makes you interesting? Don’t leave anything out. Then, choose the best elements to include.

3. If you’re writing the bio for your first novel, it should be short and sweet. Shoot for about 50 words or fewer.

4. Convey your personality and writing style. Don’t try too hard to be funny, but do include something that makes you seem like a real person. Do you cook? Love to hike? Stargaze?

5. Relate it to the genre in which you are writing–if you’re writing a novel about a marathon runner–and you love to compete in 5Ks or just completed your first triathlon, mention it!

6. What gives you credibility? Are you a member of a professional organization? Have you published any articles? Written for a newspaper or magazine?

7. Hit the highlights. You don’t need long lists of resumé information (education, job history).

8. How can people connect with you? (Twitter handle, Facebook page, website, or blog)

9. Have at least one other person (who is not a relative or BFF) read and critique your bio.

10. Sleep on it. Have a different person read and critique your bio. Revise and update as needed!

What do you think? Share your best bio writing tip!

About Lauren Clark

Lauren Clark is the author of Stay Tuned and Dancing Naked in Dixie. She writes contemporary novels set in the Deep South; stories sprinkled with sunshine, suspense, and secrets.

A former TV news anchor, Lauren adores flavored coffee, local bookstores, and anywhere she can stick her toes in the sand. Her big loves are her family, paying it forward, and true-blue friends. Check out her website at www.laurenclarkbooks.com or find her on Twitter, Facebook and Good Reads.

Dancing Naked in Dixie

Travel writer Julia Sullivan lives life in fast-forward. She jet sets to Europe and the Caribbean with barely a moment to blink or sleep. But too many mishaps and missed deadlines have Julia on the verge of being fired.

With a stern warning, and unemployment looming, she’s offered one last chance to rescue her career. Julia embarks on an unlikely journey to the ‘Heart of Dixie’—Eufaula, Alabama—home to magnificent mansions, sweet tea, and the annual Pilgrimage.

Julia arrives, soon charmed by the lovely city and her handsome host, but her stay is marred by a shocking discovery. Can Julia’s story save her career, Eufaula, and the annual Pilgrimage?

Pick up your copy of Dancing Naked in Dixie:

 Kindle – Paperback – Nook


  • Lauren Clark

    Thank you so much Shannon & Toni! Y’all were such a PLEASURE to work with and I LOVE the way that my novel looks in all of the formats… the paperback is especially lovely. 

    Can’t wait to work together again soon!!  xx, Lauren

    • You’re so very welcome. Thanks for being so great to work with :-)

  • Pipe-dream author’s bio:

    “[Chihuahua Zero] is a young man with big dreams. As a child, he wanted to be a singer/dancer/detective/movie director/programmer, but novelist seemed like a better fit. He started Manifestation Files at age [XX], and refused to give in until it hit shelves.

    He currently lives in [City], and can be contacted through Twitter (@chihuahuazero:twitter), or his blog (http://youngaspiringwriter.blogspot.com/). Manifestation Files is his first novel.”

    Eh, it’s rough, but I thought it up on the spot.

    • Great bio, Chihuahua! You did a great job of getting all the info in there without it becoming too wordy. *high-five*

  • Lauren, I love your alliteration: “stories sprinkled with sunshine, suspense, and secrets.” Stunning! I think your tips are fabulous – especially the suggestion to “sleep on it.” I find if I am patient and don’t rush to get things out, then I come up with a new angle. Like a stew, our minds need time to simmer!

    • You’re exactly right, Diana — it’s amazing to me how I can come back to a piece of writing day after day after day and find something to change/improve. Letting it marinate does wonders!

  • Those author bios are important. In general, a good bio says ‘this author is likable, credible, and can tell a story.  Likability is important, because the reader is going to spend quite a bit of time between the covers with the author. Credible, because the reader wants some sense of authenticity about author, and the book. Storytelling skills are essential, since fiction IS storytelling. If the bio has a sense of narrative, all the better!

    • Great comment, Walt. I especially love the bit about likability — the reader DOES spend a lot of time “between the covers” with the author and it’s important that there’s a connection there. We’ll be covering the writer/reader relationship more coming up in June!

  • Great tips! For some reason, it’s easier to write about everyone else, but not as simple when talking about yourself! 😉

    • I totally understand that, James! Doesn’t it feel a little awkward to write about yourself sometimes?

  • Rangewriter

    This is awesome. Wish I’d seen this about a month ago when I was trying to coach an author on his bio.

  • Can you tell me how to connect with Julia Sullivan.I want to have a chat with him i have a idea .I want to write one novel so i want him to help me

  • dss