The one thing you will be asked for more than anything else is your author bio, and it could be the one piece of writing you spend the least amount of time on, but that is a mistake. Author bios speak volumes about us and a well-crafted one can mean the difference between a sale and a snub. Here are some tips to crafting a great author bio:
The first tip is to start a file. Read bios of your favorite authors, authors in your genre, and save them to this file. Highlight the good use of words, note how they promote their books, websites, and achievements without sounding self-righteous. Also note the ones that rub you the wrong way and why.
Next, learn the art of inversion. Start with the important stuff first because chances are readers won’t read the whole bio. Now, you will have bios which will begin with different things because the purpose is different. Some bios are to promote your current book, some are to connect to the reader so they’ll want to connect to you on social media, and other bios are only to give a byline with website.
So, begin a file for all of your bios. Label your bios for their purpose and word count. For instance I have one labeled Articles and I have a 25 word version and a 50 word version. I have another labeled Connect, and I have a version that begins with “Both of Cheri Cowell’s grandfathers were pastors so it was no surprise when she earned a Masters in Theological Studies from Asbury Seminary.” Another version of the Connect bio begins with “Cheri Cowell is often called a sidewalk theologian because reading her books is like meeting a friend on the sidewalk of life talking about the deep questions of faith.”
Your bio should match the tone and style of your books, so don’t try to be humorous if your books aren’t funny. The same goes with personal info about your family and pets. Unless your books are about family, simply adding details about your family in your bio doesn’t make you personable. Use your words to make you personable—after all, you are a writer.
Lastly, we wouldn’t send a manuscript to a publisher without having someone edit and critique our work. So run your bio past a few friends. Your bio should be your best foot forward so take the time to polish it.
Here are a Few Examples of My Bios:
Cheri’s Award Winning Bible study Parables and Word Pictures (AMG) is available at local Christian bookstores, and her current book, Living the Story: Reaching Outside the Church Walls explores one of her passions—living holy lives before an unholy world. Cheri can be reached through her website www.CheriCowell.com
Both of Cheri Cowell’s grandfathers were pastors so it was no surprise when she earned a Masters in Theological Studies from Asbury Seminary. Cheri’s Bible study Parables and Word Pictures, and her current book, Living the Story: Reaching Outside the Church Walls, form the foundation of her speaking and teaching ministry. She can be reached through her website www.CheriCowell.com
As an Author, Speaker, and Sidewalk Theologian, Cheri Cowell uses widsom gained in the trenches of life to speak to the deep questions of faith women want to ask but are afraid to whisper. Cheri is that sidewalk friend, meet her there where your questions can be whispered and answered— Facebook and Twitter.