Writing an Author Bio

How to Write an Author Bio

Compiled by Nancy Hellekson and ChatGPT

Writing an author bio isn’t easy. It’s a daunting task says ChatGPT. Yes, I wanted to know what AI would say about it. Here’s what “she” said:

“Writing a short author biography can be a daunting task, but it’s important to create a brief and engaging bio to introduce yourself to your readers. Here are some tips on how to write a short author biography:

  1. Start with a brief introduction: Begin by introducing yourself and your credentials as an author. Include your name, what you write, and any relevant writing experience or awards.
  2. Share your inspiration: Share what inspired you to become an author or what motivates you to write. This can be a personal story or something that sparked your interest in writing.
  3. Highlight your achievements: Include any notable achievements or accomplishments in your writing career, such as published books, awards, or accolades.
  4. Keep it concise: A short author biography should be no more than a few sentences or a paragraph long. Keep your bio concise and to the point.
  5. Show your personality: Your author bio is a chance to show off your personality and style. Consider adding a bit of humor or personal flair to make your bio stand out.”

Not bad for AI, but it did miss a few points:

  1. Always write in the third person.
  2. Don’t write your complete life story, most people aren’t interested.
  3. Gear your bio to the book or short story that you are writing.
  4. Write about what you love. Let the reader know a bit about “you.”
  5. At the beginning, draw the reader in. Don’t start with hard facts.
  6. Keep the bio under 100 words and certainly no more than 200. The shorter, the better.

So, what does a good bio look like?

Below are six excellent ones for you to aspire to:

Forgotten Legacy: Robin Perini, the Publisher’s Weekly and internationally bestselling author of Forgotten Secrets, is devoted to giving her readers fast-paced, high-stakes adventures with a love story sure to melt their hearts. A RITA Award finalist and winner of the prestigious Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Award in 2011, she is also a nationally acclaimed writing instructor. By day, she’s an analyst for an advanced technology corporation, but in honor of her mother, Robin has become a passionate advocate for those who battle Alzheimer’s disease. She loves to hear from readers. Visit her web­site at www.robinperini.com.
[Length: 97 words]

Damn Delicious Meal Prep: 115 Easy Recipes for Low-Calories, High-Energy Living: Chungah Rhee is the founder, recipe developer, and photographer of Damn Delicious. What began as a grad school hobby is now a top food blog, with millions of readers coming to her site for easy weeknight recipes and simplified gourmet meals. She lives and continues to cook non-stop in Los Angeles, with her corgi, Butters. Her first cookbook was published in 2016 by Oxmoor House. Visit her at damndelicious.net.
[Length: 70 words]

Long Range Shooting Handbook: Complete Beginner’s Guide to Long Range Shooting: “Ryan Cleckner served as a special operations sniper team leader with the U.S. Army’s elite 1st Ranger Bn. on multiple combat deployments. He is a graduate of the premier Special Operations Target Interdiction Course (SOTIC), among other military training courses, and has taught snipers and police sharpshooters from around the world. Ryan has a series of online instructional videos known for their ability to explain complex topics in a simple and digestible way. Ryan is currently a firearms industry professional and an attorney.”
[Length: 83 words]

Diary of a Farting Creeper: Why Does the Creeper Fart When He Should Explode? (Volume 1): Who is Wimpy Fart? Wimpy Fart loves Minecraft and writes awesome Minecraft books for YOU because you are the best Minecraft fans in the world. You can email Wimpy Fart to tell him about your favorite Minecraft books, or to talk about really loud farts. wimpyfart@gmail.com Oh – Wimpy Fart reads all your awesome Amazon reviews and likes to know what you want to read about in Minecraft books!
[Length: 68 words]

Joanna Penn writes non-fiction books for authors and is an award-nominated, New York Times and USA Today bestselling thriller author as J.F. Penn. She’s a podcaster and an award-winning creative entrepreneur. Her site, TheCreativePenn.com, has been voted in the Top 100 sites for writers by Writer’s Digest.
[Length: 49 words]

John Scalzi writes books, which, considering where you’re reading this, makes perfect sense. He’s best known for writing science fiction, including the New York Times bestseller Redshirts, which won the Hugo Award for Best Novel. He also writes non-fiction on subjects ranging from personal finance to astronomy to film and he was the Creative Consultant for the Stargate: Universe television series. He enjoys pie, as should all right-thinking people. You can get to his blog by typing the word “Whatever” into Google. No, seriously, try it.
[Length: 85 words]

5 thoughts on “How to Write an Author Bio”

  1. I like that you list the finer points of bio writing that “she” overlooked for lack of emotional discernment. I hear she’s quite a fast learner though. For better or for worse, this is the new normal!

  2. Rebecca Henderson

    This is wonderful information; thank you! When I wrote both of my author bios, I drew from the bio sheet that I give to folks when they need to introduce me for presentations, trainings, etc. Thank you!

  3. Glad to read that you were able to improve on ChatGPT. Needless to say, I am not a fan of AI.
    “Samantha” who speaks to me in my car GPS will eventually get me to where I want to go, but doesn’t know about oneway streets of short cuts.

  4. Linda Lee Keenan

    This is a very useful article. Artificial Intelligence contradicts itself by trying to cover all of “her” bases (brief bio, then add a short story, add titles of other books, etc. etc. etc.). I liked your examples of good author bios, Nancy. When submitting to agents, you are often asked for either a short or a long bio. And when submitting to writing contests such as RPLA, you submit a 30 word author bio. That’s challenging. So if you write a very good long bio, you can reduce it to a short bio and a 30 word bio and have each at the ready for future use.

  5. Well done! So glad to see you taking ChatGPT to task. It’s an unsettling new development, but a wave it seems we must ride. Love your author bio examples. It took me quite a few tries to get the hang of mine, and I still don’t have any accolades to mention. But I’d like to think I have the tailored humor on point. Here’s to learning new things!

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