When I was an aspiring teenage writer who dreamt of the day I’d be a rich and famous author, I used to write my thank you pages out. I would thank boys I “loved” for inspiration. I would thank my friends and family. I would … be self-indulgent.
I never thought about my author bio. And then I started self-publishing and I had to write one. So i slapped down some crap about writing since I was 2 years old and being married and living in the wilds of small town Canada. The typical stuff that you would find on the back cover of any novel you can pick up in AnyStore, Canada.
If it had been a letter it would have looked like this (I embellished a little):
Dear Spinner of Wonderous Tales and Enchanting Other Worlds,
Your bio is boring. No one cares what you dreamed of doing in first/eighth/twelfth grade or what job you quit to make it as a full-time author. Many writers grew up wanting to craft words. And you are now doing so while trying to make a living, but you’ve written a dry biography of your life. You make up STUFF for a living. You can be a little more creative with your bio. K Thanx Bye now.
I tried to write a more interesting bio. But I never found anything I loved. My current Twitter bio has had several positive comments (people like to read flawed characters).
I came across this wonderful post from Unicorns for Socialism about crafting your 15-second intro speech to make it more interesting. She has 7 questions for you, which I combined with 100 things that I’m interested in list I made once upon a time. The post is more general for all business types who are trying to network, but if you put in “AUTHOR” as your answer to number one, it can easily be tailored.
Pick some more fun descriptive things you would say about yourself. She has a list of them on the website. I choose Maven (see the blog tagline) and magician. Who are writers if not magicians? Plus, several magicky things were on my list. (One of my dream jobs would be to read tarot cards).
What do your customer’s want? In other words, for authors, why would your customer buy your book. What are you writing that interests them.
Mix all those things together and you have a bio. I think the process would also tailor nicely to taglines for author brands (see We Are Not Alone on why you should brand your author name, instead of your books or anything else).
If you’ve been struggling with your bio, this might give you a nudge to getting it done.
Do you have a biography that you love? Share it with us (and your process) in the comments.