How to Write an Author Bio for New and Established Authors

How to Write an Author Bio for New and Established Authors

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Who are you and why should I read your book? That’s what your author bio needs to answer.

Your author bio acts as your introduction. It shows your credibility, shares your story, and entices people to read your book. It seems straightforward, but crafting a compelling bio takes some thought and creativity.

Understand the Purpose of an Author Bio

Your author bio does four main things. It provides:

  1. Credibility – This can include anything from being a best-selling author to winning an award to the number of books you’ve written. As a new author, this is what you’re hoping to build.
  2. Authority – This goes in hand with credibility, but authority has more to do with your expertise and experience.
  3. Personal story (about you) – Who you are and why you write.
  4. Target market appeal – Why readers should be interested in the books you write.

Where to Use Your Bio

Author bios are used in a variety of areas.

  1. About page in your books
  2. About page on your website
  3. About section of media kit
  4. Short bio for event programs
  5. Short bio for social media
  6. Short bio for email signature lines

The Elements of a Well-Crafted Author Bio

In a moment, we’ll walk through how to write your author bio. For now, let’s go over the elements of an effective author bio.

  1. Stick to 60 to 100 words. Longer bios can be used on your website or in your books, but don’t make this a tome.
  2. Write in third person (he/she/they)
  3. Tout your accomplishments without bragging
  4. Have a tone that fits your books’ tone (e.g. if you write rom-com your bio should be humorous)
  5. Give a call to action, such as your website
  6. Be interesting

Preparing to Write Your Author Bio

Before sitting down and writing your bio, pull together the following information:

  1. Who is your target reader?
  2. What are your achievements? If you’re a new writer, you won’t have best-seller status or awards, but you can be creative in giving your accolades.
  3. List interesting factoids about you that might intrigue your target reader.
  4. Decide your call to action.

How to Write Your Author Bio

With your notes from you prep-session, you can begin to draft your author bio.

Start with a Captivating Introduction

You’ve probably heard about writing a “hook”. Hooks are used everywhere in writing because they’re the opening that captures a reader’s interest whether it’s the book’s description, opening line, or the author bio.

Begin your author bio with a powerful intro to grab attention. Highlight key facts like your latest book’s title or genre. Or share something interesting about you. If you have a big achievement, lead with that.

Here is Meghan Quinn’s opening line from her Amazon bio:

#1 Amazon and USA Today Bestselling Author, wife, adoptive mother, and peanut butter lover.

Here is sweet romance author Elena Johnson’s opening line:

USA Today bestseller Elana Johnson writes adult contemporary beach romance.

Here is my opening line:

Jenna Harte is a die-hard romantic, writing about characters who are passionate about and committed to each other, and frequently getting into trouble. 

Add Relevant Credentials and Achievements

Show off your expertise next. Talk about your awards, bestseller status, or other achievements. This proves you know your stuff. It builds trust with readers, making them more likely to select your book.

Remember that if you’re a new author, you may not have the bestseller status, but “relevant” can include anything that would intrigue your target market. For example, if you’ve set your book in the southwest of the U.S. and that’s where you live, include that. If you’re protagonist is a lawyer just like you, include that.

In the examples above, both Meghan and Elena included credibility in their opening lines. But here is Elena’s second line, that adds more achievement:

She is the author of over 130 books across two names, and there’s nothing better than sun, sand, and swoon-worthy kisses! 

Here is mine:

She is the author of the Valentine Mysteries, the first of which, “Deadly Valentine,” reached the quarter-finals in Amazon’s Breakthrough Novel Award in 2013. 

Share Personal Details to Create Relatability

Share your hobbies or fun factoids about you. This helps you stand out from others and makes your bio stick in readers’ minds. They’ll feel a closer bond with you as an author. In Meghan’s bio, she talks about being an adoptive mother and her love of peanut butter.

Tell ‘Em What to Do Next

End your bio with information on how they can learn more about you. The best option is to include your website where you’ll have all your books and social links in one spot.

Let It Sit

Once you’ve written your draft, leave it alone for a day or so. Come back to it with fresh eyes and determine:

  1. Does it include all the info it should?
  2. Is it interesting?
  3. Does it fit with your desired author brand (e.g. if your books are quirky, is your bio quirky too)?
  4. Is it too long?

Keep Your Author Bio Up-To-Date

Admittedly, I’m terrible at this. Do as I say, and not as I do. Put on your calendar once a year or so to review your bio on your website, social media, Amazon and other retailer author pages, and your books.

Multiple Author Bios

It is possible you’ll need different bios depending on where they’re being published or the target reader if you write beyond one genre or sub-genre. Here are some tips for author bio variations:

Optimize Online Bios: For your website, and other online postings, you’ll want to make sure your author bio stands out for search engines by adding keywords your target reader might use. Use terms like “romance author,” “love stories,” and other genres you write. By doing this, more readers searching for romance books will find you.

Hyperlink to Website, Books, Etc Online: Include a hyperlink (readers can click on text) to your website for online author bios. You can also include links to your books or other profiles, but be careful not to overdo it. Less is usually more when it comes to links in author bios.

NO FULL URLS on AMAZON: You’ll find many authors who have their websites or social media URL’s listed, but they were created before Amazon enacted a new TOS that says you can’t have websites in your author bio. You’ll need to fudge it a bit by having your URL written with “dot com”. For example, JennaHarte dot com.

Write Out Website URL in Offline Bios: Author bios that will be in print books, event programs, and other offline publications should have your website URL written out (not hyperlinked). For example,

Focus on the Target Reader: When I go to mystery book events, I lead with my cozy and romantic-mystery books, usually leaving off information about my romances. However, at romance events, I lead with my romances.

List Series, Not Books (if you have a lot of publishing credits): In both Meghan Quinn and Elena Johnson’s bios, they don’t list books or series at all because they have too many. But if you don’t have many books under your belt, you can provide titles initially, but as your backlist grows, you’ll want to focus on series name. As that grows, you can focus on your genre/subgenre, as Meghan and Elena do.

Examples of Author Bios

Pull out the books on your shelves or in your e-reader and see what other authors have written. As you read them, decide if it’s interesting or boring. Is it too long or do you wish you knew more? Make note of the ones that appeal the most and figure out why that is.

Here are a couple of author bios to check out (these are from their Amazon Author Pages):

Debut Paranormal Romance Author Gin Griffith:

The real world is boring. Gin prefers the realm of fantasy, where heroes smolder, heroines kick ass, magic is real, and love conquers all.

When she’s not writing paranormal romance, she’s usually reading it. Otherwise, you can find her singing in her modern-vintage lounge band, enjoying good food and cocktails, or training to be a superhero in her home gym.

​She lives in the midwestern woods with her golden retriever and her husband, who has a sexy beard he’s forbidden to shave.

​Favorite things include: funky music, tart drinks, strong candles, and big, goofy dogs.

Rom Com Romance Author Meghan Quinn:

#1 Amazon and USA Today Bestselling Author, wife, adoptive mother, and peanut butter lover. Author of romantic comedies and contemporary romance, Meghan Quinn brings readers the perfect combination of heart, humor, and heat in every book.

Like me on Facebook:

Find me on Goodreads:

Visit my website:

Historical Romance Author Tamara Gill 

Bestselling author Tamara Gill writes steamy, swoon-worthy Regency and Time-Travel romances with strong, intelligent heroines and heroes you can’t help but love. She’s an Australian author whose love of writing and reading romance was rekindled while raising her three children. When Tamara is not writing or jetting off to England for more research, which she believes you can never have enough of, you can find her online or by visiting her website tamaragill dot com. Feel free to reach out to Tamara, she loves to hear from readers.

Romance Author Jenna Harte 

Jenna Harte is a die-hard romantic writing about characters who are passionate about and committed to each other, and frequently getting into trouble. She is the author of the Valentine Mysteries, the first of which, Deadly Valentine, reached the quarter-finals in Amazon’s Breakthrough Novel Award in 2013. She also penned the Southern Heat contemporary romance series and the Sophie Parker Coupon Mystery series.

When she’s not telling stories, she works by day as a ghostwriter and runs the online community for romance writers, She lives the empty nest life with her soulmate and a nutty cat.

Keep up on the passion, murder, and mayhem at


Do you have tips or ideas for crafting a compelling author bio? Let me know in the comments below!

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