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Writing Your Author Bio

Updated on October 20, 2011
DonnaCSmith profile image

Donna Campbell Smith is a published author, freelance writer, and photographer. She also specializes in horses.

Writing your author bio seems like a simple chore, but for many writers those few paragraphs can be a struggle. We don’t want to give too much personal information or seem like we’re tooting out own horn. So, what do we say? And why do you need to write a bio anyway?

The first rule is to always write your bio in third person. Writing in third person makes your bio ready to use by reviewers and reporters. It can also help if you feel hesitant about the whole tooting ones own horn thing, but you need to get over that anyway. You do want to sell books, right?

Include something personal or interesting about yourself than pertains to your writing and will hook the reader. For example if you write Southern Literature you can mention you live in the south, if you write suspense or thrillers and you once worked as a police investigator or as a crime reporter include that information, or if you write about cats share your cat’s name.

You do not have to be precise about where you live. You can write, “She lives in a small town in upstate new York” or on “a horse farm in Virginia” for example. Of course if you live in a city it’s pretty safe to say, “ in New York City.”

Give your educational background as it relates to your writing, membership in writers organizations, and about you experience in your subject matter.

Mention previous works published if you have any.

You may also provide a photograph of yourself with your bio. Your bio will be used in your book proposals, query letters, on the book jacket, on your blogs, in reviews of your books, and by the media. As your writing career progresses you will need to update and change your bio from time to time.

Your author bio may be the first impression of you as a writer to publishers, agents, and readers. For that reason your author bio is one of the most important things you will write. But don’t let that thought scare you, it’s not really difficult to write your own author bio.

Example of an Author Bio

Author Bio

Donna Campbell Smith has worked in the horse industry as an instructor, breeder and trainer for over thirty years. Donna is now retired from teaching and training, and writes from her home near Raleigh, North Carolina.

In addition to her children’s novels, Pale as the Moon and An Independent Spirit, Donna has three non-fiction books published by The Lyons Press: The Book of Miniature Horses, The Book of Draft Horses, and The Book of Mules.

She has written for several print and online publications including Grit Magazine, Back Home Magazine, The Horse, Stable Management Magazine, Western Mule, The Brayer, USA Equestrian, Young Rider, The Chronicle of the Horse, Boys Life, The Gaited Horse, Our State, Carolina Country and Conquistador.

Donna Campbell Smith has an AAS Degree in Equine Technology from Martin Community College, where she also took extended courses in art and composition.  She is a certified riding instructor and served many years as a Master NC 4-H Horse Program Volunteer. She is a member of Franklin County Arts Council, the North Carolina Writers Network and Second Cup of Coffee Writers Group.


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    • Homeplace Series profile image

      William Leverne Smith 4 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Great hub. Very useful. Thanks for sharing these insights! ;-)

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 4 years ago from America

      Thanks for infomation and tips for writing bio. I love reading people's bio but I'm not good at sharing all of mine. Voted up.

    • DonnaCSmith profile image

      Donna Campbell Smith 4 years ago from Central North Carolina

      Glad it was helpful Rajan and Jackie!

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Thanks for sharing these tips to write an author bio more effectively. Voted up and useful.

    • JDove-Miller profile image

      JDove-Miller 7 years ago from YOUNGSVILLE

      Thanks for the info, now I can add a couple of things to my bio that I hadn't thought about. Good job.