An author biography is a form of identification. When you are interviewed for a job, you tell the interviewer as much as you think will help you land the job. On the other hand, a soldier who has been captured by the enemy is trained to give only name, rank and serial number. Your author biography needs to contain information that helps to sell books, but perhaps not too much information.
When you submit your manuscript to a publisher such as Kellan Publishing, you will be asked to provide your author biography. Your publisher will use your author biography for publicity purposes. For example, Kellan Publishing uses the information to post an author page on the Kellanpublishing.com website. Some publishers even include biographical information on the back cover.
As you write your author biography, include enough information to interest potential readers without over burdening them with trivia. Unless your book is about animals, there is no need to tell the reader about your childhood pet.
I like to identify myself in the first paragraph of my biography with my name and something linking me with the type of books I write. Many authors add a sentence about their occupation or former occupation. Only if you are writing a scholarly book do you include your college degree or degrees.
Writing an author biography is like baiting a fishing hook. If something in your background relates to your book, include that. A sentence about what inspired your book can be interesting to readers. Other information is up to you. Many authors make a brief mention of spouses and children. Some authors mention where they live. This is particularly useful if the author lives in an exotic place such as Paris, but authors have drawn interest from readers by saying they live just about anywhere.
Just like the prisoner of war, there are some things you do not want to tell. You do not want to list your address or phone. In most cases it is enough to list the state you live in if you think it will attract readers. You probably do not want to give the names of your spouse and children. If you think it will make you appear to be an interesting author to let readers know you have a spouse and children, simply say, “. . . lives with his wife and three children in [name of a state or large city].” If you choose to mention your occupation, you will probably not want to name your current employer. Your age or birth date is probably not useful to your biography.
Remember your publisher will use your biographical information to bait a hook to catch readers. Good fishermen know that too small a bait gets ignored, but too large a piece of bait can scare off fish.
Spend some time polishing your biography. A good author biography will sell books if it makes you, the author, look human and interesting.
~ Reynold Conger
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Reynold Conger is an author Go to his website to learn of his books and his writing philosophy. Books he has published include: Chased Across Australia A travelogue style thriller My Knight in Shining Armor A Post Vietnam era Romance Reducing Medical Costs (At the Cost of Health) A medical thriller Stoned for His Faith A Thriller about religious persecution Reynold has also written the Richard Tracy Series (A series of novellas available as e-books) Book 1. A Dangerous Bike Ride Book 2. Gone Running and Gone Book 3. Dem Bones Shall Rise Again