We were recently asked about what specifically should be included in the author bio section of your proposal. While it does sound a bit foreign as you’re writing it, the standard is to write it in third person. This might also make it a bit easier to talk more about yourself. As we’ve said it before, your proposal is not the time to be modest.
Start with your writing credentials—your previously published books or those you’ve contributed to or even articles online. Next move to relevant information. If you’re writing on a specific topic, is there anything you’ve done that makes you an expert on it or gives you credibility? List any degrees or schooling or workshops you’ve taught or even volunteering opportunities that are relevant. Finally, include personal information, like where you live and your family details.
The key with an author bio is to keep it professional as well as personal. Those reviewing your proposal like to be reminded that you’re a real person who is qualified to write. It’s also helpful to have a long bio for your proposal but to have a short one on-hand too, in case it’s requested. That’s the bio that goes on the back of your book or included in any interviews.
I recommend taking a look at different authors and see how they handle their bios. What’s on the back of their book and at the end of online articles? What do they include on the author section of their blog? Does it make you want to read what they’ve written?
Finally, when you’re done with your bio, check out some additional things you can include in your proposal to help the publisher get to know YOU better—things like an author photo and/or video.
If you have a question for our Ask an Agent series, you can submit it here.