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Anne R. Allen's Blog


My Photo

Anne writes funny mysteries and how-to-books for writers. She also writes poetry and short stories on occasion. Oh, yes, and she blogs. She's a contributor to Writer's Digest and the Novel and Short Story Writer's Market for 2016. 

Her bestselling Camilla Randall Mystery Series features perennially down-on-her-luck former socialite Camilla Randall—who is a magnet for murder, mayhem and Mr. Wrong, but always solves the mystery in her quirky, but oh-so-polite way.

Anne lives on the Central Coast of California, near San Luis Obispo, the town Oprah called "The Happiest City in America."

Anne blogs at Anne R. Allen's Blog...with Ruth Harris 
and at Anne R. Allen's Books

Sunday, September 9, 2012

How to Write an Author Bio When You Don't Feel Like an Author…Yet

Maybe you've got a novel finished and you’ve been sending out queries. Lots. And you’re getting rejections. Lots. Or worse, that slow disappointment of no response at all.

Or maybe you write short fiction and poetry and you've got a bunch of pieces you've been sending out to contests and literary journals. You've won a few local contests, but so far you haven't had much luck getting into print.

You may still be afraid to tell more than a handful of people you're a writer. You'd feel pretentious calling yourself an "author."

But it might be time to start—at least privately.

Because one day, in the not too distant future, you'll open your email and there it will be:

The response from an editor: "You're the winner of our October 'Bad Witch' short story contest. We'd like to publish your story, Glinda: Heartbreaker of Oz in our next issue. Please send us your Author Bio."

Or just when you were giving up hope, you get that reply from your dream agent: “I’m intrigued by your novel Down and Out on the Yellow Brick Road. Please send the first fifty pages, and an Author Bio.”

You're so excited you're jumping out of your skin, so you dash something off in five minutes and hit "send."  Wow. You're going to be in print! Or maybe get an agent. Let's get this career on the road!

Whoa. You do NOT want to dash off an author bio in five minutes. Every word you send out there is a writing sample, not just those well-honed pages or stories.

So, write it now. Yes. Right now. Before you send off another query or enter another contest. Even though you've never published anything but the Halloween haiku that won second prize in your high school newspaper.

Actually, you want to write two bios: A paragraph suitable for a magazine byline, and a longer one-page version for sending to agents and later posting on your website, blog, etc.

How to Write an Author Bio

Title it only with your name. Write in third person. Keep to about 250 words: one page, double-spaced--or 1/2 page single-spaced, if you include a photo above it. (I advise against this unless it’s specifically requested or you have a great, up-to-date, professional photo that makes you look like a contestant on one of those Top Model shows.)

You’re aiming for a style similar to book jacket copy. The purpose is to make yourself sound professional and INTERESTING.

This may be perfectly accurate:  “Mrs. H. O. Humm is a stay-at-home mom who lives in Middle America with her dentist husband, 2.4 children and a dog named Rex.”

But a bio is all about making yourself stand out. “Hermione Oz Humm was born in the Emerald City and is an expert balloonist, ventriloquist and voice-over performer.”

Things to consider including:

1) Whatever might make you newsworthy: OK, so you aren’t the baby who got rescued from that well forty years ago, and you never cheated on Robert Pattinson, but whatever is quirky or unusual about you, trot it out. Keep homing pigeons? Run marathons? Cook prize-winning chili? Put it in.

2) Work history: Here’s where you say you’re a welder or a fourth grade teacher or whatever, even if it isn’t related to the subject matter of your book.

NB: Don’t call yourself a “novelist” if you haven’t published one.

If you’re seriously underemployed and want to keep it to yourself, you can call yourself a “freelance writer,” but consider saying what else you do, even if it’s less than impressive. I remember when Christopher Moore’s first book, Practical Demonkeeping, came out and all the Central Coast papers ran stories about how a “local waiter” had just sold a book to Disney. If he’d called himself a “writer” there would have been no story.

3) Where you live: Your hometown might make a good focus for marketing. Plus people like to be able to picture you in your native habitat.

4) Education: This includes Workshops or Writers Conferences as well as formal education—especially if you worked with a high-profile teacher. If you took a playwriting workshop with Edward Albee, even if it was 30 years ago, go ahead and say so.

5) Life experience and hobbies
 that relate to the book, or fascinate on their own: If you collect vintage Frisbees, and the book is about angsty teen werewolves at a Frisbee contest, include it. If you invented the Frisbee, it doesn’t matter what your book is about: toot that horn!

6) Travel/exotic residences: “Rudy Kipling once took a two-week tour of Asia,” meh. But “Mr. Kipling was born in Bombay and spent a year as the assistant editor of a newspaper in Lahore,” is something you want them to know.

7) Writing credentials/prizes: Here’s where you can list some of those credits in small presses and prizes that didn’t fit in your query. Include any books you’ve published, even if they were in a different field.

If you're writing this for an agent or publisher, remember books that didn't sell well are going to work against you with a marketing department, so you might want to leave out self-published books if your sales weren't in the thousands. You should also skip older books self-published with a vanity press, unless your sales were spectacular.

8) Family: Use discretion here. If you write for children and have some of your own, it would be useful to mention them. If your family has an interesting claim to fame (like your sister just won an Olympic medal) or if family history has made you uniquely qualified to write this book (Your grandfather was Dwight Eisenhower's valet and you're writing about the Eisenhower/Kay Summersby affair.)

9) Performing history: It’s helpful to show you’re not paralyzed by the thought of public speaking. You can mention you’re the president of your local Toastmasters, or host a jug band program on a public access station, or you played the Teapot in last year’s production of Beauty and the Beast at the local community theater. 

10) Your online presence: This is where you can mention your blog. Also put in your twitter handle and list what other social media you participate in.

How to Write a Short Author Bio

Again, write in third person. For the first sentence, this format works pretty well:

 "Name is a ______ who lives in ______ and does ______. "

Then you can add one or two of the following:

1. S/he is a member of _____ (if you're a member of any writing organizations like RWA or SCBWI)

2. S/he has won_____ (writing awards—yes, you can mention the Halloween haiku.)

3. S/he has been published in _____ .

4. S/he has a degree in _____ from_______.

Then add something interesting and unique about yourself, preferably something related to the piece, like:

"S/he played Glinda the Good Witch in a Middle School production of The Wizard of Oz."  

When writing these bios, think like a reporter. What would make good copy in a news release? Think unique, quirky or funny.

All set? Good. Now go look in the mirror and say, "hello, author!"

Then sit down at the computer and write those bios. Right now!

NOTE to queriers: neither of these author bios should automatically go into a query letter.

Only send a bio if it's specifically requested.

The paragraph about yourself in your query letter should be as short as possible and written in the first person. Unlike an author bio, a query shouldn't include any mention of what you do for bucks (unless it relates to the book.) Also leave out the fun stuff about family, pets, and personal history. 

Give only your most significant publishing credits plus your writing organizations or recent writing conferences you've attended*. Mention education only if it's directly related to your writing. ("I have a degree in creative writing from Pomona College, where I studied novel structure with David Foster Wallace.")

How about you, scriveners? Do you have those bios ready? Have you ever dashed off a quick bio and regretted it later? At what point do/did you start calling yourself an author?

Just off the presses! The ebook of Shirley S. Allen's second novel, Roxanna Britton is now available on Amazon in the US and the UK. It's based on the true story of how my great, great grandmother pioneered in the American West, and it's also a charming romance and great women's fiction. Little House on the Prairie meets Jane Austen.

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Blogger Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

My bio has changed over the past two years, but it hits most of those key points now. Except performing. Unless I can work in a band performance sometime soon.

September 9, 2012 at 10:04 AM  
Blogger Ruth Harris said...

Anne, helpful & instructive as always.

A word from the trenches re: the glammed up author photo. Don't go overboard with the airbrushing & Photoshop.

A friend who did author PR met the famous, bestselling author who was her new client for the first time & came away in shock. Said author looked poised, elegant & très haute counture-d in her photo.

In person: "She looked like a basset hound," said my friend.

Bottom line: don't raise expectations you can't fulfill.

September 9, 2012 at 10:57 AM  
Blogger Chihuahua Zero said...

You wrote this post to be bookmarked for future refererence! I'll definitely refer back to this in the future if I need to write an author bio.

I knew that Feedburner was going to go down. Amother blogger wrote about the warning signs a month or two ago, so I jumped ship and switched to an another email marketing service.

Try MailChimp. It's free as long as you have less than 1200 subscribers (the email limit should be a non-issue for this blog, since it only posts five times a month.)

All you need to do is to export your subscribers from Feedburner and import the file into MailChimp. Also, you'll need to set up a RSS-to-email campaign for your list.

It'll require some tech skills (and testing on your own email to make sure you're not sending empty emails!), but in the end, it'll require less work than manually emailing each subscriber one by one.

September 9, 2012 at 11:15 AM  
Blogger Charley Robson said...

Thanks Anne! I have so much trouble with "author bio"s, being an unpublished and unemployed individual. It's good to know that I can put other stuff in there that I HAVE done and that DOES make me look like more than just a silly rookie.

Thanks again :D

September 9, 2012 at 12:29 PM  
Blogger L. Diane Wolfe said...

Wonderful checklist, Anne. Bios are tough at first. The more one accomplishes though, the more that can be added to the bio.

September 9, 2012 at 1:23 PM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Alex--Yes, we do have to keep updating those bios. It's never-ending. But I think playing the tuba at your next book signing might be just the ticket! :-)

Ruth--You're absolutely right about those glamour photos. I should have said, "Unless you actually look like a supermodel, don't include a photo." Most editors don't care, but if they do, they're going to care more that you don't send a photo of Scarlett Johansson when you actually look more like Clifford the Big Red Dog.

Chihuahua--Thanks for the Feedburner advice, but I'll bet you have Wordpress. Blogger does all the business with Feedburner behind the scenes and puts it on my blog. I don't have any access to it. I don't even know how many subscribers I have--or how to find out. All I can do is complain to Google. Like they care.

Charley--Yes: you're just the person I'm talking to. You may be in the early part of your writing journey, but you still want to be prepared. And everybody has something unique about them. It's just about putting it on paper in a fun, easy-to-read way.

L. Diane--Yes, the more you do in the writing field, the more you have to say in the bio, but that doesn't make it any easier, because then you have to pick and choose and make sure it's not too long and braggy.

September 9, 2012 at 1:57 PM  
Blogger Chihuahua Zero said...

Actually, I use Blogger.

If I'm correct, you can view your subscribers at http://feedburner.google.com. You can export them from there in one neat file, where you can view the emails of everyone who subscribes by email.

September 9, 2012 at 2:07 PM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Chihuahua--Thanks a million! I never knew I could access any of this, because there's no access from the "dashboard" but this address gives me a great overview. Now I'll go look at mailchimp and see if there's a way to undo Feedburner and put in mailchimp instead. Is Feedburner out of business and just sort of running on zombie fumes out there?

September 9, 2012 at 2:19 PM  
Blogger Christine Ahern said...

This is so helpful, as usual. And it reminded me that I left out the personal paragraph in my most recent query letter...oops! Thanks for the reminder.

September 9, 2012 at 4:15 PM  
Blogger fOIS In The City said...

Great advice as always, Anne. So you think it might be over-kill to say I worked my way through college as a street vendor? (get your minds out of the gutter folks)

I could do one of those funny lists of strange jobs I've had ... maybe mention I have perfect pitch or I can crochet?

And what's wrong with photo-shop, Ruth. A vintage woman needs all the help she can get :)

September 9, 2012 at 7:15 PM  
Blogger CS Perryess said...

Dearest MIss Allen,
Excellent advice, as always, & here's hoping your mom's new book does as well as the last one.

September 9, 2012 at 7:42 PM  
Blogger Donna Hole said...

good advice Anne; I'll bookmark this.


September 9, 2012 at 9:58 PM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Christine--The nice thing is, if an agent likes your pages, she's not going to turn you down for the lack of a bio. It's much worse to offer up TMI than to leave them guessing.

Fois--Actually, the street vendor angle could work in bio. "Florence has worked as everything from a pretzel vendor to an a capella singer... Hey, it could work. Alas, I suppose our "vintage" photos need to show how "finely aged" we are.

C.S.--At 91, my mom is kind of the 8th wonder of the world. But she claims it's her little Chihuahua-mix dog Portia who keeps her young.

September 9, 2012 at 9:59 PM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Donna--I missed you there. I think your comment must have come in while I was writing mine. Thanks so much. You're one of my favorite book bloggers--and I know you'll need an "author bio" very soon.

September 9, 2012 at 10:01 PM  
Blogger Cathryn Leigh said...

Very good advice - now to see if I can put it into action. *sigh* It's always harder than it looks.

Interesting bits about me - I collect Unicrons, love making costumes and, erm, ride a motorcycle...

I suppose belonging to a (very active) NaNo group probably isn't as good as beloning to the RWA, huh.

Oh well I do at least have my first writer's conference penciled into my chalendar for next month. :}

September 10, 2012 at 8:42 AM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Cathryn--You're right about the "simplest" things usually being harder than they look. Agents won't care about your NaNo group, but readers might. They'll definitely like the motorcycle, too. (An author photo on the bike might be a nice touch.) But the agents will love the writers conference.

September 10, 2012 at 9:50 AM  
Blogger M. Christine Weber said...

Haha! I love Ruth's comment above. Oh good gracious! (And good advice, Ruth.) Thanks for the how-to, Anne. I've tweaked my bio many times over the years and have ALWAYS been grateful to have it ready and on-hand when needed. Definitely saves a bit of stress!

And feedburner...grrr.

September 10, 2012 at 2:37 PM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Mary--Thanks for the reminder to keep that bio updated once you've written it! Our lives can change very quickly in this 21st century world. I guess Feedburner is letting everybody down. Hard to figure out why a company goes into meltdown like that.

September 10, 2012 at 2:51 PM  
Blogger LD Masterson said...

Thanks you. A bio is something I struggle with so this post is going into my 'save and go back to' folder.

September 10, 2012 at 6:10 PM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

LD--I think most writers struggle with it, because we tend to be shy people and we're not used to tooting our own horns. Because we don't know how, sometimes we go the other way and do too much tooting. When I discovered this formula, it got a lot easier.

September 10, 2012 at 6:47 PM  
Blogger Meghan Ward said...

Great tips! I want to add that you shouldn't try to write a one-size-fits-all bio. It's good to have a generic bio as a base, but I tailor mine for each occasion. Sometimes I add a humorous line about my cat or husband, sometimes I focus more on my writing credentials, my teaching credentials or my blog. I keep a file titled "Bios" and have about fifteen different versions of varying lengths.

September 11, 2012 at 4:54 AM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Meghan--Thanks for the tip. You're absolutely right. You'll need to alter the bio for different purposes. When you're querying that Wizard of Oz spin-off, it's great to mention playing Glinda in the school play, but when you're querying a horror novel, it's better to add something a little spooky. Pets are great when you're presenting a light-hearted fun piece, but if you're sending a deadly serious article on child abuse, it's best to leave that out. Always consider your audience. And as you say, collecting the bios all in one folder is a great tip. I used to leave them scattered all over my folders and could never find one when I needed it.

September 11, 2012 at 10:07 AM  
Blogger Ruth Harris said...

Meghan & Anne—Scrivener works even better for organizing stuff like bios. I make separate "projects" (that's what Scriv calls them) for blurbs, bios, blog posts—you don't have to click in & out of different folders/docs to find what you want. They're all in one place, organized however you want. Genius app!

September 11, 2012 at 10:17 AM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Ruth--Thanks. When I finally get used to Word 2010, I've gotta learn another program...But Scrivener does look very good. I'm looking into it.

September 11, 2012 at 3:06 PM  
Anonymous Veronika Walker said...

Timely! I just redid my author bio, which also serves as a general description on my site. The format you've outlined really works too...it's what gets me interested whenever I read an author's work. I may love the story, but if the bio's mediocre, I'm not so impressed anymore.

September 19, 2012 at 4:41 PM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Veronika--Thanks. I agree. I think most readers want to know 1) they're in competent hands 2)The writer has something unusually interesting to tell us.

September 19, 2012 at 4:54 PM  
Blogger Debra McKellan said...

Wish I had this last week. lol

October 24, 2012 at 5:22 AM  
Blogger Jesse Daggett said...

Thank you, Anne for this great article. I am having a hard time writing my bio, but these tips will help me greatly.

I see you are having a problem with Feedburner. May I recommend MailChimp as it is a better platform for email subscribers to your blog. I wrote an article on how to create a MailChimp signup form on your blog. Hope this helps.

February 2, 2013 at 6:54 AM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Thanks Jesse. Feedburner was having troubles when I wrote this six months ago, but everything seems to be cleared up now. I know Wordpress people love Mail Chimp, but it's way hard to get it on a Google blog like this, since Feedburner is built in.

February 2, 2013 at 9:20 AM  
Blogger Peter Noah Thomas said...

This was so helpful Thank you! Why is a bio tricky to write? It is like a wall goes up when I start typing. I guess it is hard to talk about oneself. I am glad I found this post.

April 24, 2013 at 2:50 AM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Peter--I always felt the same way. It feels like bragging. I'd never be able to write one, so when I had a story accepted or a manuscript requested, I'd have to dash one off and it always sounded lame. That's when I realized we need to pay as much attention to a bio as we do to a synopsis or hook.

April 24, 2013 at 9:23 AM  
Blogger Celia Lewis said...

Your blog post here was recommended on the RWA Craft loop, today, and I'm so glad I immediately clicked through! Excellent, pointed, very thorough, and focused. I'm so relieved to find such a helpful post on this topic - I'm a relatively raw newbie even though I'm 70 and have written stories that haven't seen the light of day! Thanks again!

September 17, 2013 at 7:53 PM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

I'm so glad you found us, Celia! Age is just a number out here in writer land. May all your stories see the light :-) Come back and visit. We have new posts every Sunday.

September 17, 2013 at 8:51 PM  
Blogger JMagnan said...

Gah! I wish I would have found this about a week ago! I just had to do a short bio on myself for an Indie Game Company I am doing some work for, BUT at least I have this info now.

October 15, 2013 at 10:35 AM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

J--I'm sure your bio was fine. But this gives an outline for people who are hesitating about it. Now you can put one on your blog :-).

October 15, 2013 at 11:12 AM  
Blogger B Lee Draper said...

Another fabulous post! Writing a bio is almost as hard as writing a first draft I've found. It feels like bragging or as if you're trying too hard. And the photo? Ugh.
Thanks for giving me the guidelines to make the process a little less painful. :)

October 20, 2013 at 2:04 AM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

B Lee--I used to put off writing a bio forever and even missed deadlines because I couldn't make myself write one, so I know exactly what you're talking about. For me, it was worse than a synopsis. Getting a professional author photo taken helped. Then just listing what was interesting about me, rather than what would "impress" helped a lot.

October 20, 2013 at 9:04 AM  
Blogger Joel Arnold said...

Great advice - now I'm off to tweak my bio!

January 24, 2014 at 12:34 PM  
Blogger rlnolen said...

Loved this great advice. Thank you!

March 9, 2014 at 6:58 PM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

RL--Shy people have such a hard time tooting our own horns, but this is one time when it's okay. Really :-)

March 9, 2014 at 7:47 PM  
Blogger Teresa Coffey said...

I'm in the process of writing one of these things right now. I read through all the comments and was surprised that no one mentioned the thing I'm having anxiety about. What if you're a newbie and have absolutely zero publishing cred?

Sure I've got two degrees but that was 20 years ago and I've spent the majority of the intervening time being a mom. I can do the demographics but after that, I've got nothing. I'd thought about doing obvious fabrications: I gave Poe his first raven...went fishing with Melville... you get the idea. What do you write when you have nothing in your pockets?

April 11, 2014 at 12:39 PM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Teresa--I address this issue in some detail in the body of the post. Who are you writing your bio for? Is this an editor who's going to publish your story? A contest you've won? If so, "This is Teresa Coffey's first published work" is an excellent thing to say. People like knowing they're the first :-)

If you're querying an agent who wants a full bio, just leave out the paragraph about publishing credits. Nobody wants you to lie (everybody Googles these days, so you'd be caught in a minute.) Read through my list again and try to find something about yourself that might be interesting to readers.

Agents want to find out if you're somebody they can work with, and maybe find a "hook" for promotions. Simply having nothing dramatic in your life could be a hook too: "Teresa is a stay-at-home mom who battles agoraphobia".

If you've never published a short story, written a blogpost, or placed in a writing contest, you might want to think about entering some (we've got lots of opportunities in our "opportunity alert" section in the current blogposts.

But everybody starts somewhere. If you're a beginner, leave out # 7 on the list and stress the others. The point is to tell people what is unique about YOU.

April 11, 2014 at 1:46 PM  
OpenID adanramieblog said...

I really needed this post for my blog. (And for anything I get published in the near future!) It really helped me whip something together. Hopefully, as I get more publishing credits, I can build my bio up significantly. Thanks again for the post!

April 13, 2014 at 12:17 PM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Adan--Publishing credits are nice, but they're not as important as having an interesting bio and offering some fun facts about yourself that make you "real" to whoever is reading it. One of the great things about writing your bio early is it makes you feel like a professional. Then submitting stories and articles feels like part of your professional life and it gets easier. Best of luck!

April 13, 2014 at 12:25 PM  
Blogger Awakened EarthAngel said...

Lovely. Very helpful. Thank you. Bookmarking your blog :)

April 18, 2014 at 12:25 AM  
Blogger Julia Comer said...

But what if you don't have awards, education in writing, a hum-drum job and nothing really to say about yourself except you love writing and just got the confidence to try ebook publishing?

June 13, 2014 at 9:38 AM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Glad you found it helpful!

June 13, 2014 at 9:50 AM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Julia--Then say "Julia has no pets, no hobbies, no family, pushes boring paper all day in a boring cube, likes watching paint dry and is known for being the world's most boring human!!" That's newsmaking in itself. Everybody has something interesting about them, even if it's their ordinariness. :-)

June 13, 2014 at 9:54 AM  
Blogger SK Figler said...

Terrific information, as usual. Believe it or not, I'm about to poke my head out into the publishing world and will have my long and short bios by the next meeting. Thanks.

June 15, 2014 at 7:16 PM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

SK--I look forward to them!

June 15, 2014 at 7:55 PM  
Blogger Devora Gray said...

Does anyone else get these posts at just the right time?! I love it when that happens and it definitely happened with this one. I've been perusing "About Me" pages for the last week to get a feel and helping hand in my own. In a nutshell, this lovely instructional compass broke it down in Keep It Simple Sweetheart fashion. Thanks a bunch Anne!

June 23, 2014 at 7:09 PM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Devora--Have fun writing it!

June 23, 2014 at 9:08 PM  
Blogger Hailey Domeck said...

Hi Anne! I have an article being published in the first issue of a Christian women's magazine, debuting this winter. The editor just asked me for a 2-3 sentence bio. Can I get your feedback on this little bio?

Hailey is a Southern gal with a huge heart for international travel. She is the founder of Global Heartbeat, a website dedicated to storytelling and travel (www.globalheartbeat.co). She lives in Orlando with her husband, but is always dreaming of far-off places.

October 28, 2014 at 1:18 PM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Hailey--Congrats on your article! The bio sounds just perfect for the venue. You packed lots of personality into a few words!

October 28, 2014 at 2:38 PM  
Blogger Hailey Domeck said...

Thanks for your feedback!

October 28, 2014 at 3:45 PM  
Blogger Linda jack said...

Thanks for the helpful information.

November 5, 2014 at 5:32 AM  
Blogger Juanita Bergman said...

Should I list awards and publications through the National Library of Poetry?

May 9, 2015 at 2:28 AM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Juanita--I wouldn't mention the National Library of Poetry, because it is listed in a number of places as being "not recommended" Many of those contests accept all poems without vetting them, in order to sell the books back to the writers.

May 9, 2015 at 10:20 AM  
Blogger Juanita Bergman said...


May 9, 2015 at 1:12 PM  
Blogger Rahul kumar said...

thanks a lot Allen ;)

May 13, 2015 at 1:58 AM  
Blogger Tracy Campbell said...

Glad I read this post, courtesy of your blog post link dated June 7, 2015. I'll have to tweak mine. Just curious as to why the bio should be third person. I personally like reading 1st person as I feel more of a connection. Thanks, Anne. :-)

June 17, 2015 at 4:59 PM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Tracy--A professional bio is always written in the third person. On your own blog or someplace informal, first person might be okay, but it can tend to sound like bragging.

June 17, 2015 at 9:57 PM  
Blogger Tracy Campbell said...

Thanks so much for explaining this further, Anne. :-)

June 18, 2015 at 8:33 AM  
Blogger Gina said...

This was so, so helpful. I just started a blog in May (my end-goal is to publish a book someday) and I have been overwhelmed with trying to make my blog work following the blogging advice I've been reading. None of it seemed to apply to me, and then I read this. I'm feeling relieved and hopeful!!

July 14, 2015 at 3:15 PM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Gina--I'm glad you found this helpful. I have links to a lot of blogging advice for authors in the sidebar. And I'll be coming out with a short book for author bloggers just like you in the fall. Hang in there, and don't believe everything you hear! Most blogging advice is not for authors.

July 14, 2015 at 6:38 PM  
Blogger Robin Behringer - THE PLAYLIST said...

I forgot to tell you that it was this blog on writing your author's bio that brought me to your site. As a debut author, I welcome any feedback! This is what I came up with:

Robin Lee Behringer is a writer, teacher and lover of all things New England. She is from North Kingstown, Rhode Island and teaches eighth grade English. Yes, she teaches 100 thirteen year olds on a daily basis… and loves it! She was the Smithfield teacher of the year in 2014 and a top three candidate for Rhode Island Teacher of the Year. She holds a BA in English from Rhode Island College. She is an Anglophile who loves photography and interior design. A distant relative of Nathaniel Hawthorne, she has inherited his gene for good storytelling. Even a childhood filled with dysfunction has not changed her optimist spirit. Her Twitter handle is ThePlaylist @playlist_the.


September 20, 2015 at 12:19 PM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Robin--Looks great! Very cool to have a relative of Nathaniel Hawthorne on the blog!

September 20, 2015 at 1:12 PM  
Blogger Robin Behringer - THE PLAYLIST said...

Hi Anne,

I spent the past 24 hours obsessively creating my website/blog. Would you mind taking a look? www.robinbehringerauthor.com

Is there anything I should change?

Also, any suggestions on how to get some followers? I'm brand new to ALL this social media stuff...

Robin :)

October 13, 2015 at 1:49 PM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Robin--It looks good. There are some things I would change. I give lots of blogging advice on this blog. You can start with the "Blogging for Authors" page in the sidebar menu. You can get newer posts on how to start a blog by clicking on Home and scrolling down. I posted "how to start a blog in 20 easy steps" a couple of weeks ago. I'll be coming out with a handy ebook on blogging for authors in 2016.

October 13, 2015 at 2:57 PM  
Blogger Samantha Perryman said...

I was wondering if I should include the fact that I'm a ghostwriter with 2 published ghost written series? Does it effect the reader view of me that I can't list the names of the series or will it help ad credibility to my bio for potential agents?

November 25, 2015 at 12:26 AM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Samantha--I think it would be useful to add that you're a veteran ghostwriter with X-number of successfully published books. Especially for agents.

November 25, 2015 at 9:49 AM  

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