Engage Readers with a Lively Long Bio

 “Engage Readers with a Lively Long Bio ” by Joan Y. Edwards
I wrote Power Pack Your Short Bio for Agent Queries. I’m sure you may ask, “What about the bio for the back of my book? What about the bio for my website? ” Today I explain ways to engage readers with a lively long bio section on the back of your book known as: About the AuthorWith some books this information is inside the cover, or in a page near the end of the book. It may also be the About the Author page on your website.
Write a draft biography. Brainstorm and list every single detail you can think of that makes you proud to be you. What helped you write your book?

Part A Professional photo of you. Make sure it is 300 resolution so it shows up clearly.

Part B About the Author for Nonfiction

If you wrote a nonfiction book, put appropriate information that helps readers realize that you are definitely qualified to write this book. 
Show credibility:
  • Past Professional, Business, or Work experience 
  • Current Profession or Business (Membership in Professional organizations, like SCBWI, RWA) 
  • Education – List this only if it proves you are qualified to write this book
 Part C About the Author for Fiction/Nonfiction
  • Special Recognition, Accomplishments, and Awards (Brag humbly)
  • Publications: Titles of Books, Title of Series, Names of Magazines that published your work 
  • Personal details 
    • Live with husband, wife, children, pets
    • Where you live
    • Hobbies and special interests
    • What you love to do when you’re not working
    • Your favorite charity and why
    • Personal Experiences that make you the best one to write this book (research)
    • Contact information: website, email address, phone number 
Dave Chesson states: “The general consensus on word count is aim for 75 words, but definitely don’t go above 150.” 
If you have a whole page in a book for your bio or you want to give more information about you on your website or blog, here is an idea for formatting your draft.
Make your long bio two or three paragraphs. Begin with most powerful bit of information about you. Something spectacular to capture the interest of the reader. A hook.

  • Make the first paragraph 3-5 lines. Start with an eye-opening statement…the most powerful bit of information about you and your book(s). Write something spectacular to capture the interest of the reader. A hook.
  • Five to seven lines is a good length for the main paragraph in a bio. You don’t want all paragraphs this long. Vary the length if you’re using more than 3 paragraphs.
  • One to three lines for last paragraph


Below are bios from Amazon, bios from author’s websites, and bios from BookBrowse.com for you to study.
Four bios of authors on Amazon:
Hoda Kotb author of I’ve Loved You Forever. Amazon author information.

Hoda Kotb is the Daytime Emmy Award, Edward R. Murrow Award, and duPont-Columbia Award-winning Today show co-anchor and Dateline NBCcorrespondent. Hoda is the author of two adult New York Times bestselling books, including Hoda: How I Survived War Zones, Bad Hair, Cancer, and Kathie Lee. Of all her accomplishments, her proudest moment is the adoption of a baby girl, Haley Joy, in February 2017. She lives in New York City with her boyfriend, Joel Schiffman.
James Patterson author of All American Murder, Amazon author information.
James Patterson holds the Guinness World Record for the most #1 New York Times bestsellers. His books have sold more than 350 million copies worldwide. He has donated more than one million books to students and soldiers and has over four hundred Teacher Education Scholarships at twenty-four college and universities. He has also donated millions of dollars to independent bookstores and school libraries.
Sophie Kinsella, Author of Surprise Me. Amazon author information.

Sophie Kinsella is the author of the bestselling Shopaholic series, as well as the novels Can You Keep a Secret?, The Undomestic Goddess, Remember Me?, Twenties Girl, I’ve Got Your Number, Wedding Night, and My Not So Perfect Life. She lives between London and the country.
Danielle Steel, Author of Fall from Grace. Amazon author bio.
Danielle Steel has been hailed as one of the world’s most popular authors, with over 650 million copies of her novels in print. Her many international bestsellers include The Mistress, The Award, Rushing Waters, Magic, Blue, Undercover, Country, Prodigal Son, Pegasus, and other highly acclaimed novels. She is also the author of His Bright Light, the story of her son Nick Traina’s life and death; A Gift of Hope, a memoir of her work with the homeless; Pure Joy, about the dogs she and her family have loved; and the children’s books, Pretty Minnie in Paris and Pretty Minnie in Hollywood.

Book Browse.com Bio Examples

Book Browse.com has many examples of Author Biographies. Most of them are short bios, but a few are long.
Bios from Author’s Websites
Most of the following examples of author biographies are too long for the back of the book or for the inside flap of the cover of a book. By studying them you will gain ideas for your author bio. Print them out. If it is too crowded with information, cross out the non-essential parts. Err on the side of brevity and keep the interest of the reader.

Examples of Author Biographies from their websites.

See what you think. Search for your favorite author’s bio. It’ll give you hints as what to include.

  1. A. J. Finn. Curtis Brown Co. UK. “Biography:” https://www.curtisbrown.co.uk/client/a-j-finn
  2. Danielle Steel. “About Danielle.” http://daniellesteel.com/about-danielle/
  3. Dean Koontz. “About Dean.” http://www.deankoontz.com/about-dean/
  4. James Patterson. Website bio. “About James:” http://www.jamespatterson.com/biography#.WqSGFVS5uAo 
  5. Janet Evanovich. Book Browse. “Janet Evanovich Author Biography:” https://www.bookbrowse.com/biographies/index.cfm/author_number/232/janet-evanovich
  6. Laura Numeroff. “About Laura:” https://lauranumeroff.com/about/
  7. Sophie Kinsella. Book Browse. “Sophie Kinsella Author Biography:” https://www.bookbrowse.com/biographies/index.cfm/author_number/2553/sophie-kinsella
  8. Tomi Adeyemi. “About Tomi Adeyemi:” http://www.tomiadeyemi.com/new-page-2/

I hope this information inspires you and encourages you to enjoy sharing what makes you tick with your audience…your readers. Enjoy being an author. There is no one like you.
Resources about writing your author bio:

  1. Casey McCormick. Literary Rambles. “How To Tips: Author Bio:” http://www.literaryrambles.com/2009/07/author-bios.html.
  2. Creative Indie. “Why you need an author bio both inside your book AND on the outside …:” http://www.creativindie.com/why-you-need-an-author-bio-both-inside-your-book-and-on-the-outside-book-cover/
  3. Dave Chesson.  “How to Write Short and Catchy Author Bios:” https://kindlepreneur.com/write-author-bio/
  4. Jane Friedman. “Writing Your Book’s Back-Cover Copy:” https://www.janefriedman.com/writing-back-cover-copy/
  5. Jessi Rita Hoffman. “How to Write an Author Bio Page:” http://bookeditor-jessihoffman.com/write-author-bio-page/
  6. Joan Y. Edwards. “Power Pack Your Short Bio for Agent Queries:” https://www.joanyedwards.com/2018/02/26/power-pack-your-short-bio-for-agent-queries/
  7. Joel Pierson and Megan Schindele. Author House. “Do’s and Don’ts of Back-Cover Text:” https://www.authorhouse.com/AuthorResources/Marketing/The-Dos-and-Please-Please-Donts-of-Back-Cover-Text.aspx
  8. Neil Patel. Hubspot.com. “How to Write a Bio:” https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/how-to-write-a-bio

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Never Give Up
Joan Y. Edwards, Author
Copyright © 2018 Joan Y. Edwards
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10 thoughts on “Engage Readers with a Lively Long Bio”

  1. Joan,
    Such great information on writing your author bio. It’s definitely a good idea to have short and long bios.If you submit request for proposals to speak at a conference,you most likely will have either a character or word limit(can be almost as hard as coming up with your elevator pitch😊)

    1. Dear Kathleen,
      Thank you very much for writing. You’re right. It’s definitely a good idea to have a short and long bio. Having a word limit can be tricky. However, if you’ve got your short and long bio ready, you can choose the right information to catch the eye of the beholder!!! Love you, Kathleen. Thank you for being a loyal follower of my blog and a good friend.
      Never Give Up

  2. Thanks for this helpful advice. Good timing, too, as my book is close to done with the editing. The next steps are coming soon, so I need to write a bio. 🙂 🙂

    1. Dear Shawn,
      Thank you very much for writing. I am glad that I had good timing. I hope this helps you create a bio that catches every reader’s eyes and pocketbook!
      Never Give Up

    1. Dear Dr. Bob,
      Thanks a bunch for writing. I’m glad you think my post was well-researched and informative. What a nice compliment! I appreciate your loyalty in reading my posts. Your comments give me great joy!
      Never Give Up

    1. Dear Carol,
      Thank you very much for writing. I’m glad you believe this post will help you when it is your turn to turn in your bio! Good luck. I hope it is really soon.
      Never Give Up

  3. Excellent, concise info on writing a bio. Thanks so much. I have 3 bios on my website’s media kit page. I’ll be visiting that page to check out what I have. I never think to update a bio, but it’s time now.
    JQ Rose

    1. Dear J.Q. Rose,
      Thank you very much for writing. I’m happy that reading my article on a Long Author Bio gave you food for thought. I hope you find new information to make your bio even more intriguing than it was. Thanks for following my blog and leaving your words to encourage me.
      Do something fun today
      Never Give Up

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