So this week Mia and I had the challenge of writing author bios for another project. I hate writing author bios. They often come out cheesy, fake, or make you sound arrogant. That being said I thought I'd share a bit of insight I've gained through writing them.
The instructions we received included: Do not include information that could be used for stalking (not the exact words here) like where you live (we were told not even the town), do not use information that could be considered outdated. (Like age)
Okay, easy enough, but when you are using a pen name, and you don't want both bios to read the same or give out important information. What do you do? How do you talk about yourself without sounding pompous and asinine? My advice? Have fun with it, mention your writing, your other books. However don't claim that you're the best at something, or are fresh, or give a new look. Things like that are for the reader to decided.
That being said, if you are actually (and I have to put that in there, because their are authors who claim it and aren't) best seller, mention it! That is worth the bragging rights. Won awards? Mention it! If you have a ton, be selective pick the ones the readers are most likely to know. You don't want your bio long and drawn out. You want something that's quick to read and something that catches the reader's attention.
My favorite line from my new bio reads "Her preferred genre is paranormal romance with a flare for things a little less vanilla." That tells my readers, at least those who know the term, that my sex is going to be a bit more rough and they may even dare to hope for BDSM. The rest of it tells them when I started to write, where I write (In my office where the coffee is endless and chocolate magically appears ;) )
So again, my advice is to have fun with it. Readers like to know that authors have a sense of humor and have personalities. You don't want a boring bio, you don't want one that makes you sound pompous, you don't want one that gives promises that are more opinions than anything. My formula for writing bios? Simple, Place, Time, Fact about your writing (genre, other books you have, best sellers), something fun. My last part reads Can be bribed with coffee and sweets.