What Makes a Good Author Bio?

There's all kinds of advice out there, but here's what I want to know---what do YOU want to know about the authors that you read or are thinking about reading?

Is it important to you where they grew up and where they currently live? Do you want to know about their family?  Their pets? What about their education? Do you like to know a little, a lot, or only those details pertinent to their writings?

What about their actual writing?  Do you care to know why they like to write and what they like to write? Would you be interested in learning something about their writing process or how they began writing?

What is the most interesting detail you remember ever reading in an author bio?

What kind of author bio details make your eyes glaze over?

Your help in this matter will be ever so much appreciated.


Karen Gowen said...

Pets are great, of course, but in such a limited space is that the most relevant info for an author bio? I like to know where they live, a degree is pertinent info, their job, whether they write full time or not, and family status, like marriage & kids.

Good post idea! And I hope your 80's party is a huge success!

Roland D. Yeomans said...

It may be the George Carlin in me, but when I read : "I'm married to the most loving, gorgeous man in the world, and I have the three most adorable children in the world." -- I reach for my mental insulin.

Make me laugh. Make me care about the unique novel and the engaging characters about whom you've written.

That's what I would like to see in the profiles of authors. If an author's profile is filled with cliches, can their novel be filled with anything but?

You have a fun, engaging blog, Roland

fallen monkey said...

What makes my eyes glaze over are lists of achievements and accolades that are more braggy than giving real insight into an author. I'm more interested in what makes them tick, why they started to write, and, if room, what inspired this particular book. Something with soul that makes them relatable.

Nicki Elson said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you, Karen, Roland, and Monkey for your input. I feel like I have a thousand bios out there, and I've taken a different approach with each because I'm never sure which way to go. But it sounds like the best way to go is to let readers see a piece of who I am and give them a taste of what they can expect from my novel and its characters. I think I've got some profile revisions in my very near future...

And Roland, I am with you on the cliches, blech.

Nicki Elson said...

P.S. Karen - Thanks for the well wishes for my event!

P.P.S Roland - Thanks for describing my blog as fun and engaging! I can't tell you how happy I am to hear that.