New to writing and stuck on the “About the Author” section? No bestsellers yet? No worries.

Here, you’ll find actionable tips with examples on how to write an author bio, laser-focused on unpublished, first-time authors.

Stick till the end! Because your author bio isn’t just a footnote—it’s your debut spotlight.

Let’s dive in.

What Should An Author Bio Include?

The anatomy of a standout bio is quite simple – take care of the basics, then break the mold with something unique.

The Fundamentals

According to the Scottish Book Trust:

  • An author bio is a quick snapshot, not an autobiography.
  • Brevity is key. Keep it under 100 words.
  • Write in the third person. It’s not just a stylistic choice; it adds a layer of professionalism.

Your Why

A higher purpose: Your “why” is your North Star. It’s the reason you picked up the pen in the first place. Make it resonate.

Arundhati roy bio example
Arundhati Roy’s bio stands out by mentioning she works for higher goals like “social justice and economic inequality”.

Example: Mary Smith is more than just a nurse. She’s a storyteller who brings the often-ignored aspects of healthcare into the spotlight. Follow her journey and advocacy on Twitter @marynursewriter.

Your Story

Introduce yourself: Your story is your brand. Where you’re from, your background, your journey—these make you relatable.

Ayanna lloyd banwo
Ayanna Lloud Banwo starts her author bio by mentioning her Trinidad and Tobago origins.

Example: Kevin Kwan didn’t have a portfolio of books when he wrote “Crazy Rich Asians.” Instead, he leveraged his rich bicultural background to create a bestseller.

Kevin Kwan was born in Singapore and left when he was 11, living in the U.S. since then.

No prior writing achievements needed.

Example: Here’s an excerpt from Dan Brown’s author bio:


The son of a mathematics teacher and a church organist, Brown was raised on a prep school campus where he developed a fascination with the paradoxical interplay between science and religion. These themes eventually formed the backdrop for his books.

Your Credibility

Your credibility isn’t limited to writing achievements. Your life experiences count. Use them.

Example: Elizabeth Lily’s first author bio mentions her varied career path, none of it related to writing.


Example: Your day job adds layers to your writing and boosts your credibility.

Here’s a career executive’s bio –

As a former corporate executive and a Harvard Business Review contributor, Michael Brown’s work is informed by his experience in leadership and management. His book has been praised for its practical advice and real-world examples. Follow him on LinkedIn @michaelbrown_leader

What if Michael were to write a fiction book?

With a career that includes leadership roles in Fortune 500 companies, Michael brings a level of authenticity to his storytelling that’s both rare and compelling. His debut novel, “The Executive Dilemma,” is a gripping tale of a high-powered executive who must navigate the cutthroat world of business while grappling with ethical dilemmas.

Advice From Published Authors

  • Mention Memberships: If you’re part of a writers’ group like SCBWI or ACFW, say so.
  • Highlight Education: Got a degree in literature or writing? Include it.
  • Avoid ClichĂ©s: Skip lines like “Writing is my passion.”
  • Keep It Brief: Under 50 words for fiction, 100 words for non-fiction.
  • Example: “Jane Smith teaches fifth grade and is a member of RWA.”

Source: Rachelle Gardner, literary agent for over 400 published books

How to Write an Author Bio Without Experience? 5 Step Framework

J.K. Rowling was on welfare. Stephen King faced 30 rejections. Yet, they’re literary legends.

Then there’s Rachel Abbot with 3M+ books sold and Christopher Paolini, a self-published teen who set a world record. No “professional experience,” but massive success.

Your author bio isn’t about what you haven’t done. It’s about who you are.

Ready? Let’s dive in.

Step #1: The Deep Dive into You

Elizabeth-lily's author bio
Elizabeth Lily’s author bio describers her as “an author, illustrator, animator and educator.”

Start by mining your life for gems. Background, education, writing milestones, awards—get it all down. Don’t overlook personal stories that connect to your writing. This isn’t just data collection; it’s the foundation of your narrative.

Key Takeaway: Reflect on your core values and aspirations. What’s the larger message you want to convey through your work?

Step #2: Your Elevator Pitch

Your name is your brand. Pair it with a mission statement or a standout achievement. The soul-searching from Step #1 should fuel this.

Angie-fox author bio example
Angie Fox’s author bio gets straight to the point: bestselling author, writes action-packed mysteries.

Key Takeaway: Summarize your writing journey and driving force. What lit the spark for you to pick up the pen?

Step #3: The Credibility Factor

Your credentials aren’t just resume fillers; they’re trust builders. Show how your achievements and qualifications inform your writing.


Example: With a degree in children’s literature and a history as a cherished librarian, Sarah Johnson is a beacon for young imaginations. Her books are lifelines for kids navigating the choppy waters of childhood. For a front-row seat to her storytelling, follow her on Facebook @sarahjohnsonbooks.

If you have not been published yet, you can still talk about your passion for writing, classes you have taken, or passion projects you are working on.

Step #4: Set Reader Expectations

Genre? Writing style? Make it crystal clear. Readers should know exactly what they’re signing up for.

Rainbow Rowell’s bio is a great example of telling your readers what they will find in your books.

Example: Jane Smith crafts thrillers that plunge you into a world of suspense you won’t want to leave. Drawing on her criminal justice background, she weaves intricate plots and multi-layered characters that keep you guessing. Her latest book, “The Secret Agent,” takes you on a rollercoaster ride through the shadowy corridors of espionage. Expect your pulse to quicken.

Step #5: Open the Communication Channels

Your email and social handles aren’t just contact points; they’re bridges to your audience.

Neon Yang’s website has links to all his social media handles and showcases his bright personality.

Key Takeaway: An accessible writer is a followed writer. Whether it’s reader queries, feedback, or networking opportunities, make it easy for people to reach you.

And remember, your social media isn’t just a page; it’s a stage. Use it to amplify your brand and engage with your community.

5 Unpublished Author Bio Examples

According to a study published in the Journal of Marketing Communications, personal stories and humor can significantly increase the persuasiveness and memorability of a bio.

Best part? Everybody has a personal journey to share – even newbie authors!

Example 1: Highlight Your Unique Angle

Bio: “Sarah is a certified nutritionist who has been studying ancient herbs and their medicinal benefits for over a decade. Now, she’s channeling her expertise into her debut book on holistic wellness.”

Why this works: This bio focuses on Sarah’s unique angle—her expertise in ancient herbs. It not only establishes her credibility but also intrigues the reader about her upcoming book.

Example 2: Showcase Ongoing Projects

Bio: “Mike is an aspiring science fiction writer currently working on a trilogy set in a post-apocalyptic world where AI has taken over human civilization.”

Why this works: Mike’s bio gives a sneak peek into his current project, making it clear that he is actively writing. This can build anticipation and interest among potential readers.

Example 3: Include Relevant Experience

Bio: “Emily holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She’s been honing her craft through various short story competitions and is now working on her first mystery novel.”

Why this works: Emily’s bio includes her educational background and experience in short story competitions, adding weight to her profile despite not having a published book yet.

Example 4: Add a Personal Touch

Bio: “When Laura isn’t writing spine-chilling horror stories, she’s a professional tarot card reader who loves exploring the mystical world.”

Why this works: Laura’s bio adds a personal touch by mentioning her interest in tarot card reading, which is also thematically consistent with her genre of writing, adding an extra layer of engagement.

Example 5: Keep it Short but Impactful

Bio: “Jake is an upcoming thriller writer with a background in criminal psychology. He’s blending his academic knowledge with storytelling in his debut novel, set to release next fall.”

Why this works: Jake’s bio is concise but packs a punch. It combines his academic background with his current project, making it compelling despite its brevity.

Author Bio Templates

These templates apply the tips covered above. Please fill in the placeholders and use them as an inspiration if you are feeling blocked. Aim for your own original bio by using these as a starting point.

Author Bio Template for New Writers

[Your Name] is a [Your Profession] with a dream of becoming an acclaimed author. 

Fueled by a lifelong love for storytelling, [he/she/they] [describe your writing journey or experience, e.g., "joined creative writing courses," "devoted weekends to crafting short stories," etc.]. 

Currently absorbed in [his/her/their] debut work, [Your Book Title if available], [he/she/they] find[s] that [his/her/their] day job as a [Your Profession] [describe how your profession enriches your writing, e.g., "provides a well of characters and scenarios for storytelling," "offers the discipline and structure that writing demands," etc.].

Author Bio Template for Experienced Writers

[Your Name] is a [Your Profession], turned [award-winning/bestselling] [author/novelist/poet]. 

With [Number of Works] [books/novels/collections] under [his/her/their] belt, [his/her/their] expertise lies in [Relevant Field or Genre]. 

Each [book/novel/collection] aims to [entertain/inform/inspire], making [him/her/them] a staple in [specific communities or writing circles]. 

Currently, [Your Name] is engrossed in [his/her/their] upcoming project, [Title], which [Brief Synopsis]. To stay updated, follow [him/her/them] at [Social Media Handles/Website].

Author Bio for Academic Writers

Dr. [Your Name] is a [Your Academic Title] and a distinguished [Subject] researcher with over [Number] publications in reputed journals. 

Trained at [Your Alma Mater], [he/she/they] specialize[s] in [Your Area of Study]. 

Besides contributing to academic discourse, Dr. [Your Name] has a knack for translating complex theories into accessible language. 

Currently, [he/she/they] [is/are] focused on [Current Project or Research], which aims to [Objective]. [He/She/They] also serve[s] on the editorial board of [Journal Names]. 

For updates on [his/her/their] work, visit [Website or Academic Profile].

3 Short Author Bio Examples

Let’s dive into some more personalized and engaging short author bio examples that show these templates in action.

1. The Newbie Author

Sarah, The History Buff Turned Novelist

Bio: “Sarah is a fresh face in the world of historical fiction. With a degree in Ancient History, she’s turned her lifelong obsession with the Roman Empire into page-turning novels. When she’s not lost in dusty history books or busy typing up battle scenes, you’ll find her hiking up mountains—with a historical biography in her backpack, of course.”

  • Why It Works: Sarah’s bio is a great example of how to use your background to add credibility and interest. Her degree isn’t just mentioned; it’s woven into her story, giving context to her genre of choice.
  • Real-Life Parallel: Take J.K. Rowling, for example. She studied Classics and French, which clearly influenced the rich historical and linguistic details in the Harry Potter series. (Source: Jk Rowling’s bio)

2. The Multi-Talented Author

Jack, The Journalist Who Writes Thrillers

Bio: “Jack isn’t just an author; he’s a storyteller in every sense. By day, he’s a Pulitzer-winning journalist for ‘The Washington Post’. By night, he crafts political thrillers that are as gripping as his headlines. Oh, and he’s also a self-proclaimed coffee snob who’s on a perpetual quest for the perfect brew.”

  • Why It Works: Jack’s bio showcases his versatility but ties it all back to storytelling. His Pulitzer prize isn’t just a credential; it’s a testament to his skill, which promises equally compelling novels.
  • Real-Life Parallel: Consider Michael Crichton, who was both a bestselling author and a filmmaker. His medical background often played a significant role in his science fiction works. Source

3. The Niche Expert

Emily, The Teacher Who Writes Children’s Books

Bio: “Emily has been shaping young minds for over two decades as an elementary school teacher. Now, she’s channeling her inner child to write picture books that aren’t just fun but also educational. When she’s not in the classroom or behind a desk, she’s in her garden talking to her plants—yes, she swears they listen.”

  • Why It Works: Emily’s bio is specialized and personal. Her teaching experience isn’t just a job; it’s her identity, and it adds a layer of trustworthiness to her books.
  • Real-Life Parallel: Think of Eric Carle, the author of ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar,’ who was also a visual artist. His background in art education made his books visually appealing to children.

Poet Bio Examples with Personality

Creating a poet bio that resonates with your audience can be a bit of a balancing act. You want to include your achievements and your unique style, but you also want to add a poetic touch. That’s why I am sharing specific examples to help you.

1. The Nature-Inspired Poet: Lily, The Environmental Advocate

Bio: “Lily is not your average poet; she’s a poet with a cause. With a degree in Environmental Science, she crafts poems that speak for the trees, the oceans, and everything in between. When she’s not busy writing or advocating for climate change, she’s out in the wilderness, drawing inspiration from Mother Nature herself.”

  • Why It Works: Lily’s bio is compelling because it ties her poetry to a larger purpose—environmental advocacy. Her degree adds credibility, and her love for nature makes her work relatable.

2. The Urban Poet: Alex, The City’s Unofficial Bard

Bio: “Alex captures the essence of city life in his evocative verses. A native New Yorker, he finds poetry in the skyscrapers, the subways, and the diverse faces that make up the Big Apple. When he’s not jotting down poems on a subway napkin, he’s performing at local open mics, always with a fresh bagel in hand.”

  • Why It Works: Alex’s bio is a love letter to New York City, and it shows in every word. His bio is as vibrant and diverse as the city he writes about.

Bad Author Bio Examples: Pitfalls to Avoid

I am using a mix of fictional and real examples to showcase some common mistakes to avoid while writing author bios.

Bad Author Bio #1: Overusing academic qualifications

Dr. Jane Smith holds a Ph.D. in English literature from Oxford University, a Master’s degree in Creative Writing from Harvard, and a Bachelor’s degree in English from Yale. She has published numerous scholarly articles in peer-reviewed journals and is a respected member of several academic organizations, including the Modern Language Association and the American Society of Comparative Literature. Dr. Smith’s debut novel, “The Literary Mind,” is a complex exploration of postmodern literary theory and its impact on contemporary fiction. With her extensive background in literary academia, Dr. Smith is uniquely qualified to offer a fresh perspective on the state of contemporary literature

This bio overuses academic qualifications and it doesn’t give any information on the author’s writing style or what the book is about. It also uses jargon and technical terms which may not be accessible to general readers.

It would be more effective to mention the author’s academic achievements in a more subtle way, and focus more on the book and what readers can expect from it.

How to fix it this author bio?

Dr. Jane Smith, a former English literature professor, has always been passionate about the written word. Having studied literature at Harvard and Oxford upto doctorate level, she brings a wealth of experience to her debut novel, “The Literary Mind.”

The book is a thought-provoking exploration of the impact of postmodern literary theory on contemporary fiction, written in an accessible and engaging style. Jane’s unique blend of academic expertise and storytelling talent makes “The Literary Mind” a must-read for anyone interested in contemporary literature.

Bad Author Bio #2: Overselling

Jane Smith is the next Stephen King. Her debut novel, “The Haunted House,” is a spine-tingling thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat. With her masterful storytelling and unparalleled imagination, Jane is poised to take the literary world by storm. Don’t miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to read the next great horror novel. Trust us, you won’t be disappointed!

This author bio makes tall claims but has almost nothing to back them up. It is something you would expect a publishing house to write as a cookie-cutter bio for their writers.

Overselling invokes skepticism. Avoid it all costs. A good author bio should be honest and provide relevant information and not make claims that cannot be supported.

How to fix it?

Jane Smith is an up-and-coming author with a passion for horror and suspense. Her debut novel, “The Haunted House,” is a chilling thriller that explores the darker side of human nature. With her background in psychology, Jane brings a unique perspective to her writing that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.

She is a member of the Horror Writer’s Association and actively participates in writing workshops and conferences. Follow her on twitter @janesmithhorror for updates on her upcoming projects.

Showing humility and humor can also help to make the author bio more relatable to readers.

New York Times bestselling author Angie Fox writes sweet, fun, action-packed mysteries. Her characters are clever and fearless, but in real life, Angie is afraid of basements, bees, and going up stairs when it is dark behind her. Let’s face it. Angie wouldn’t last five minutes in one of her books.

Angie is best known for her Southern Ghost Hunter mysteries and for her Accidental Demon Slayer books. Visit her at

This is a real author bio of Angie Fox.

Bad Author Bio #3: No Clear Selling Point

Meet John Smith, the author of the bestselling novel “The Time Traveler.” He’s been writing for over 20 years, ever since he won the school poetry contest in the 4th grade. He’s also a certified scuba diver, a certified personal trainer, and a black belt in karate. He’s an avid traveler and has visited over 30 countries. His writing style is a mix of science fiction, fantasy, and action. His book is a must-read for anyone who loves time travel, adventure, and romance. He’s also a motivational speaker and a public figure, and you can follow him on Instagram at @johntraveler for daily inspiration.

This bio is obviously exaggerated to be worse than real examples you will find but it expresses the lack of focus and a clear USP perfectly. It mentions irrelevant hobbies of the author and does not have a single unifying thread. The book is about “Time Travel”. Yet, the bio talks about a poetry contest 20 years ago, scuba diving and more.

How to fix?

John Smith is the author of the bestselling time-travel novel “The Time Traveler.” He has been honing his craft for over 20 years, and his work is known for its blend of science fiction, fantasy, and action. With his background in physics and his passion for adventure and romance, John brings a unique perspective to his writing. Follow him on Twitter at @johntraveler_book for updates on his writing journey and upcoming projects

Good Author Bio Examples: Ideas That Work

I have included examples of author bios that I consider good.

Besides including the examples of New York Times Bestselling authors, I am also including some authors who have made a name for themselves in niche and unconventional ways.

Good Author Bio #1: Have a mission statement

Beverly Jenkins is the recipient of the 2017 Romance Writers of America Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award, as well as the 2016 Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award for historical romance.

She has been nominated for the NAACP Image Award in Literature, was featured both in the documentary “Love Between the Covers” and on CBS Sunday Morning.

Since the publication of Night Song in 1994, she has been leading the charge for multicultural romance, and has been a constant darling of reviewers, fans, and her peers alike, garnering accolades for her work from the likes of The Wall Street JournalPeople Magazine, and NPR.

You can find Beverly on the following social media networks: 



I have bolded the interesting bits. Mentioning her awards and features builds credibility and saying that she has been “leading the charge for multicultural romance” shows her why and what readers can expect from her books.

Good Author Bio #2: Use humor

Eric Carle invented writing, the airplane, and the internet. He was also the first person to reach the North Pole. He has flown to Mars and back in one day, and was enthusiastically greeted by the Martians. “Very strange beings,” he reported on his return. He has written one thousand highly regarded books; a team of experts is presently attempting to grasp their meaning. “It might take a century,” said the chief expert. Carle is also a great teller of stories — but not all of them are true, for instance those in this book.

From The Nonsense Show, Eric Carle (Source:

This bio puts a twist on exaggeration and uses it to get a chuckle out of the reader. I think it is very effective and would want me to buy the book. What do you think?

Good Author Bio #3: Share your personal writing journey

Andy Weir built a two-decade career as a software engineer until the success of his first published novel, The Martian, allowed him to live out his dream of writing full-time. He is a lifelong space nerd and a devoted hobbyist of such subjects as relativistic physics, orbital mechanics, and the history of manned spaceflight. He also mixes a mean cocktail. He lives in California.


The bio clearly tells us that Andy used to be a software engineer before writing full time. His book is titled “The martian” and his being space nerd makes sense. He uses physics terms which indicates that the reader can expect his sci-fi to be grounded in solid science.

Tools to Help You Write Your Author Bio

1. Sudowrite

Sudowrite is an AI storywriting assitant – it takes a seed input and helps you brainstorm characters, expand plots, insert twists, and more.

While it can be used to help you write stories, you can also use it for book blurbs and author bios. Click here to read my detailed Sudowrite review with example stories.

2. Copy.AI

Copy AI is an AI copywriting software which authors can use to write the marketing copy for their website, social media, about the author page, and more.

For example, it has the following templates to generate:

  • Sales copy
  • Digital Ad copy
  • Social Media content
  • Blog Tools
  • Emails/Letters

If you feel that the right words are not coming to you while writing your author bio, giving a try might be worth it. You give it some text and tell to write sales copy on its basis and it will output multiple versions for you to take inspiration from.

It detects your writing tone and can rephrase content to sound more trustworthy, warm, friendly, etc. (You can ask it to change the tone of your content)

It has other helpful features like “More like this” in which it generates more text similar to what it has been given as input. This is useful while iterating through multiple versions of your author bio. You can get it closer and closer to the exact writing voice you want through iterations.

Marketing teams at big companies like Microsoft and Nestle use it for the sales writing. Authors can also use it to help them with the “sales” aspect of publishing. It can make your author bios, book blurbs, social media ads more catchy without need of a full time marketer or copywriter.

3. Grammarly

Grammarly is a grammar and plagiarism checker. Its pro version also gives helpful tips on style and tone (it can tell you if your writing sounds formal, informal, confident, neutral, etc). You can use it to ensure that your author bio is error free.

Bonus: Grab the Author Bio Checklist! (Free pdf)

Hey there, aspiring authors! đź‘‹

Struggling to craft an author bio that captures attention and sets you apart? Especially when you’re unpublished and just starting out?

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  • Actionable Steps: No fluff, no filler. Just actionable steps that guide you through crafting an author bio that resonates.
  • Tailored for You: This isn’t generic advice. It’s laser-focused on the unique challenges and opportunities for new, unpublished authors.
  • Avoid Pitfalls: Learn what NOT to do so you don’t sabotage your own bio.
  • Bonus Tools: Get recommendations for the best writing tools to make the process even smoother.

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