When someone purchases a book, they actually buy two products—the content between the covers and the author. The author is actually the font from which the words flow. His or her mind, personality, life experience, and soul have led to the creation of a story, biography, art book, memoir, or self-help book. Thus, the author bio, which helps us connect to the person behind the words, is an essential part of the overall reader experience.
Now comes the hard part—actually writing an interesting author bio that provides basic information about yourself while assuming a tone that aligns with your book or genre. This is harder than it appears, as bios can easily lean toward bland and lifeless if you aren’t careful. To get a feel for how some authors have managed to insert a bit of personality into their bios, read on for some author bio examples!
Memorable ‘About the Author’ Examples
Author biography examples run the gamut from pithy to boring to hilarious. As you begin to craft your own, why not look to some standout author bio examples? Consider these:
Funny Author Bios
A Very Punchable Face, by Colin Jost
Bio: Colin Jost is a head writer at Saturday Night Live, a Weekend Update co-anchor, and a touring stand-up comedian. He has five Writers Guild Awards, two Peabody Awards, and a PETA Elly Award for the sketch “Diner Lobster.” He’s also been nominated for thirteen Emmy Awards and lost every time. He lives in New York and in the hearts of children everywhere.
Why it’s a brilliant bio: Jost showcases his professional credentials, then follows them with a self-deprecating line about having lost all 13 Emmy Award nominations. Finally, the last line is simply endearing.
Dear Girls, by Ali Wong
Bio: Ali Wong is a stand-up comedian who has written and performed two specials: Baby Cobra and Hard Knock Wife. She co-wrote, produced, and starred in the romantic comedy Always Be My Maybe. She is the proud mother of two rowdy-ass girls who inspired this entire book. She aspires to lie down but somehow keeps getting pressured into doing more sh*t that gets in the way of her lying down.
Why it’s a brilliant bio: After Wong lists her accomplishments, she describes the inspiration of the book in language that fans would expect from her. The same is true for her closing sentence—written in the same you-know-who-you’re-getting-when-you-buy-this-book type of tone. The reader instantly feels he or she is getting authenticity from the author
Inspiring Author Bios
Finding Chicka, by Mitch Albom
Bio: Mitch Albom is the author of numerous books of fiction and nonfiction, which have collectively sold more than forty million copies in forty-seven languages worldwide. He has written seven number-one New York Times bestsellers – including Tuesdays with Morrie, the bestselling memoir of all time, which topped the list for four straight years – award-winning TV films, stage plays, screenplays, a nationally syndicated newspaper column, and a musical.
His most recent work is a return to nonfiction with the New York Times bestseller Finding Chika, a memoir about a young Haitian orphan whose short life would forever change Albom’s heart. He founded and oversees SAY Detroit, a consortium of nine different charitable operations in his hometown, including a nonprofit dessert shop and food product line to fund programs for Detroit’s most underserved citizens. He also operates an orphanage in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, which he visits monthly. He lives with his wife, Janine, in Michigan. Learn more at www.mitchalbom.com, www.saydetroit.org, and www.havefaithaiti.org.
Why it’s a brilliant bio: Mitch Album, best known for his best-seller, Tuesdays with Morrie, wears his heart on his sleeve. Through his books, we know he is a faith-filled and good-hearted human being. His author bio weaves into his list of accomplishments the various charitable projects he is involved in. This validates to the reader that he is a person who walks the walk. He also includes links to his websites, which encourages reader engagement.
Awaken the Giant Within, by Tony Robbins
Bio: Tony Robbins is a bestselling author, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. For more than thirty-nine years, millions of people have enjoyed the warmth, humor, and the transformational power of Mr. Robbins’s business and personal development events. He is the nation’s #1 life and business strategist.
He’s called upon to consult and coach some of the world’s finest athletes, entertainers, Fortune 500 CEOs, and even presidents of nations. Robbins is the chairman of a holding company comprised of more than a dozen businesses with combined sales exceeding five billion dollars a year. His philanthropic efforts helped provide more than 100 million meals in the last year alone. He lives in Palm Beach, Florida.
Why it’s a brilliant bio: Tony Robbins has been a motivational speaker for decades. His books guide readers to realize their goals and reach new heights in their professional and financial lives. His success at helping people through his persuasive and inspiring guidance is reflected in his author bio. The reader can see that this author is successful in helping to transform people’s lives for the better.
Best-Selling Author Bios
Into the Wild, by Jon Krakauer
Bio: In 1999, Jon Krakauer received an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. According to the award citation:
“Krakauer combines the tenacity and courage of the finest tradition of investigative journalism with the stylish subtlety and profound insight of the born writer. His account of an ascent of Mount Everest has led to a general reevaluation of climbing and of the commercialization of what was once a romantic, solitary sport. While his account of the life and death of Christopher McCandless, who died of starvation after challenging the Alaskan wilderness, delves even more deeply and disturbingly into the fascination of nature and the devastating effects of its lure on a young and curious mind.”
Why it’s a brilliant bio: Jon Krakauer’s author bio is really not a bio, but a quotation lifted from his 1999 award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. This quote captures not only recognition of his excellent writing skills, but summarizes the essence of the book to which the award was attributed. That description of the story immediately captures the reader’s heart and curiosity.
The Midnight Library, by Matt Haig
Bio: Matt Haig is a British author for children and adults. His memoir Reasons to Stay Alive was a number one bestseller, staying in the British top ten for 46 weeks. His children’s book A Boy Called Christmas was a runaway hit in his own country and is translated in over 25 languages. It is being made into a film by Studio Canal, and The Guardian called it an ‘instant classic.’
Neil Gaiman said of his writing: ‘Haig has an empathy for the human condition, the light and the dark of it, and he uses the full palette to build his excellent stories.’ His novels for adults include the award-winning The Radleys and The Humans.
Why it’s a brilliant bio: Matt Haig notes his accomplishments and peppers his author bio with glowing quotes from reviews by notable sources, giving the author credibility in the reader’s eyes.
Debut Author Bios
The Rest is Noise, by Alex Ross
Bio: Alex Ross, music critic for The New Yorker, is the recipient of numerous awards for his work, including two ASCAP Deems Taylor Awards for music criticism, a Holtzbrinck Fellowship at the American Academy in Berlin, a Fleck Fellowship from the Banff Centre, and a Letter of Distinction from the American Music Center for significant contributions to the field of contemporary music. The Rest is Noise is his first book.
Why it’s a brilliant bio: Alex Ross is a debut author, and as such, doesn’t have a long list of book titles to insert into his author bio. Instead, he builds credibility with the reader by listing his accomplishments, which provides the credentials needed to tackle the topic.
Wicked Saints, by Emily A. Duncan
Bio: Emily A. Duncan was born and raised in Ohio and works as a youth services librarian. She received a Master’s degree in library science from Kent State University, which mostly taught her how to find obscure Slavic folklore texts through interlibrary loan systems. When not reading or writing, she enjoys playing copious amounts of video games and dungeons and dragons.
Why it’s a brilliant bio: Emily A. Duncan debuts her trilogy with Wicked Saints, a novel brimming with gothic landscapes and otherworldly characters. Her author bio will endear her to young readers, penning a humble summary of her background as a librarian. Her penchant for playing video games only makes her more relatable among the young readers she attracts, as this is a pastime that they, too, likely enjoy.
Sharpen Up Your Author Bio
Now that you have reviewed the excellent author bio examples, it’s time to get busy and pen your own. Still not sure about how the author examples can help you create your own bio? Why not enlist the skills of the Gatekeeper Press editorial team? The editorial team will help you create an amazing and memorable author bio that reflects your personality and genre. Contact Gatekeeper Press today!