Your Author Bio
Many publishers will ask that you send along a short biographical statement with your manuscript. This gives them a bit of background as they're reading your work, and it can also be used for promotional purposes (or even to draft the bio blurb that will appear on the back of your book).
Your bio should include the following information:
Your background experience: What kinds of relevant things have you done in your life? What can you include in your bio that will show the publishers and the editors your background and past experiences?
Your educational experience: Do you have a Ph.D. or other titles that lend credibility and demonstrate your expertise on a subject that will help sell books for you? Have you completed any training programs relating to the field you're writing about? Even if your educational experience is unrelated, include it — it provides good background for the people who must publicize and market your book.
Past writing credits: It's a good idea to include any information you have about past writing jobs that you've done. This shows the editors, publicists, and publishers that they're working with someone who has experience.
Your bio should be short; a page — or about 250 words — is a good length. (It's permissible to use 1½-line spacing instead of double spacing on the biography only, if that's what it takes to achieve that one-page goal.) Some publishers may request more detailed information, while others will want a bio of no more than a few sentences. If the publisher has required specifications, follow those closely. Write your biographical statement in the third person.
The following introductory lines from a biographical statement come from the Web site of a Canadian colleague. Unless it's accompanying a humor submission, it might be a little too tongue-in-cheek to send to a publisher; however, it shows you how one author conveys his information:
David L. Hebert came into this world on December 24, 1970, and just like Gracie Allen, was so surprised he didn't speak for almost two years. It was a burst of enthusiasm from which he still hasn't quite recovered.
When submitting it with a book proposal (see information later in this chapter), keep the style of your author biography appropriate for the style of the book you're pitching — humorous, if appropriate, or cerebral for more serious works.
Other details you can include in an author biography being submitted with a book proposal include the following:
Any awards or fellowships you've received
Background information directly relevant to your book, such as professional organization affiliation
Significant sales information or review quotes on previous works