A smoking author biography is an essential part of a book proposal. Writing a good one - that sums up your personality and book in a few succinct words - is so unbelievably useful for so many reasons. So this is one tight piece of writing you need to really work on and here are some essential elements you need to include. By Sarah Bullen
Where will you use your blurb?
It will end up on the cover or inside cover of your book (nobody writes these but YOU!)
It will be used in all marketing communications for publicity for your book.
You can use it on your blog / website / CV
You can submit it to Wikipedia as your page
You can use it on your Amazon author page
I have changed my own countless times over the years. Each time it more accurately reflects who I am and what I do. I have included an example below of one I recently wrote for one of our newly published writers and some professional ones too.
FORMAT TO USE
SENTENCE 1: (two tight adjectives) NAME SURNAME is …….. YOUR CORE IDENTITY / QUALITY
SENTENCE 2 - 4: How have you lived this story – give a bit of a list as to what is going to support this story
SENTENCE 5: What is this going to reveal in the book?
END: This is her / his story
Scientist and New York Times best-selling author Gregg Braden realized early in his career that neither science nor spirituality could provide a complete picture of how to live the best life. He has traveled the world for over 30 years visiting some of the most pristine, undisturbed and remote places around the globe in an effort to glean the wisdom of our ancestors so he could combine it with cutting-edge science. The result of what he learned is found in this book.
Resilience from the Heart is written with you in mind. Within these pages you’ll find everything you need to embrace the biggest challenges in life and do so in a healthy way.
Dr Veerle Van Tricht is a highly specialized eye surgeon who has spent most of her professional life working to restore vision. However, she has a vision of a different kind. Born into a cold Flemish family, Veerle knew at an early age that she had a connection with angels and the spirit world. As a young child she naturally astral travelled to other dimensions with her angels, never knowing this was special or unique. In her 20-year career as a specialist surgeon, Veerle (known as Dr V) has been guided by her angelic helpers to save the sight of patients across the globe. This is her story
It is super short and tight. Keep it under 250 words.
Start with your name. Include a few adjectives that sum you up.
Highlight your core quality - that is the very element you are highlighting in your book.
Why are you writing this book? If it’s about loss and grief give us a quick look why you know about this. If it’s about dogs… what’s your story with them…
Only put in relevant qualifications or information.
Write in the 3rd person. This does feel a bit pretentious but it's the correct and professional way to do it. (example: Sarah Bullen is a grammar sharpshooter…..)
Include a tiny bit of history if its relevant…. If you are writing a romance you may mention you are a serial dater and used to work as a stripper, but its not relevant if you are writing a sci-fi.
Write a few versions. With each one, take a totally different angle. The key facts will probably be the same but go in with a different aspect / angle / lead each time.
Rewrite, rewrite, rewrite. Each time hone it in far tighter on YOUR message in YOUR book.
Give it your book’s personality. Remember this is your chance to connect with your reader. Make sure your personality shines through – are you angry and wanting to expose an ill… are you grieving and want to share…. are you sassy and sparkly…. Make it show
These blurbs are not professional CVs. You are not applying for a job. They need to convey your personality more than your actual technical qualifications. They need to have your / your book's ESSENCE in them.
These below examples are even tighter leaving out any non-essential information. This is not a format for a new author but this is how tight it can get. This sort of format you would use for a blog profile shot.
Having been guided by the light of her soul to heal completely and naturally from a basketball size tumor in just 6½ weeks, Brandon Bays knew her radical, life-changing experience had to be shared with the world. So she put pen to paper and described her experiences.
In August 2006, Anita Moorjani submitted her Near Death Experience description & Questionnaire to The Near Death Research Foundation. The owner of the site, Dr. Jeffrey Long, an oncologist, contacted Anita within hours of her submitting it, asking many follow up questions. Shortly after, Anita’s story went viral, spreading to hundreds of thousands of people all over the world via email.