How is an author vita structured?
Take a browse through the books on your bookshelf. What do the descriptions of your favorite authors look like? You'll usually find information about age and place of birth, place of residence, education and studies, professional career and personal environment such as family status. It's important to weigh up which data is interesting in relation to your book. If you have a Reference book your professional background is often important. In a novel with autobiographical features, the place of residence can be interesting.
Readers want to know who the author of the book they are reading is. Therefore, information about you as an author is especially appropriate. Why did you start writing? What makes you exciting to the reader as an author? And how did you come up with the idea for the current book? Whether it's a personal anecdote that makes you likeable, or a narrative about how the book came to be and what experiences are related to it. Create emotion even in the brevity of an author's vita through Storytelling.
The key questions: What should you look for in an author's vita?
A short and concise vita without leaving out important information about you - that's the challenge. Readers, booksellers, reviewers, editors and bloggers need a crisp text to get a picture of you as an author.
Who is the target audience for your book?
Limit your author vita to what is important to readers and Booksellers is valuable. What makes you interesting as a writer? Unimportant information only distracts and offers no added value. So don't just write your book, but also your author profile in a way that is appropriate for the target group.
What sets you apart as a writer?
Why do you write and what do you want to achieve with your book? How did you come up with the book idea and was it perhaps created in an unusual place? Readers want to get to know you, so tell them what makes you competent, interesting, exciting, curious or mysterious. Whoever picks up your book should also be curious about the content with the vita. You can also mention other publications here.
Are there any personal role models?
Which writers, novels or non-fiction books have influenced and impressed you? Possibly there are also role models from other areas? Does this have a special significance for your book? Then this can also be included in your vita.
What are your personal values and life lessons?
What do you value personally and professionally? Is there a life motto that shapes and distinguishes you? Something like that will stay in your readers' minds. But be careful: Your CV should be authentic and the life motto should really suit you. Before you invent something, leave it out.
Is there any media coverage of your book?
If there are press releases, radio or TV features, and reviews about your book, be sure to include them in your bio. On your website or via your social media channels, you can link to such articles, upload photos of them or scan print reports.
A professional photo is indispensable for your resume - unless you publish under a Pseudonym and don't want to be recognized as the author. Ideally, a photographer took the shot. Snapshots are not suitable for this. The photo must be sharp, have a resolution of at least 300 dpi and be saved in a common photo format such as jpg. It's up to you whether you choose a classic head-to-shoulder shot or a modern version at your desk or outside. What is important is a serious, authentic and likeable appearance.
How do you write an author vita?
The style you choose for your CV depends on the genre, your target audience and their social and age structure. Of course, you should remain factual, but in no case boring. Make yourself "tangible" for your readers.
The same tone at Vita and book
Your vita should reflect your writing style in the book. For example, if you're publishing a humorous short story collection, the vita should also be spiced up with a touch of humour.
Writing in the present tense
A CV should always be written in the present tense. Exceptions are retrospectives of the past, such as "She worked for a long time as ...".
Author vita in first person perspective or third person?
In principle, both are possible. A vita in the third person looks professional and can be used everywhere. For example, if a journalist wants to publish your CV or excerpts from it as a supplement to his review, he cannot use first-person wording. On your website or social media channels, however, it may be a good idea to write in a casual, modern style in the first person perspective.
Should the author vita be chronological?
Your CV does not necessarily have to be chronological. You can start directly with an important piece of information about your book, and then build on this to present your authorial personality. This can be particularly useful if your book fits in with a current topic. Also, keep the suspense going. If you want the reader to read your vita to the end, don't ramble and sprinkle the most surprising or bizarre facts throughout the text and don't use it all up right at the beginning. Of course, the following also applies to the author's vita: the first sentences are crucial to whether the reader even wants to read on about who you are.
- Authentic: The same writing style as in the book
- Tense: Present tense
- Perspective: third person, for own publication first person perspective
- Entry: Crisp first sentence
Example of an author's vita: short introduction in the video
An advanced idea: a video trailer. This marketing activity not only works for your book, but can also introduce you as an author to your readers. In it, you could introduce yourself in a few sentences, show your favorite workspace, and perhaps go to your places of inspiration. An example of a personal introduction via video: Author Dr. Stepahnie Arndt with her "pet horse" Nasar. With humorous, crisp text and meaningful images, readers can get to know the author and her everyday life. But don't forget that videos are not applicable everywhere. That's why you should definitely also have a vita in text form.
A vita should contain exciting information about you as an author for the reader. What events from your life lend themselves to this will depend entirely on what you write. The tone should also give an indication of your writing style and make you want to write more. Make up a few different versions and ask friends and acquaintances which text describes you charismatically and authentically.