How to Write a Compelling Bio for Your Book Proposal

7311177554_14a3ec70e9Growing up, my family had a running joke. Whenever someone asked for a tissue, invariably the response came back: “Tissue? I don’t even know you!”

Publishers invest a lot more than a tissue’s worth in the books they publish, so it’s important for them to know who they’re working with. That is why your bio may well be the first thing an acquisitions editor reads in your book proposal. It is certainly the first thing I read. A good bio can either open the door to the rest of your proposal or stop the review process almost as quickly as it began.

Brief setup: In December 2012 I started a series of posts on how to write a book proposal. I got two posts in before realizing the series would be far more helpful to folks if I actually coached a writer through the process of crafting a book proposal. After a brief contest of sorts I decided to work with Gary Neal Hansen. My strong hope is that others will be working on their book proposals as I coach Gary through this process. To read the posts leading up to this one, see here, here, here, and here.

Following is the bio Gary sent:

Gary Neal Hansen is Associate Professor of Church History at the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary and the author of Kneeling with Giants: Learning to Pray with History’s Best Teachers (InterVarsity Press, 2012).  The book has received a broad ecumenical welcome, including an interview in Christianity Today, a “Best this Month” feature in The Lutheran, and an interview on the Catholic Channel of Sirius XM Satellite Radio. He is passionate about mining the wisdom of Christian history to help today’s Christians know and love God, grow in community, and serve Christ’s purposes in God’s beloved world. His sense of Christian community was shaped by undergraduate years at University Presbyterian Church in Seattle (where his pastor, Steve Hayner, once referred to him as a small group guru). Years as a small church pastor and study leave in a Benedictine monastery highlighted the range of understandings of Christian community. His scholarly writing is found in volumes published by Cambridge University Press, T&T Clark, Mohr Seebeck, Eerdmans and others, with writing for a general readership in The Presbyterian OutlookPresbyterians Today, and Theology Matters.  He speaks regularly at conferences and retreats–typically two or three times per year, and thus far in about a dozen states.  He is currently developing a slow-motion book tour with leftover funds from a Louisville Institute research grant. Weekends find him with his wife and two small children looking for whatever is fresh and local at the farmers’ market, or cooking it up for friends.

Let the coaching begin. Good work, Gary! This bio has a lot going for it, though I do see some possible ways it can be improved as well.

Your bio is essentially your opportunity to tell the publisher who you are, but obviously we’re not interested in your favorite pizza toppings or what size shoe you wear. Anytime you make your bio available, whether to a conference or on your personal blog or a company or institution website, it should be tailored to the audience reading it. That is why your book proposal bio may well be the only place you use this particular version of your bio, though certainly it can be drawn upon for other venues as well. Your book proposal bio should:

  1. Be no more than 250 words. Shorter is okay!
  2. Establish your credibility. What’s your main vocational role? How are you qualified to write about the topic of your book? What work have you already done on the topic?
  3. Give us a glimpse of your platform. How can you help the publisher promote your book? What are your networks? How much are you speaking?
  4. Give us a sense of you as a person. Will you be reliable and fun to work with?

Notice that Gary’s bio does all of these things—in part because he read my previous post on this topic. I love that he says right at the top what his main vocational role is. I can’t tell you how often we have to hunt for this information—sometimes to no avail! He establishes his credibility as an author with a reference to his first book and how it’s been received. He tells us what he’s passionate about, and he gives me a sense of what kind of guy he is in the last sentence. Great stuff!

I do, however, see two places where the bio can be improved. The first is here:

His sense of Christian community was shaped by undergraduate years at University Presbyterian Church in Seattle (where his pastor, Steve Hayner, once referred to him as a small group guru). Years as a small church pastor and study leave in a Benedictine monastery highlighted the range of understandings of Christian community.

The impulse is right here. Gary is trying to show that he’s more than just book smart on this topic. He has real-world experience to offer. The problem is these sentences make me feel like his experience is relatively limited. He learned about community at school, in a church, and for a week at a monastery once. It’s probably better to frame this section in terms of the places where Gary has worked out his ideas about community. That way he’s not implying a limited basis of practical knowledge. He’s just talking about the places where he’s worked out a bunch of ideas.

Even better, however, would be some reference to the fruit of the ideas he will be sharing in the book. “Gary,” for example, “has seen the power and redemptive influence of Christian community play out in his church and small group as he and his friends have done transformative work both locally and globally.” And obviously the more concrete he can be here, the better.

The other section that can be improved is here:

He speaks regularly at conferences and retreats–typically two or three times per year, and thus far in about a dozen states. He is currently developing a slow-motion book tour with leftover funds from a Louisville Institute research grant.

This section screams “small platform,” and while I appreciate Gary’s honesty, better to say less than more in the bio if more is going to hurt your chances of publication. You will have an opportunity to speak candidly about your platform elsewhere in the proposal. I would cut it off at “He speaks regularly at conferences and retreats.”

And that brings us to the topic of the next post: platform.

Want some free bio coaching? If you would like feedback on your bio, feel free to include it in a comment on this post. Then be sure to comment on other people’s bios too. Let’s keep our comments constructive and see if we can help each other. I will comment too, as much as I can, but I’m convinced the real magic is not about me; it’s about what all of us can do together.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

Leave a Comment

59 thoughts on “How to Write a Compelling Bio for Your Book Proposal

    • Thanks, Lisa, for the question. My work on my first book was funded in part by a generous grant from the Louisville Institute. I was conservative with my spending and they gave me permission to use the remaining funds to spread the word on the work they had supported.

      My publisher has been fantastic (AMAZING, really) about promotion of various kinds, but of course had no plans for a book tour. My vision was to use the grant funds to create a series of speaking opportunities over an extended period of time — places where I offered to come rather than responding to someone else’s initial invitation (with opportunities for book sales and signing).

      The phrase “slow-motion book tour”was an attempt to communicate something of this in as few words as possible. Keeping to Chad’s maximum word count is a challenge!

      My key intention in mentioning this was not to communicate about platform, but to communicate about “the hustle factor” which Chad’s initial post on bios said was crucial. I’m willing to be creative and energetic about getting my book into the world rather than simply waiting passively for something to happen.

  1. So, here goes with my bio. I’d love any constructive feedback. Thanks.

    Jen Pollock Michel is a freelance writer and editor who speaks regularly at women’s ministry events. As a member of the Redbud Writers’ Guild, Jen has written for Today in the Word, a monthly devotional published by The Moody Bible Institute. She is a regular contributor for her.meneutics, Christianity Today’s blog for women, and Fullfill Magazine’s weekly refill blog. Her writing has also appeared at Christianity Today’s This Is Our City blog, Think Christian, Patheos, and Incourage. A graduate of Wheaton College (B.A., French) and Northwestern University (M.A., Literature), Jen has been a longtime book enthusiast but has only more recently been keeping her own story at http://www.findingmypulse.com. Her current book manuscript entitled, Found Wanting: At the Intersection of Desire and Faith, explores theological questions behind human desire. Is wanting sinful and selfish? And if we are supposed to find and follow God’s will, does it matter what we want? Jen confronts and quiet these hesitations, inviting us into the language of the Lord’s Prayer as the text for holy desire. But her book is not theological laparoscopy: it is Biblical truth running through the veins of her own faith stories of loss and surprise. Jen lives with her husband and their five children in Toronto, Canada.

    • Great bio, Jen! You include a lot about the actual book here, which is great in this comment, but in the context of a book proposal would likely be redundant. You might also look for a place (probably just one place) where you show us a bit more of who you are as a regular person. You could even add a dash of humor. For example, what is it that you and your husband five children enjoy doing together? Just add a bit of color, you know? Hope this his helpful!

      • Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment. It’s really helpful. (And I thought FIVE kids was the funny part, though I may have failed to mention we were planning for no more than three when I found out I was pregnant with twins!) I’m looking forward to your future posts in this series.

    • Hi Jen!

      This sounds very impressive. The only thing I would add, based on what Chad said, is that when you remove the context of your current manuscript, there is nothing that indicates a theme to what you write about (if there is one). I would only gather that you are a Christian writer who has written for many Christian publications, but I’m left wondering what topics you are passionate about and if there is a theme to what you write. In the context of a proposal, perhaps that doesn’t matter because the reader has read everything about your manuscript already. But in a more general setting (or perhaps even in the proposal – Chad?), maybe it would help to consider including something unique about your writing.

      Natasha

        • Good discussion. I do think it’s helpful for the bio to include some indication of an “author’s brand.” Gary’s brand, for example, at least for now is that he mines from Christian history ideas and practices that we can learn from and incorporate today. He captures that with this line: “He is passionate about mining the wisdom of Christian history to help today’s Christians know and love God, grow in community, and serve Christ’s purposes in God’s beloved world.” Hope this is useful. Really good line of inquiry.

  2. Thanks, Chad, for great advice!

    On my reference to speaking regularly I think I was maybe following your initial bio post too carefully for my own good — You said you would be looking for how often I speak in a year, and how many my speaking would reach, so I put it in there directly. It is very helpful indeed to hear that referring more generally to speaking “regularly” would be better, and that details could appear elsewhere.

    Lots of challenges here as I try to overcome my reluctance to promote myself, as I try to be clear about the things a publisher wants to know, and at the same time present true things in the most favorable possible light!

    I think it would be helpful to hear your thoughts about what kinds of speaking engagements really should be included explicitly in the bio.

    • I said in an earlier post to tell me how much you’re speaking, and in this post I said, “Well, a little less detail would better serve you here probably.” That may sound like a contradiction, but actually it points to an important function of your bio and the proposal in general. This is a sales pitch! That doesn’t merit lying, certainly, or being deceptive, but it does mean being careful about how things are presented. You want to present you and your book project in the best light possible. The time to be explicit in the bio about speaking engagements is when you’re speaking every month of the year or nearly every month of the year, which in this case is perhaps a good goal to shoot for! Does that help, Gary?

      • Thanks, Chad, that helps a ton.

        Speaking on the road that often with two little kids at home would be a challenge to the whole family at the moment, but I see the point–and would love to do it.

        It would be great if the teaching I do in class could have a place here — and since I teach both residentially and in our distance program my reach there is across the country and to some degree international. Hmm…

  3. Okay, may be too simple a question, but is it best NOT to speak about self in first person? And, is it okay to mention what others are saying about us that have credibility to their names?

    • Good question. I prefer reading third-person bios because the first person can come across as a bit too informal. I’ve read bios in the past in the first person that were almost flip sounding or trite. That’s not the tone you want. The third person is more likely to help you sound credible, I think.

  4. Hi Gary, The only thing I would add to what’s already been said is that I find this sentence a little distracting: “The book has received a broad ecumenical welcome, including an interview in Christianity Today, a “Best this Month” feature in The Lutheran, and an interview on the Catholic Channel of Sirius XM Satellite Radio.”

    As a reader, I’ve just gotten interested in who you are based on your profession and previous book title, but then I feel like I’m led on an aside about what happened with your last book rather than finding out more about you. Perhaps that’s because I love the next sentence about your passion. That sentence seems to lead perfectly out of the first one if you either delete or move the one about your broad ecumenical welcome (since the passion relates to both your prior book and current one).

    Perhaps you could find a way to incorporate the fact that you’ve been interviewed by major publications further down after scholarly writing and before speaking. For me, that would be a better logical flow and prioritization, but that’s just based on a general reader view. There may be great reasons why a publisher would like to see that up higher. Just my 2 cents!

  5. I feel mine is a bit thread-bare compared to others here. :) As a little context, I’m working on a concept for a book that applies insights on influence from the field of marketing to how to spiritually influence your children. So with my bio I’m trying to communicate I have a unique combination of 1) professional marketing expertise and 2) the credibility of an existing “everyday” voice in Christian parenting through my blog platform. So here we go….

    Natasha Crain has an MBA in Marketing and Statistics from the prestigious Anderson School at UCLA and is currently the Vice President of Marketing for a Los Angeles-based media company. She has leveraged the power of marketing influence for 15 years, working for companies ranging in size from start-up to the Fortune 500. Crain is also a mom of three young children who is passionate about finding ways to reverse the trend that two-thirds of kids are leaving the Christian faith by their 20s. This passion led her to start the Christian Mom Thoughts blog (christianmomthoughts.com), which offers weekly inspiration for intentional Christian parenting. Crain’s blog has over 4,000 subscribers and was visited by more than 22,000 people last year.

    I welcome any insights! I probably need to add something more personal at the end.

    • Oh, my. Hello blog followers. Your bio is impressive!
      I have only one comment. It’s super picky, so feel free to ignore this, but I feel like the word *intentional* is overused these days. With that said, math is my friend, so all the wordsmiths out there may disagree.

      See. Super picky. Sorry I couldn’t be more helpful.

      Great job. And I do like the idea of you adding some personal information near the end. :)

    • Natasha, I am absolutely NO expert, but my thought was perhaps to highlight your writing (especially your blog stats) earlier and your marketing later. Both are important and impressive, but since this is a book proposal presumably, the writing credentials should go first.

      • Thanks for the feedback! I wrote the bio assuming that the marketing credentials would take priority because the concept hinges on marketing insights, but I can see how there would be potential to flip it around and achieve a different effect (focusing on the passion and writing first, then supporting the credibility of the book with the professional credentials). I will give it a try to see how it sounds! Thanks for the idea.

  6. Ok, I really need help on the bio part. Although this will probably be used more as a media kit for speaking, I’d still really appreciate your thoughts on this:

    Dabney Hedegard is a writer, speaker, and professional patient who calls West Palm Beach home. At twenty-five-years-old, a football-sized-tumor entangled vital organs in Dabney’s chest, alerting doctors to the cancer attacking her body. But the greater fear stealing their focus grew inches below the mass: a six-week-old baby. The disease and the decision to keep her child initiated a battle with nine life-threatening illnesses, and four near-death experiences.

    Eluding death occurs occasionally. Defying death twice, a rarity. Four times, however, warrants a deeper look into Christ’s purpose for supernatural intervention.

    These facts simply nick the surface of the modern-day miracles surrounding Dabney’s life. Her memoir proves the Father actively listens to the broken-hearted, and He is capable of healing emotional, physical, and spiritual illnesses.

    “When God Intervenes” is Dabney’s erratic journey of health pitfalls followed by healing, hope, and a renewed view of life and marriage.

    In addition to writing a monthly column for The Good News Newspaper, Dabney is active in social media and a frequent speaker at local churches, MOPS groups, women’s conferences and crisis pregnancy centers in and around South Florida. She is married to her husband, Jason. She loves writing, jogging, and chasing her four kids. Most days, she can be found playing at dabneyland.com.

    Dabney graduated cum laude from Palm Beach Atlantic University with a BA in Theatre.

    ~~~
    See. Needs help. I don’t have many writing credits under my belt, and I felt adding a touch of the story was helpful in explaining why I call myself a *professional patient*.

    Thoughts?

      • Great idea. My tummy dropped a little reading this. Querying magazines is on my to-do list, but somehow I talk myself into other projects. Thanks for the nudge, Jen.

    • Your story really is fascinating, and this definitely makes me want to hear more. I absolutely love this: “Eluding death occurs occasionally. Defying death twice, a rarity. Four times, however, warrants a deeper look into Christ’s purpose for supernatural intervention.” I think overall this is great. Here are just a couple of small things to consider.

      If you want to cut words, the sentence “When God Intervenes” feels redundant with the sentence before it. I would either replace the words “Her memoir” with the title of your book and delete the next sentence, or replace the “Her memoir” line with the one after it.

      Picky word thing: Saying your memoir “proves” something about God is a little strong. Maybe “Her memoir beautifully demonstrates how the Father…” would be an alternative.

      Last tiny thing – I’m not sure if you need the line at the end with your education since it doesn’t relate to the rest. The line about dabneyland felt like a perfect ending.

      Just some thoughts – nothing big!

  7. What a great post– thank you so much! Here’s my bio, for a novel I’m submitting soon. Suggestions welcome!

    Amanda grew up in a valley nestled between alpine Lake Tahoe and the dry hills of the Comstock Lode. Her father baptized her in Tahoe’s waters when she was a child, and years later it was this view she looked down upon from a mountaintop when her then-future husband proposed to her. The grand estates that sprang up on the shores of Lake Tahoe in the early 1900′s have fascinated Amanda since childhood visits, and the Pope Estate’s tea garden is one of her favorite spots in the world. It is these estates that she’s based the fictional Stonehaven upon.

    Amanda has a Bachelor of Arts in English Education from the University of Nevada, Reno, and has taught English and computer literacy for six years. She is a storyteller, whether from behind the lens of her Nikon or the cap of her pen. Her years of teaching and photography/photo-editing (skills which translate into shareable-content creation and design) have equipped her to navigate online presence and reader interaction with finesse grounded in a heart that desires to serve her readers. Delighting in a shared love of good books, she is the co-founder of the social media based Christian Fiction Book Club and serves as the book club resource person for Novel Crossing, writing articles and facilitating discussion. Her short piece, Mightier, was featured on DaySpring’s devotional blog for women, (In)Courage. She has a passion for using words to communicate God’s love and saving grace. He has faithfully walked her through valleys of fear, and the refuge He provides without fail is what she hopes to share through this, her debut novel.

    • I love your first section! Having been to Lake Tahoe this summer, I can appreciate that.

      This sentence really lost me: “Her years of teaching and photography/photo-editing (skills which translate into shareable-content creation and design) have equipped her to navigate online presence and reader interaction with finesse grounded in a heart that desires to serve her readers.”

      I can guess what you’re trying to say after really thinking about it, but you lost me in the wordiness and parentheses. I think you’re trying to say that you’ve gained an expertise in social media via your background? I would say it more simply and then let the next sentence add the proof.

      One other quick note – I’m not sure what you mean by social media based. Is it an online social network? Is it a Facebook group? Social media could be many things.

      Hope that helps a little!

  8. Gary and Chad, thanks so much for letting us hop on for the ride! I like the personal touch at the end of Gary’s bio. I think it always humanizes an author when we know his hobbies, as well as his credentials.

    A question, Chad. I’m a fiction gal so my platform is vastly different than Gary’s, but this could apply to either fiction OR non-fiction. I’m wondering: Is there anything in a bio that’s an immediate, hands-down turn-off?

      • Good question, Cynthia. Bios that come off as overly familiar/casual or that make big claims that actually don’t have much substance are a turn-off–for me, anyway. For example, It’s not entirely forthright to say you’re a bestselling author if your last several books sold less than 10,000 copies. Interesting here is the fact that these things would be a turn-off in real life too.

        • I guess your point here, Chad, is that basically you’re introducing yourself in your bio and that anything that would make people in real life say, “I don’t want to know that person” shouldn’t be included so really it’s important to work out the points about ourselves and our books that make people go, “I want to get know you better. Are you free for coffee?”

          • Well said, Wendy, but remember too that a book proposal bio isn’t the same as a dating site bio! You definitely need to show why we should be interested in publishing you, but yes, in an affable way.

  9. So here’s my stab at a bio. Would love hints and tips on how to improve it. Struggle to figure out how much to write about me and how much to write about the devotional book I’d like submit.

    Wendy van Eyck is a writer, idea generator and TV producer. She writes at ilovedevotionals.com about finding God in ordinary moments. Her devotionals are written from her passion to help people realize not only how much God loves them, but also how much he likes them, in their highest and lowest moments of life. Many of these lessons and devotionals come from supporting her husband in his battle with cancer over the past year. Wendy holds a degree in Applied Linguistics and a certificate in Christian counseling. She is a contributing writer for ibelieve.com and her work has been featured on relevantmagazine.com, incourage.me, prodigalmagazine.com and devotionaldiva.com, amongst others. While writing is her passion, her day job is in television, where she currently runs a 24/7 TV Gospel Music Television channel from Johannesburg, South Africa. An avid traveller, she lives with her husband in a house that needs attention because they spend the DIY budget on trips to unexplored countries.

    • Really strong bio, Wendy. Instead of referring to your passion twice, you might change the second reference to something like “While writing is her first love . . . ” If you do any speaking, you might mention that, though be careful (see my comments to Gary on this). You could also mention something about the reach of ibelieve.com (if it’s impressive sounding). Hope this is helpful!

  10. Hi Chad – your site is helpful. As a first time author, coming up with a bio is tough. Below is what I came up with. Suggestions are most welcome!

    Bringing the story of Marcia Slater, Louis Boy and Harry Wallerstein to the page has been the mission of Robin Seydel Ryan since she discovered an old newspaper article while preparing for a lecture on medical ethics. To tell this story, this first time author draws from her experience in the field of pediatric cancer research as well as her love for medical history.
    To tell this story, Robin turned to original media reports, medical and lay publications, popular culture, and interviews with key players. She writes with the hope that reader will understand the motives behind the pursuit of a dangerous medical experiment.
    Robin has a Masters in Public Health from the University of Kansas, works at a midwestern children’s hospital, and blogs about things that make her happy at deliberateobfuscation.wordpress.com. She recently experienced her lifelong dream of traveling to Italy, so now she is trying to figure out what’s next.

  11. I’m a little hesitant to jump in here, but nothing ventured, nothing gained. Here’s mine:
    Joel Rieves was born and raised in the North Carolina piedmont amassing more than a few interesting personality traits. Most notably, these include an excellent (if somewhat dark and snarky) sense of humor, a healthy disrespect for authority and sense of duty toward others. The first two were actively discouraged by authority figures (without success, thankfully), but the second was nurtured and reinforced by his teachers, his church and his parents. One of his favorite quotes comes from Robert E. Lee, who said “Duty is the most sublime word in our language. Do your duty in all things. You cannot do more. You should never wish to do less.”
    That sense of duty led him into 23 years as a firefighter where he saw firsthand that all too many people live poverty in what is the richest country in the world. Three years ago, he decided to follow a dream he’d had almost as long as he can remember: to be a writer. Retired from the fire department in 2012, he is pursuing that dream full-time. His views have been formed by my service, work with non-profit ministries such as Love Wins, years in the church and incessant reading. Joel still lives in piedmont North Carolina with his daughters and their dog, Gator.

    • Glad you joined in, Joel! I’m no expert at this, but am trying to see if I can deduce from this what kind of writing you do. You mention piedmont culture and firefighting and I wonder if you are doing things in the genre of memoir. You also express issues of duty and poverty in our culture, and I wonder if you are working on something in the realm of social justice. Am I close?

      • Gary, most of what I do is related to social justice, although I do write about theological issues from time to time. I am contemplating a memoir at some point, however. But, I see your confusion. I need to be clearer on what I do. Thanks.

      • Here’s an updated version:
        Joel Rieves was born and raised in the North Carolina piedmont amassing more than a few interesting personality traits. Most notably, these include an excellent (if somewhat dark and snarky) sense of humor, a healthy disrespect for authority and sense of duty toward others. The first two were actively discouraged by authority figures (without success, thankfully), but the second was nurtured and reinforced by his teachers, his church and his parents. One of his favorite quotes comes from Robert E. Lee, who said “Duty is the most sublime word in our language. Do your duty in all things. You cannot do more. You should never wish to do less.”
        That sense of duty led him into 23 years as a firefighter where he saw firsthand that all too many people live poverty in what is the richest country in the world. Three years ago, he decided to follow a dream he’d had almost as long as he can remember: to be a writer. Retired from the fire department in 2012, he is pursuing that dream full-time, with a focus on justice issues and Emergence theology. His views have been formed by my service, work with non-profit ministries such as Love Wins, years in the church and incessant reading. Joel still lives in piedmont North Carolina with his daughters and their dog, Gator.

        • Joel, fun to see you here. This bio does a great job of wittily and concisely telling us about you. My only advice, particularly for a bio that goes in a book proposal, is for you to touch on your platform credentials.

  12. Ok, here’s my stab at it :). I realize this is an older post, but I’ve been working on my bio and am finally ready to share.

    Anita Ojeda thought her husband had beat a survivable cancer until they discovered his excruciating headaches signaled a relapse—with central nervous system involvement. From that point on, her roles of wife, mother, and full-time teacher morphed into a whirlwind nightmare of caretaking for a critically ill husband, traveling thousands of miles for her husband’s treatment, and making difficult decisions while trying to work full time and function as a parent.

    BC (before cancer), Anita earned a Master of Arts degree in English from the University of Nevada, Reno. She also holds teaching credentials in English, Spanish, English as a Second Language, Bilingual Education, History and Religion. Her articles and stories have appeared in Insight, Adventist Review, Journal of Ministry, Gleaner and Adventist Today.

    AD (after diagnosis), Anita discovered a passion for helping other caregivers who find themselves blessed, but stressed–even long after their loved one has recovered. Anita calls herself a ‘recovering cancer caregiver’ and writes about her experiences to help other caregivers on the road to recovery.

  13. I’m reading back over your posts on author bios and have a question. How do you add a personal detail without it sounding out of place? My husband and I are working on a Bible study for parents of kids with special needs. Our bio focuses on our family, education, ministry, and writing. Then I mention his grilling and my gardening. It seems random. Even something like, “When Lee and Sandra aren’t reading, writing, or serving their church and community, you can find them in their backyard, watching their boys play while Lee grills and Sandra picks tomatoes from her garden” sounds forced. Not sure if I should keep working with it or just focus on our bio info as it relates to our book topic.

  14. Hi Chad, thank you for your helpful website. I appreciate any advice you can give on my bio below. Hope your having a great day!

    Karen Hartnett is author of The Divine Strength Diet Plan and creator of the Healthy Spirit, Healthy Body, Healthy Mind Workshop, a 6- week Bible-study featuring the DSDP, her Workshop CD and Leader’s Guide.  The workshop is designed to help transform and balance one’s spirit, body, mind, and body chemistry.  Devoted to her personal training profession and business for over 25 years, Karen has served as a motivational speaker, leader, and teacher,  to her clients and gym members as well as the Christian community,  and the fitness industry.  

    Karen’s struggle and search for answers to her own health  issues, led her to experience the power of healing through whole foods, a balanced diet,  prayer, and the use of God’s wisdom.  She is passionate about delivering her Wholistic Health and well- being messages to her community.

    Karen has written numerous Wholistic Health articles for Austin Fit Magazine,  and The Lake Travis View Newspaper.  She has been featured in Faces and Places Magazine and San Antonio Express Newspaper.    A graduate of St. Mary’s University with a  BBA  in Marketing,  she  was nominated as one of Austin’s most powerful women in business by Austin’s Business Journal in 2001.

    Karen is certified by both the Cooper Institute and AFAA (Aerobics and Fitness Association of America) in personal training.   For 16 years she competed at local, state and national level in bodybuilding, Ms. Fitness competitions and Mrs. Texas USA pageants.

    Karen speaks frequently to Grief Care and Mother of Preschoolers (MOPS) groups as a community volunteer.  She also enthusiastically teaches bible studies to youth and adults.  Her most challenging and rewarding accomplishment is staying fit, healthy, and balanced while caring for her husband and two beautiful children.  

    • Karen, good job! I just did some light editing (see below), but I think you have a strong bio here. Btw, do you know about the ReWrite conference happening in Austin this October? Might be worth checking out. http://rewriteconference.com/

      Karen Hartnett is author of The Divine Strength Diet Plan and creator of the Healthy Spirit, Healthy Body, Healthy Mind Workshop, a 6-week Bible study featuring her Workshop CD and Leader’s Guide. The workshop is designed to transform and balance one’s spirit, body, mind, and body chemistry. Devoted to her personal training profession and business for over 25 years, Karen has served as a motivational speaker, leader, and teacher to her clients and gym members as well as the Christian community and the fitness industry.

      Karen’s struggle and search for answers to her own health issues led her to experience the power of healing through whole foods, a balanced diet, prayer, and the use of God’s wisdom. She is passionate about helping people experience wholistic health and well-being.

      Karen has written numerous articles for Austin Fit Magazine and The Lake Travis View Newspaper. She has been featured in Faces and Places Magazine and San Antonio Express Newspaper. A graduate of St. Mary’s University with a BBA in Marketing, she was nominated as one of Austin’s most powerful women in business by Austin’s Business Journal in 2001.

      Karen is certified by both the Cooper Institute and AFAA (Aerobics and Fitness Association of America) in personal training. For 16 years she competed at local, state, and national level in bodybuilding, Ms. Fitness competitions and Mrs. Texas USA pageants.

      Karen speaks frequently to Grief Care and Mother of Preschoolers (MOPS) groups as a community volunteer. She also enthusiastically teaches Bible studies to youth and adults. Her most challenging and rewarding accomplishment is staying fit, healthy, and balanced while caring for her husband and two beautiful children.