The answer is yes, I absolutely want to know about you. I love pithy bios because it tells me a bit about the person behind the words. I don’t care if you’re the president of your dart club unless your book is about darts. It’s nice if you quilt doggie slippers for rescued beagles [and I know of one who would elect you for sainthood]. But if your book is about a homicidal gardner who kills dandelions with impunity, the bootie facts aren’t important to me because I’m looking for a link between you and your book.
I haven’t encountered many authors who sit down to write a book simply because the idea popped into their head one day. There is usually a reason behind the birth of a particular story. That is what I want to hear about. If you are previously published, I want to hear about that, too. If you’re vanity or POD published, leave that information out because – snobby or not – very few editors and agents view this as a viable publication credit.
Where Do I Put My Bio?
At the end of your query. Please. I see any number of query letters where the author leads off with their bio, and this is plain wrong. Think about what you’re selling; you or your story? You could be the Queen of Sheba and still write a lousy book. Your bio doesn’t cinch the deal in a query. It’s always about the work. I’ve had queries from some very big names, but their story was virtually unmarketable. When an author leads with their bio, it makes me wonder if this is where they put their primary importance.
Don’t confuse your bio for your story. It’s true that a big bio opens doors. And, somewhat unfairly, it may get the book published. But that bio will not shield the author from scathing reviews and tepid sales. It boils down to the story.
Since you’re trying to sell your story, that is where you need to concentrate your focus. Trust me; we’ll get to the end of the query, so don’t panic.
Also, please don’t tell me the PAGE COUNT of your work. This tells me nothing because I don’t know if these are single spaced sentences, Comic Sans, 10 point, or what. We need your WORD COUNT. 118,000 words tells me something.
So, please, do tell me a little bit about yourself, but keep in mind that I like to know why you are the best person to have written your work and the impetus behind why you wrote it.
Happy writing. Which, on this lovely Sunday is exactly what I’m going to do. The beagle can walk herself today.