Writing Bios


Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Writing Bios

  1. #1

    Writing Bios

    For the obligatory 200 word 'author bio' what kind of stuff should one talk about if one does not have much publishing history?

    I pretty much just made mine about me, where I live, and how I got into writing. I tried to make it a little funny, too. I guess that's what I saw on the websites but I'm sort of worried about walking the line between non-pretentious/lighthearted and goofy/unprofessional.
    "If you don't like my peaches, don't shake my tree."

  2. #2
    That sounds like a good go-to bio, Luckyscars. Below are my thoughts on bios for short fiction or articles.

    When possible, I try to check out published works by the publisher I'm submitting to, and tailor my bio so it fits in with the rest of them. This is because I've noticed the tone of the bios often (though not always) differs by publication. Some of them have a lot of funny bios and others tend to have more serious ones.

    It also depends on where the bios are located. For example, if the bios are place with each author's story, then you can put in something that relates to that particular story, if you have something of interest to say about it. But if the bios are at the back of the book, that same mention might just look odd. Just two or three sentences will do.

    One thing I wouldn't put is the oft-seen "has been writing since he was six years old" thing, because it just sounds silly IMO. Everyone has been writing since they were six years old, for one thing, because they made you do it in school. Beyond that, it sounds like the writer is either making the dubious brag that they were some kind of child prodigy or doesn't understand the difference between professional adult writing and children's play. Also, if you're not published yet, you don't have to announce it in your bio. Also, if you don't know, bios are generally written in the third person, "Luckystars is a banker from Utah," not "I am a banker from Utah." Hope this helps.

  3. #3
    Thank you ma'am..

    The publishers of the two upcoming anthologies requested a bio so I came up with one. I changed the personal info for privacy but it's basically this:
    John Doe was born and raised in REGIONAL AREA but his writing originates from A DIFFERENT REGIONAL AREA where he lives with his wife, Jane, son Jimmy and baby daughter Jeanette.

    After [Significant life event] in his early twenties, a throwaway interest in scribbling became a love of possession through the power of prose. John enjoys writing horror, mystery, science fiction, suspense, fantasy and even the occasional bedtime ghost story for his children - just don't tell mom!

    I tried to exclude random trivia and tie it back to writing but felt incorporating family was important. At this stage purely for expediency's sake I am trying to avoid having to customize bios for each publication so I tried to make it sort of all-purpose but I feel like its a little shorter than usual, mainly because I had no publishing credits before this month.

    This stuff is not my favorite
    "If you don't like my peaches, don't shake my tree."

  4. #4
    No, it isn't fun for me either. I have real big problems coming up with something decent. What I did though, was for example browse through author bios on Amazon, and get ideas left and right. And sometimes I was like: oh NO, I will NEVER write this or that.

    Your bio in itself looks good. You say it is short, is there a min - max length to what you have to produce?

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Darren White View Post
    No, it isn't fun for me either. I have real big problems coming up with something decent. What I did though, was for example browse through author bios on Amazon, and get ideas left and right. And sometimes I was like: oh NO, I will NEVER write this or that.

    Your bio in itself looks good. You say it is short, is there a min - max length to what you have to produce?
    No. Of the three places I have sold stories only one has asked for a bio so far (still really early) and they said 'up to 200 words' so I sent them the above. I have since reused this bio as part of my submission queries just because I figure it's more professional to include it in the cover letter - certainly doesn't seem to hurt.

    I'm really not into self-promo anyway so the less is better but I don't want to come across too amateurish, y'know? Some of these author bios are super pretentious sounding to me, lots of hyperbolic language and corny stuff about how writing is a calling etc. But then again they are far more prolific authors than myself so I'm half-wondering if an element of theatrical bullshittery is expected or even desired. This is 'art' after all...
    "If you don't like my peaches, don't shake my tree."

  6. #6
    We make snap judgements all the time concerning people and their credibility. If you were at a party and a guy started telling you a story, what about them would make you listen, what would convey the un-spoken message, this guy is gets it?

    Reading a story is an investment. I often read an author bio to see does this writer have it. Depending on the story, depending on what your after would make a big difference to the reader.

    Lucky, he has seen the dark side, looked over the edge, thought of jumping off, but tripped along the way. After long weeks of recovery... he is ready to spill his guts.
    God hates a coward Revelation 21:8

    “Good writin' ain't necessarily good readin'.”

    Hidden Content ,

    To encourage and facilitate "me"

  7. #7
    Who are author bios for anyway? Will editors make a decision to reject based on them? Will readers?

    I'd agree with Ma'am that it should change by publication. If you've written Christine mention if you're a mechanic, if you've written LoTR mention any expertise in mythology and if you've written 2001 mention any work you've done on geostationary orbits. I think these things could nudge an editor to read your story first, or give it a little more time. Maybe.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by epimetheus View Post
    Who are author bios for anyway? Will editors make a decision to reject based on them? Will readers?

    I'd agree with Ma'am that it should change by publication. If you've written Christine mention if you're a mechanic, if you've written LoTR mention any expertise in mythology and if you've written 2001 mention any work you've done on geostationary orbits. I think these things could nudge an editor to read your story first, or give it a little more time. Maybe.
    Its not about affecting decisions or getting editors to read my work, it’s about providing something that is requested as standard practice once a story has been sold - I currently have sold three in two weeks, so I don’t really want to have to change it wholesale every time but would rather have a standard bio that I can then customize slightly as needed depending on the flavor of the anthology.

    One of my stories is sold to a SF publisher, one horror, and the newest one is suspense so I’m looking for a balance between these different speculative genres I guess...
    "If you don't like my peaches, don't shake my tree."

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
This website uses cookies
We use cookies to store session information to facilitate remembering your login information, to allow you to save website preferences, to personalise content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners.