{Between the Lines}

The Agents of Books & Such Literary Management Muse About Books, Publishing, and Life

Author Bio–It’s All About Me

Wendy Lawton

Blogger: Kathleen Y’Barbo

Today is normally Janet’s day to blog. We are grateful to have Kathleen step in once again. Her marketing expertise has stood us in good stead many a time, especially during this fire. (Wendy’s picture shows because she’s the one who posted this for Kathleen and she’s the one who doesn’t know how to change the automatic head shot.)

Fire Update: The Santa Rosa fires are that close to containment at the writing of this blog. Rachel’s hero/husband/firefighter is finally back home and they are safely tucked in their house. Michelle would be snug in her house if she wasn’t off at Wheaton College, lecturing about her brand new book, Mrs. Oswald Chambers. (Can you imagine packing to go on a trip when you are evacuated from your home?) Janet got the go ahead to return home just about 48 hours ago. She’s spending the weekend cleaning out the fridge and the freezer and all the fun things you do when you’ve been out of power. The Books & Such office should be up and playing catch-up next week. We love our clients who have been so patient and supportive. We are thanking God for preserving these homes and lives and we are praying for so many friends and neighbors who lost everything. We thank our blog community for your prayers on our behalf

Okay. Here goes. It’s author bio time!

Bragging rights. How many of you cringe when forced to brag about yourself? Count me in your number. There’s something about tooting your own horn that makes the music sound a bit flat, isn’t there? And where else is the requirement to do just that more obvious than in writing your author bio?

If you’re a new author, you may not have written your first author bio yet. Now is the time to get started. Veteran authors would do well to dust off the old bio and polish up a brand new version. In either case, you’ll find a well-written author bio is useful for agent or editor pitches and essential in completing a book proposal.

There are several types of bios. Short, long, and in between, they all serve as your calling card to anyone who might pick up your book or, if you’re unpublished, your proposal. To dash through this exercise of creating a bio is to do a great disservice to your publicity efforts. While bios come in varying lengths, the first one any author needs to craft is the brief bio.

The brief bio is–generally one or two sentences–states who you are, what you write and, if appropriate, the general area where you live. Great examples of this can be found on the backs of most books. Here’s one from my friend Rachel Hauck off the back cover of her novel, Diva NashVegas: “Rachel Hauck lives in Central Florida with her husband and ornery pets.”

Not only does this bio do the trick in a modicum of words, but it also leads to my next point which is writing in voice. What does that mean? It means that a good bio should sound like the person it is describing. Rachel writes sassy, contemporary novels.

Be careful when plotting out the information you give in your brief bio. Notice how Rachel alludes to where she’s from but doesn’t go so far as to give her specific location. If you live in a large urban area, you might be safe in stating the city where you’re located. However, a general idea of where one resides is almost always better than providing a roadmap to your door.

Think about what you write. Does your bio reflect your voice? Your turn, now. We would love to hear your one-sentence bios. 

Dead Giveaways

Wendy Lawton

Blogger: Wendy Lawton

Many a time I’ve been in on a discussion with agents or editors when they mention that something was a dead giveaway that the author was a newbie. Now there’s nothing wrong with being new to something …

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