Author Bios, No Credits

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  • #201736
    macaroni_thief
    Participant
    • Topics - 15
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    Yeah, author bios are something that make me cringe every time I have to use one in submissions. The more I submit, the more I have to use them, and change them, and the more I cringe. Not because I think there’s something inherently uninteresting about me, it’s just that I don’t see how to connect those things to writing fiction, or more specifically my own fiction (or the piece I’m submitting). It seems like a bio is kinda’ like a resume, or CV with a splash of personality.

    I’ve read a bunch of “how-to” articles in dealing with the bio, but what I’ve gathered is that people are looking for the credits. Or if you’re researching nanotechnology and you happen to write about nanobots taking over the universe, then mention that. Trouble is, I’m not.

    Another problem is, I don’t have any credits yet. Which is more obvious when I’m writing cover letters than anything. So, if you’re not saying “has been published in Big Pro Magazine, Mid Level Magazine, and Niche Interest Anthology,” then what do you write?

    Should this bio/writing resume reflect your fiction-voice and style? Should you have multiple bios for different genres? Currently, I have different ones for horror/dark fantasy then I do more traditional SF, and yet others for lighter fiction, and literary-ish bits.

    So, how did you decide what to add and what to leave out?

    #233680
    MarFisk
    Moderator
    • Topics - 572
    • Replies - 15,628

    The add and leave out is based on the length requirement. You try to be interesting, and that doesn’t have to mean factual as long as it’s clear it’s tongue in cheek.

    Honestly, I hate bios which is why I have a couple I’ve come to terms with and just use across the board, but then I’ll hit something where it doesn’t work.

    Maybe not what you were looking for, but the answer is there is no simple answer. Just do your best to sound interesting and not a complete nutcase. Sorry for the late reply. It’s been a wild couple of months.

    She remakes mechanical devices, and he dreams of becoming a steamship captain in The Steamship Chronicles. Book 1 is free in eBook.
    https://margaretmcgaffeyfisk.com/the-steamship-chronicles/

    #234584
    macaroni_thief
    Participant
    • Topics - 15
    • Replies - 493

    No worries on the late reply. I wasn’t sure how other people handled the bio thing, or if there was an easier way of dealing with it as it’s kind of a marketing thing.

    Mostly I’ve been trying to keep them very short, and inject a bit of dork humor.

    #234777
    MarFisk
    Moderator
    • Topics - 572
    • Replies - 15,628

    Sounds right about perfect :). Mine have become a bit boring I’m afraid. They were more interesting when I brought in the feral cats, but…

    She remakes mechanical devices, and he dreams of becoming a steamship captain in The Steamship Chronicles. Book 1 is free in eBook.
    https://margaretmcgaffeyfisk.com/the-steamship-chronicles/

    #233681
    ConnieCockrell
    Participant
    • Topics - 90
    • Replies - 946

    I read it should be more about your writing creds than that you have a family or lived in Elsewhere Land. On the other end, they want something a bit quirky, I think. I don’t know. I tend to keep to the factual and leave quirky out of it. I expect we all flounder a bit here.

    #233682
    Candy_Lips
    Participant
    • Topics - 16
    • Replies - 161

    When I actually do a bio, depending on where it’s for, I tend to keep it short, simple and about the writing. But on most profiles that I have, I tend to admit to being a heavy reader and having discovered a love of writing when I was sort of young before finding my true passion with horror-mysteries.

    It’s all about what’s being asked for, what they’re looking for and the such.

    #233683
    ErinMH
    Moderator
    • Topics - 405
    • Replies - 10,885

    It’s funny — until the most recent bio I was asked for (for The Mammoth Book of Dieselpunk), I never included my family. This time, I added that I live with my husband, two kids, and dog. Why? Because I include links to my blog and my Twitter in my bio, and in both, I talk about my family a fair bit. I figure readers should know what they’re getting into.

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