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View Full Version : Should I mention that I'm an indie bookseller in a bio?



frankiebrown
04-12-2013, 06:21 AM
Hey y'all :).

I'm gearing to begin my first-ever round of queries (squeeee!), and I'm wondering what the consensus is on mentioning my job in my bio. I work as a bookseller at the only independently owned bookstore in my hometown (best job ever!), like I said above.

But I'm waffling. On one hand being a bookseller makes me very "plugged in" to the publishing industry, and having access to lots of ARCs and other goodies definitely gives me a leg up as a writer. It also means I'm intimately familiar with the YA market, especially because I'm the only bookseller at the shop who reads a lot of YA (so I get all the ARCs *grubgrubgrub*).

Or should I stick with just the facts, ma'am, and skip the bio altogether?

quicklime
04-12-2013, 05:13 PM
I'm a just the facts guy myself--they want to know you can WRITE a book, not that you luvs them, or read a lot of them, or know who's pubbing now. Those things can be nice, but they're looking for a book itself.

you-think-too-much
04-12-2013, 05:18 PM
Good question. Does the book you're querying have anything to do with bookstores or books? Definitely yes, then. Otherwise, I'm not sure. It seems like that'd be useful to know. Have you ever tried #askagent on Twitter? This seems like a good question to ask there.

Good luck!

frankiebrown
04-12-2013, 06:06 PM
Hmm, no, my manuscript doesn't have anything to do with bookstores. My rational in wanting to include my job was that I'd read on a few agent blogs they like to see that the people querying them are familiar with their market. I was hoping listing my job as a bookseller would imply that... But it doesn't have anything to do with the manuscript itself, no. That twitter thing was a great suggestion, though, thanks for that.

Susan Littlefield
04-12-2013, 06:57 PM
If your book is about office politics in an independent bookstore, or some other aspect of the store, you would mention it. However, if your book has nothing to do with the bookstore, you might want to leave it out.

Phaeal
04-12-2013, 06:58 PM
I'd throw in one well-wrought line about your bookstore job. Even though it doesn't relate directly to the MS, it strongly implies useful knowledge of the bookselling trade, not to mention connections to other booksellers -- and book buyers.

Little Ming
04-12-2013, 10:02 PM
I'd probably just throw in a line or two at the end with the bio. Just don't... oversell it. ;)

Siri Kirpal
04-12-2013, 10:44 PM
Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

I don't see any harm in adding it, as long as it's not blatant.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

benbradley
04-12-2013, 11:11 PM
Hmm, no, my manuscript doesn't have anything to do with bookstores. My rational in wanting to include my job was that I'd read on a few agent blogs they like to see that the people querying them are familiar with their market. I was hoping listing my job as a bookseller would imply that... But it doesn't have anything to do with the manuscript itself, no. That twitter thing was a great suggestion, though, thanks for that.
Oh, that's disappointing (that your MS has nothing to do with books or bookselling). While looking online for books for myself about 16 years ago, I found some online bookselling forums, and got involved in the business for a while. Perhaps I should do so again, I have way too many books.

I wonder what the query letter for John Dunning's "Booked To Die" looked like.

Susan Littlefield
04-12-2013, 11:50 PM
I love my books too. I live for my books.

frankiebrown
04-12-2013, 11:52 PM
Hey, thanks for the advice everyone! Bookselling is really one of the best jobs in the world. Getting to hang out not only with books, but book people all day long is great.

MandyHubbard
04-13-2013, 12:07 AM
ABSOLUTELY include it. I'd put something like, "I live in Seattle, and when I'm not writing, I'm working at ABC BOOKS, an indepdant book store, where I have to fight the urge to spend my entire pay check on YA novels." or whatever. Be cute and fun, but I would include it! Put the bio at the end.

Medievalist
04-13-2013, 12:10 AM
Yes; mention it in a sentence pretty much like you did here, though use independent bookstore rather than indie

Jennifer_Laughran
04-13-2013, 05:08 PM
YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES.

YES.

Just as Mandy says.

YES!!!!

frankiebrown
04-13-2013, 10:51 PM
Yay! Oh, I'm so glad for the positive responses. Thank you Thank you :D