Bio request for full

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Raphee

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On my query, I have recieved a request from an agent that I should send a full; plus a two page syn with my bio.
I have no writing credits worth mentioning, so what should a bio constitute, my name, address, education and occupation. Please advise.
 

Scrawler

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Dick King-Smith, author of "Babe" has a nice bio:

[FONT=verdana, arial, helvetica][FONT=verdana, arial, helvetica]Dick King-Smith was born and raised in Gloucestershire, England, surrounded by pet animals. After twenty years as a farmer, he turned to teaching and then to writing children's books. [/FONT][/FONT]
[FONT=verdana, arial, helvetica][FONT=verdana, arial, helvetica][/FONT][/FONT]
[FONT=verdana, arial, helvetica][FONT=verdana, arial, helvetica] Dick writes mostly about animals: farmyard fantasy, as he likes to call it, often about pigs, his special favorites. He enjoys writing for children, meeting the children who read his books, and knowing that they get enjoyment from what he does. [/FONT][/FONT]
[FONT=verdana, arial, helvetica][FONT=verdana, arial, helvetica][/FONT][/FONT]
[FONT=verdana, arial, helvetica][FONT=verdana, arial, helvetica] Among his well-loved books is Babe, The Gallant Pig, which was recently made into a major motion picture, and was nominated for an Academy Award. *[/FONT][/FONT]
[FONT=verdana, arial, helvetica][FONT=verdana, arial, helvetica][/FONT][/FONT]
[FONT=verdana, arial, helvetica][FONT=verdana, arial, helvetica] Dick currently lives with his wife in a small 17th-century cottage, about three miles from the house where he was born.[/FONT][/FONT]
*Aside from that part, the rest very little to do with writing. Try something like that, perhaps related to your book's genre or theme.
 

Birol

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That's a good question right now.
Born too late to take part in the free love movement, Raphee has been on the move ever since. He is never afraid to fail, having had much practice doing so.Whenever the travel bug is in remission, he enjoys hanging out with his buds, provided there's not a good book lying around.


One thing the agent may be looking for in a bio is, who is your platform? Who could you sell this book to or how your background could help sell it if it was published.
 

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I had no writing credits when I had to write a bio for the back of my book. *scary moment* So I did what Birol suggested - looked at my experience and history for things relevant to my novel and its genre. Agents expect many writers to not have credits; they want to know about you, because they're the ones who may offer to represent you.
 

maestrowork

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I was lucky I got a couple of writing credits before I ever had to write a bio. If not, you should focus on the experience that is pertinent to your ms. (say, your write legal thriller and you're an attorney). Also, sometimes they're looking for personality or something unique about you, say if you were a Miss America who now works for blind children.

Don't include your address or contact info. That stuff goes on the title page of your ms.
 

Gillhoughly

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Read the bios on book flaps. Read until patterns emerge. Your eyes start to glaze over on certain ones.

LESS is more until you get really famous, and then it less is much more.

There's a mini-diva in one of my writer groups who's got some small press credits. She lists every single title on top of a long, boring bio. No one cares. It's not like she discovered a cure for anything. She truly is a dull person, just hasn't figured it out yet.

Three lines, 50-75 words covers it for most and include a website address if you have one.

On the website you can cut loose with more detail and pictures, preferably with links to places where people can buy your books.
 

colealpaugh

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Birol

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That's a good question right now.
Read the bios on book flaps. Read until patterns emerge. Your eyes start to glaze over on certain ones.

LESS is more until you get really famous, and then it less is much more.

There's a mini-diva in one of my writer groups who's got some small press credits. She lists every single title on top of a long, boring bio. No one cares. It's not like she discovered a cure for anything. She truly is a dull person, just hasn't figured it out yet.

Three lines, 50-75 words covers it for most and include a website address if you have one.

On the website you can cut loose with more detail and pictures, preferably with links to places where people can buy your books.

I received a cover letter once that went on in detail about every single publication or reading or anything related to writing the author had done. Gah. I think the cover letter was nearly as long as the short story submission.

Definitely an example of what not to do.
 

Glenakin

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On my query, I have recieved a request from an agent that I should send a full; plus a two page syn with my bio.
I have no writing credits worth mentioning, so what should a bio constitute, my name, address, education and occupation. Please advise.
2 pages? Does he/she like you? 'Cos that's a lot of pages.

Read author bios and yeah try to pull something interesting out of your experience. Though I'm not going to say "pull something that is relevant to your MS". Not all writers write about stuff that they've experienced. Sometimes you read something, find it interesting, it gives you an idea, you research and you write. You could be a farmer and you write about national security lol

Just don't be wordy in your bio. Congratulations and good luck, mate.
 
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Raphee

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Born too late to take part in the free love movement, Raphee has been on the move ever since. He is never afraid to fail, having had much practice doing so.Whenever the travel bug is in remission, he enjoys hanging out with his buds, provided there's not a good book lying around.


One thing the agent may be looking for in a bio is, who is your platform? Who could you sell this book to or how your background could help sell it if it was published.
Birol ,
Thanks for this gem. And it brought a smile, because you are close to the real me.
But, are you serious? I thought this had to be hard core info about who I am like the example in the first reply.
 

Raphee

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2 pages? Does he/she like you? 'Cos that's a lot of pages.

Though I'm not going to say "pull something that is relevant to your MS". Not all writers write about stuff that they've experienced.
Just don't be wordy in your bio. Congratulations and good luck, mate.
Glenakin,

Thanks. I dont know if she likes me. I did get an immediate response to the query and sample pages for the full.
Frankly, I don't even know that 2 pages is a lot of pages. I am assuming this is going to be double spaced--Right? I have just written off to the agent requesting clarification on this, as she otherwise gave me a detailed instruction of her requirements.
 

Raphee

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Everyone,

Thanks for the input. Just a word here, my book has little to do with my life experiences. It was born of an idea that took the shape of a story.

Keeping that in mind, would anyone want to advice some more.
Thanks to all, who have responded above.
 

Glenakin

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Glenakin,

Thanks. I dont know if she likes me. I did get an immediate response to the query and sample pages for the full.
Frankly, I don't even know that 2 pages is a lot of pages. I am assuming this is going to be double spaced--Right? I have just written off to the agent requesting clarification on this, as she otherwise gave me a detailed instruction of her requirements.
So long as you work with her though, I think you'll be fine. She's your agent. She wants your book. It's her job to teach you stuff like this. So, just do what you think is right, give it to her, and let her know you're willing to change whatever it is she wants you to change.
 

Raphee

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Glenakin, Thanks. I guess it is time to go ahead and send the bio/synopsis.
 

Birol

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That's a good question right now.
2 pages? Does he/she like you? 'Cos that's a lot of pages.

Read author bios and yeah try to pull something interesting out of your experience. Though I'm not going to say "pull something that is relevant to your MS". Not all writers write about stuff that they've experienced. Sometimes you read something, find it interesting, it gives you an idea, you research and you write. You could be a farmer and you write about national security lol

Just don't be wordy in your bio. Congratulations and good luck, mate.

You could use a bio like I wrote in some instances. In this case, the agent is probably looking for information to support that you have a platform, which would not be the bio I wrote.
 

colealpaugh

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Before having "made it" in any particular field---including writing---it seems people scrape up any possible obscure, remotely tangible credits; after making it, a great calm settles and the person's bio refers to years of pet grooming and door to door vacuum sales.


A fairly recent bio of one of my favorite writers, Chris Moore:

"Before publishing his first novel, Practical Demonkeeping in 1992, he worked as a roofer, a grocery clerk, a hotel night auditor, and insurance broker, a waiter, a photographer, and a rock and roll DJ. Chris has drawn on all of these work experiences to create the characters in his books."
 

Gillhoughly

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Chris did it in 50 words, too. He's got plenty of room left to mention his website! ;)

When I did my first bio I just mentioned where I lived, that I was owned by a couple dogs, and was busy writing more books. I'd worked at a number of jobs, too, but they weren't related in any way to my book, so they needed no mention.

Most editors prefer a short bio that can fit on a book flap. The longer the bio, the less space available to tell browsers about the book.

An agent may want a more detailed bio for the writer of a non-fiction work to use it to sell to an editor. "Yes, the book is about the ___ crisis of 19__. The writer lived in that city and saw everything firsthand. She was part of the evaluation team that went in and got to see all the dirt that didn't make it to CNN."
 

HorsebackWriter

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Congratulations, Raphee!

I don't know enough to add anything advice-wise, but thank you for posting this thread. I've learned a lot just reading it.

Good luck! Please keep us posted. : )

Em
 

Raphee

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Thanks HorseBackWriter. I'll definitely let you know if something happens. Hell, I'll tell the whole neighborhood. :)

I've sent off a Bio of 80 words, keeping in mind GillHoughly's advise on the upper limit of 75 words.
 
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