I’m at the nitty gritty part of my book release. I haven’t received the edits from the developmental editor yet. (Which in and of itself is terrifying.) Meanwhile, I’m working on my biography, acknowledgements, dedication, blurb, whatever else I’m forgetting. Each of these steps has its own angst attached. Insecurity ranks high with the author bio.
Ugh. What is a brand new fiction writer with her first book coming out supposed to say?
“Kelly has been writing since she was old enough to hold a pencil.” Nope. That’s EVERY writers truth.
“Kelly lives in a make believe world and wants you to join her delusions.” Um, no, that’s creepy.
“Kelly does NOT have an MFA in creative writing. Read this book and have fun tearing apart her sentences.” Hmm, maybe.
Time to set aside my insecurity and brag about myself. Onto the author bio, the highlight reel. I am often comforted by research.
I read this article about the vital importance of your author bio, but it’s centered on nonfiction. Of course, the bio is important for nonfiction. I’m not going to read a book about investing from the guy who sells hot dogs outside the New York Stock Exchange. Or maybe I would; that sounds kind of interesting. But I certainly would not take his investment advice. Probably.
Then again, how vital is the bio for selling fiction books? I can say I’ve NEVER read about the author as a deciding factor on whether or not to read a book that appeals to me. The cover is eye candy. I must ashamedly admit I DO judge a book by its cover; if it’s not telling of the content, I don’t pick it up. I read the blurb. Then I peruse the first few pages of the novel. If that appeals to me, the book is mine! And I will put it on my window sill and get to it when I get to it. Quit judging me.
I could write as my bio: “blah, blah, blah, you’re not reading this anyway, blah, blah, blah.” No? Sigh. Now you know why I don’t self publish. Someone has to tell me no and give me a cookie.
As for my favorite bios, they have a touch of humor giving you a glimpse into the voice you’ll experience when you read the book.
For instance, “Jody Lynn Nye lists her main career activity as ‘spoiling cats.’ When not engaged upon this worthy occupation, she writes fantasy and science fiction books and short stories.” I love this one. Short and sweet and funny. How do I do that?
My “About the Writer” page has the beginnings of a bio, but I’ve never hit that right feeling over months of tweaking. It’s more like a status update than anything else. Though it is 250 words which is the recommended length on this blog. Actually, I kind of like the guide listed there. Let’s see if I can do it.
“Kelly Lynn Colby is a professional volunteer who lives in the suburbs of Houston, Texas. She’s an active member of the Houston Writers Guild where she was honored to receive the award for Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Paranormal at the Spring 2015 conference. Tarbin’s True Heir, an epic fantasy, is her first professional publication to be released September 2017. Kelly has a BS in Biology that hangs above her desk looking important while she writes about magic and dragons.”
I can see that on the back of a book. How about you? What do you struggle with when writing your bio?