BookEnds Literary Agency Social Media and Literary Agents
BookEnds Literary Agency When to Rethink Your Dream Agent
BookEnds Literary Agency All the Ways You Can Query Agents
BookEnds Literary Agency Before You Say No, Ask Why
BookEnds Literary Agency What a Cover Says About a Book

What Agents Seek in a Bio: #QueryTip

In years past I didn’t worry so much about an author’s bio in the query. In fact, I could be quoted as saying, “don’t worry too much about the bio, it’s the blurb that really matters.” Times have changed, or at least I have changed, and the bio has become an increasingly important part of the query.

As I read through queries I find myself, more and more, looking to the bio to get a sense of the writer. A lot of this has to do with the #metoo, #diversebooks, and #ownvoices movements. For example, I am actively seeking books featuring LGBTQ and specifically transgender protagonists, characters, and storylines, but I’m also looking to #ownvoices authors for those books. That doesn’t mean I refuse to consider an author writing a manuscript that’s not #ownvoices, but it is something I want to know before even requesting material. It’s important.

For those not writing #ownvoices material, or who don’t have a #diversebooks story, never fear. That doesn’t mean I’m discounting your book, but I am also a little more curious about you than I have been in the past. If you say you’re published I need to know who you’ve been published with. If you’re writing in a genre, I’m curious to know if you’re a member of that genre’s, or any genre’s, writing organization. Are you part of a writing group? Do you have a personal connection to the story? Are you passionate about the subject you write on? What makes you the right author for what you’re writing. That’s what I want to know.

The bio doesn’t need to include every nitty-gritty detail (check out an author’s bio in her book, it’s usually chock-full of information without being overly long), but it should tell the agent a little bit about you. It should tell us a little bit about who you are.


Category: Blog



  1. Wow! The more I read these little daily snippets from Bookends, the more I wish I was “the one” for you! Here’s hoping and wishful thinking from the optimist that my next one will be “the one”! I enjoy reading Bookends posts each day.

  2. Jessica, is this something that’s come up at the agent water-cooler as happening across the board? Or just a personal thing?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.