Details for Your Author Bio

  • By: Jessica Faust | Date: Jan 23 2020

There is no question that every query letter includes an author bio. The question is what should the author bio say.

Obviously your bio has any detailed writing experience, including professional writing groups you belong to and classes you have taken. But, there are a lot of other details related to your book that a bio can include.

From an agent’s perspective, as someone who hasn’t yet published a book, is it okay for me to mention my education in the section of my query letter that details my writing background? (example: food plays a big role in my current manuscript and I hold a cooking degree as well as a creative writing degree) Or is it better to just leave that part blank and not say anything at all? 

–From Questions for an Agent

If your book is heavily centered around food, absolutely include your background in food. The same goes for dentists writing about a forensic dental expert or literary agents writing about publishing.

A strong author bio doesn’t just show your writing experience, it also highlights your connection to the book and the protagonist.

For more information, check out this video on our YouTube channel:

4 responses to “Details for Your Author Bio”

  1. Avatar Mary Shannon says:

    Shifting genres: my completed manuscript is a memoir, but my platform is weak. I have decided to recategorize it as first person fiction, and thus have rewritten my query.

    Can I re-query those agents who’ve already passed, who accept both fiction and memoir, to see if this genre would be a better sell?

  2. Avatar AJ Blythe says:

    And for those who don’t have a degree in creative writing, don’t panic. Remember it all boils down to your writing and story. It’s okay to have a writing bio that is simple. And (correct me if I am wrong, Jessica) remember that for contests, unless you won, and it was a professional contest, also don’t include.

    The issue with a long bio as well, is that it takes words away from your blurb. And that is the most important part of your query.