HAVE YOU WRITTEN YOUR BIO?

Since signing two new contracts, I’ve struggled to update my bio to fit the planned new publications, the publishers wishes and my own desire to say it right. In several places I’ve read that all bios published online should be the same. I can’t see a really good reason for this. I would rather learn something new about a writer with each published bio. And on top of that, I find that each publisher has different requests for what is included in your bio.

There’s usually a need for a short, medium length and longer bio, depending on where it will be published. The bio I posted on my website is much longer than one I would send a publisher. One publisher wanted less than 150 words, another three paragraphs that aren’t too long. And then there’s the need to keep it updated. One wise editor told me to use dates instead of length of years. For instance, “She has been published in newspapers since 1990,” rather than, “. . . in newspapers for 20 years.” In this way it doesn’t become dated.
Sometimes the titles of your published works are needed in a bio, at other times, only those that stand out for awards or great reviews. Oh, and you did notice that a bio is written in third person, past tense, as if you were writing about someone you know rather than about yourself.
Is what you are writing relevant to the particular publication for which you are writing it? One of my editors asked that I not refer to any books by name that were not published by her company. So you see, it’s not so simple that one can write one bio and let it stand on any site. And they need updating regularly, don’t they? Something exciting happens to you and your writing that would be a great addition, so you can add that to some of your bios, but maybe not all of them, because it might not apply.
No, I don’t agree with one size fits all when it comes to your bio, and if you think about it, I’m sure you won’t either. The more our readers can learn about their favorite writers, the happier they are, so post a different bio on your website than you post on your social networks, and make each of those different too.
The basics, of course, will be the same. Where you were born, where you live, that sort of thing. Obviously there are those who disagree with me, but that’s okay. This is my opinion and I’m sticking with it.
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About veldabrotherton

I'm primarily a writer, but I also speak and teach workshops and co-chair a large critique group. My brand is SexyDarkGritty and that applies to my western historical romances, mysteries, women's fiction and horror novels. After almost 30 years in this business, I still have something to learn and attend conferences to network with other writers, publishers, editors and agents.
This entry was posted in fiction writing, long bio, nonfiction, short bio, updating your bio, Velda Brotherton, writing your bio. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to HAVE YOU WRITTEN YOUR BIO?

  1. I always think I'm going to have an appropriate bio in my files but usually I have to sit down and doctor it up for the event or publication. It will either be outdated or need to be tweaked in someway even if it sounds like music to the ears. You might as well resign yourself to doing it fresh for anything that comes up and using the old ones for guidelines. I just keep a folder with all of them in it.

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