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  1. #1
    Registered User CharlotteAshley's Avatar
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    So yah, author bios...

    I see why you were stuck, Wulfen! Biographizing (I made that up just now) sucks. I want to be concise, but it seems to lack character. :/

    ETA a slightly quirkier option:

    Charlotte Ashley collects the works ofAlexandre Dumas, and owns 19 editions of The Three Musketeers, one of which is a purse. Her family tolerates her book obsessions because they pay the bills: she is also a writer, editor andindependent bookseller in Toronto, Canada. She chronicles her literary musings at http://charlotteashley.wordpress.com.

    ***

    Charlotte Ashley is a bookseller, book collector, book historian, writer and editor. She chronicles her book obsession at her blog, Inklings. She lives with her family in Toronto, Canada.

    (Does one include blog urls in bios?)
    Last edited by CharlotteAshley; August 18th, 2013 at 09:21 AM. Reason: new version!

  2. #2
    sf-icionado / horr-orator Andrew Leon Hudson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CharlotteAshley View Post
    (Does one include blog urls in bios?)
    I think it defeats the point of mentioning your online presence at all if you don't, so try "...at her blog (Inklings.com)" for example. It would probably be better placed at the end of the paragraph rather than in the middle though.

    I think it's a functional bio, which is no bad thing. You use "book" a lot though - fine for the first line as you're doing the three-reps thing, but I'd make it "...her literary obsessions..." in the next line. The "writer and editor" bit doesn't really sync up with the three-reps, though. I'd split it out for something like this:
    Charlotte Ashley is a bookseller, book collector and book historian. [NEW LINE ABOUT BEING A WRITER TOO]. She lives with her family in Toronto, Canada, and chronicles her literary obsessions at her blog, Inklings.
    EDIT: Erm... I just searched for your blog. Charlotte, you do realise that your blog isn't really called "inklings", right?
    Last edited by Andrew Leon Hudson; August 18th, 2013 at 05:01 AM.

  3. #3
    Registered User CharlotteAshley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noumenon View Post
    EDIT: Erm... I just searched for your blog. Charlotte, you do realise that your blog isn't really called "inklings", right?
    Well, this is part of why I didn't put the url in. I'm on the verge of redesigning/rebranding/getting a proper url. :/ It is called Inklings colloquially, and that needs to go into the url soon... it just isn't yet. :/

    I like "literary obsessions" better than bookish ones... *scribbles*

  4. #4
    Registered User CharlotteAshley's Avatar
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    Okay, trying something quirkier... maybe the wrong direction, though!

  5. #5
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    Mention only those things that people wanna know about.

  6. #6
    Fulgurous Moderator KatG's Avatar
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    What is the bio being used for?

  7. #7
    Registered User CharlotteAshley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KatG View Post
    What is the bio being used for?
    Short story anthologies, right now. Should it be different for different formats? >.>

  8. #8
    Greymane Wilson Geiger's Avatar
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    Isn't it fun, Charlotte?

  9. #9
    Fulgurous Moderator KatG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CharlotteAshley View Post
    Should it be different for different formats?
    Yes. A bio in a query letter is different from an author bio for a book, a website and a bio for a magazine and anthologies. Different anthologies or magazines might require things or have restrictions. Some might take an URL in the bio, some might not want it. It's usually a good idea to have a bio format that is similar to the other authors' bios in the anthology, so for an individual anthology, you may want to wait and see and ask the editor what's being done.

    So for a general one for anthologies, you could try:

    Charlotte Ashley is a bookseller, editor and writer living in Toronto, Canada. When she is not chronicling about books (or about her literary musings,) on her blog, Inklings (URL if appropriate,) she pursues her obsession with the works of Alexandre Dumas.


    If the anthology is having funny bios for its authors, you could re-add that bit about the purse, or say something silly like "She should probably get some other hobbies." or "She is currently planning a way to take over Paris." etc. But for a straight bio, the above works well enough.

    When you are querying, however, who for/how you booksell and edit would be more specific, the book historian bit could come into play etc. And an author bio for a novel can obviously be a bit longer.

  10. #10
    Author tchrofengl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KatG View Post
    Yes. A bio in a query letter is different from an author bio for a book, a website and a bio for a magazine and anthologies. Different anthologies or magazines might require things or have restrictions. Some might take an URL in the bio, some might not want it. It's usually a good idea to have a bio format that is similar to the other authors' bios in the anthology, so for an individual anthology, you may want to wait and see and ask the editor what's being done.

    So for a general one for anthologies, you could try:

    Charlotte Ashley is a bookseller, editor and writer living in Toronto, Canada. When she is not chronicling about books (or about her literary musings,) on her blog, Inklings (URL if appropriate,) she pursues her obsession with the works of Alexandre Dumas.


    If the anthology is having funny bios for its authors, you could re-add that bit about the purse, or say something silly like "She should probably get some other hobbies." or "She is currently planning a way to take over Paris." etc. But for a straight bio, the above works well enough.

    When you are querying, however, who for/how you booksell and edit would be more specific, the book historian bit could come into play etc. And an author bio for a novel can obviously be a bit longer.
    Yep, that's a pretty good general one. Just tell people what (a) you think they should know and (b) what would draw interest to your blog/stories. Quirks of the author are a nice addition, especially when they're eyebrow-raising. (And, in her spare time, she raises chinchillas.)

  11. #11
    LaerCarroll.com
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    Shorter and MORE MEMORABLE is better.

    You especially want something that others can use to remember you and tell others about you. Bios are more used than in queries to agents or publishers, or for entry in anthologies. And you might want readers to remember them.

    I have several lengths depending on purpose. The shortest is “Aerospace Engineer turned fiction writer” where the name is explicit elsewhere or implicit. Or “Laer Carroll is a retired aerospace engineer who writes fiction full time.”

    Longer ones mention “worked at NASA and Boeing on cutting-edge civilian and military programs.” Sometimes with the appended “projects which once were science fiction” and maybe even “such as laser weapons and UAVs.”

    NO mention of writing sci-fi or fantasy. That would pigeon hole me. I have several lines of detective fiction inspired by my time in intelligence and the military police and the few glancing contacts I had with actual detectives. I also have an idea for a romance series.

    We should take writing bios as seriously as our longer works. They may be even more important in the long run.

  12. #12
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    How about making this a sticky and we could all get help/feedback on our short or long bios.

    If I may, I'd like to get some on mine at least.

    This is a direct translation from my Swedish bio so I'm interested in some feedback on the content more than the wording (although it won't hurt if it's good and working in this language as well). The second sentence is my (very short) list of works officially published so it's not really of importance to my English bio, I guess.

    "Gustaf Hagel studies English at Lund University and lives in Landskrona, Sweden, with his wife and son. He has been published in Tidningen Skriva #3, 2013, with the short story Hinspolskan and is now (in the limelight? soon available? currently ) with the Steampunk anthology from Andra Världar Förlag. When he is not writing, he tries to keep his one bonsai tree alive and has, on occasion, been early to the train."

  13. #13
    Fulgurous Moderator KatG's Avatar
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    We're trying to minimize Sticky threads, so you could just put this stuff in the Sticky Infamous Query Letter thread instead.

    Quote Originally Posted by imaster View Post
    "Gustaf Hagel studies English at Lund University and lives in Landskrona, Sweden, with his wife and son. He has been published in Tidningen Skriva #3, 2013, with the short story Hinspolskan and is now (in the limelight? soon available? currently ) with the Steampunk anthology from Andra Världar Förlag. When he is not writing, he tries to keep his one bonsai tree alive and has, on occasion, been early to the train."
    If the bio is re writing stuff, then where you live would come towards the end. Are you in undergraduate or graduate on the English at Lund? You could have it:

    Gustaf Hagel is a X student of English at Lund University. He has been published in Tidningen Skriva #3 and in the up-coming steampunk anthology (title if you have it,) from Andra Varldar Forlag. He lives in Landskrona, Sweden with his wife and son, where he tries to keep his one bonsai tree alive and has, on occasion, been early to the train.

    If you have any other jobs besides RA, etc., then you could mention them also. If you have any credits as an editor, you should mention them. If you have any non-fiction writing credits, such as journalism, essays in books, etc., you should mention them.

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