A lot of aspiring authors struggle with writing the bio paragraph at the end of their query letters. Maybe 'struggle with' is too mild. Hate might be a better choice!
We worry about what to include, what to omit and how to make ourselves sound interesting. I don't think we have to worry that much.
First of all, agents are humans and when they're reading query letters, they're actually hoping to like us and our stories. They also know that most of the people who are querying them don't have publishing credentials. That's okay. Agents take on first time authors all the time. So, relax.
If you don't have any publishing credentials, it's okay to ignore that. You don't have to point it out. If the agent doesn't see credentials listed, he/she will assume you're a newbie. Again, that's okay.
If it makes you more comfortable, you can actually skip a bio completely. Agents are looking at the story. Not having a bio paragraph isn't going to turn them off. 'Thanks for your time and consideration' might be all you need.
On the other hand, we're writers. We work in words. So, why not have a sentence or two that highlights your personality - that gives the agent a glimpse of you on top of the glimpse you've given them of your book? A well worded bio might be the extra push needed to get that request.
I'm by no means an expert in this department, but I think a bio should be:
- short—no more than a sentence or two
- fun—keep it light, make the agent smile
- in your voice—sarcastic, snarky, sweet, quick witted, silly ... Go for it. Show who you are. If you're depressing and gloomy, you might want to pretend otherwise... :)
- interesting—not a list of things you've done—more a glimpse of who you are
Jemi Fraser is an aspiring author of romantic mysteries. She blogs and tweets while searching for those HEAs.