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Writing Your Query Letter – Your Bio Part 2

Welcome back. Now you know what to include in your Bio but what about what you should never say? Let’s see:

What Not To Include

Never say that your work is copyrighted. All written work is copyrighted and saying so makes you look like nothing more than an amateur.

Never say your work is edited – that should go without saying and it's another thing that makes you look like an amateur.

Never say how long you took to write the book – agents don’t care about that sort of thing, not at this stage.

Never mention any self-published works that didn’t succeed – if you are pitching the second part of a series and the first book has already been released, you need to say so but if this new book has no connection to any other previously published works that showed poor sales, don’t mention them – it will only hurt you.

Never mention movie adaptations of your book – and certainly never say that you should be the one to play yourself!
Never mention a website or blog you have – unless they are massive and hugely successful, neither of these are of any importance to an agent. If you want, you can add the name of your website or blog underneath your email signature and the agent can choose whether to look at it or not.

Never say that this is your first novel – agents don’t care.

Never say how old you are – it is irrelevant.

Never say that you are part of a small writers organization – only ever mention large well-known organizations you belong to.

Never say that your best friend/brother/sister loved your book – their opinions mean nothing to an agent.

Never say that a voice in your head told you to write the book – you definitely won't get the kind of attention you seek.

Never list your favorite authors – agents will not thank you for it.

Never say how many drafts it took to get it right – again, irrelevant, agents don’t care.

Never talk about your hobbies or personal life – if an agent decides to take you on they may get into more personal areas with you but at this stage, they are not interested.

Never mention that your book got rejected by other agents first – that doesn’t look good on you and the agent may not bother with it.

Don’t say that your fiction book is partially based on your own life – it may not be considered fiction and may be rejected out of hand.

Don’t say that, because you have kids, you are qualified to write kids’ books – nothing qualifies anyone to write any kind of book unless it is a non-fiction book and you are considered an expert.

Don’t talk about pen names -  that will be addressed later down the line – your book has to be accepted first!

Ready to write your query letter? Read these lists thoroughly and, if you have already written a draft of your letter, go through it again and strike out anything that shouldn’t be in there. Remember, for a fiction writer, the Bio doesn’t have to be a long one.

Written by Readers’ Favorite Reviewer Anne-Marie Reynolds