Wednesday, June 2, 2010

It's Writer's Wednesday

I've had several questions recently about query letters and what type of biographical information to include.

Bios vary depending on the type of project you are submitting. The first thing a publisher wants to know is if you have publishing credits. Ideally, you've had successful sales of a work similar to the one you're submitting. Even if that is not the case...say you've been published in recognized periodicals and now have a book you are shopping...the fact that you've been published in another genre can work to your advantage. It tells the editor/agent that you have some experience.

If you're unpublished, perhaps you have writing or literary experience as an editor, writing instructor or English professor.

If you are writing non-fiction, you'll also need to demonstrate that your are a credible expert on the subject of your book. If you write about rocks and minerals, the fact that you're a geologist is information your publisher wants to know.

Think of your query letter as an interview and your publisher as a potential employer. Then remember that publishing is a business. What makes you marketable? Do you lecture or have some sort of name recognition or following that is large enough to account for a portion of the reading audience.

If this doesn't apply, don't worry. Ultimately, it's all about the writing.

For more on this topic read: How to Write a Successful Query by Moira Allen.

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