The Last Paragraph of your Query Letter: the Author Bio

This is the section (one paragraph ONLY!) where you tell the agent a little bit about yourself. And by “yourself” I mean any publishing credits you have, your writing background, any platform you might have, etc. Most new authors don’t have any publishing credits, so it can be hard to know what to put here. Do include the following:

  • Any writing education you have (i.e. a bachelor’s degree in creative writing, an MFA, any classes taken with prestigious authors or writing instructors, etc.)
  • If you have a mentor, particularly if that mentor is a published author or professor
  • If you work with a critique group, and if so, for how long
  • If this isn’t your first novel, say so. Agent’s actually like to know you have other projects finished and tucked away.
  • If someone referred you
  • If the agent requested pages or a full of your last manuscript
  • How long you’ve been writing seriously
  • Anything that might make you an expert on the subject you’re writing about (i.e. if you’ve written a medical thriller and you’re a doctor)
  • If you have a following through a blog or twitter (Only include this if you post regularly. Agents like to see that you can make a schedule and stick to it.)
  • Include if you’re a member of a professional writing organization such as RWA or SCBWI

Don’t:

  • Lie or stretch the truth
  • Say it is your dream to be a writer (If you’re bothering to send in a query, they know it’s your dream.)
  • Don’t say you’ve been writing since you were a child.
  • Don’t list self-published projects unless you’ve had large sales
  • Don’t include unrelated publishing credits unless they are very prestigious
  • Don’t include any personal information unless it is pertinent to your book
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One thought on “The Last Paragraph of your Query Letter: the Author Bio

  1. I’m surprised to see its okay to mention a blog in query letter. I’ve asked about this on several sites and the answer always comes back as a “no.” I do have a healthy following and I do update on a regular basis, so it would be nice for all the hard work to mean something!

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