#14DayPBDay 11 – How to Write an Author’s Biography for A Picture Book Writer?

I’ve only been in the business of writing children’s books for a couple of years and yet, I couldn’t even venture a guess as to how many times I’ve been asked to supply a biography for myself. Doesn’t it make sense to get one good biography ready and store it somewhere safe? Better still–email your biography to yourself. If your computer fails [and computers have a habit of failing]. you’ll still have your biography ready to go.

Today’s Assignment is to Write, Edit, Rewrite, Polish, &  Rewrite Again
A Great Author’s Biography for Yourself.
I’ve Added My Own Biography at the End

To help you with this challenge, here is what Writer’ Digest says about writing your own author’s biography:

Writers are often advised to write bios that read like jacket copy, but catching the eye of an agent is about convincing her that you’re just as marketable as your book is. You also need to clearly show why you’re qualified to write your proposed book. In any bio, you want to focus on your job qualifications.

“Your bio should highlight any features that will hook readers’ interest,” says Katharine Sands, an agent for the Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency. “The rule of thumb is to convey in one paragraph that you can be successfully published. Of course, you want an agent to fall in love with your writing but, to an agent, your query letter is actually your interview for the job of book author.

“According to Sands, there are four pressing questions you need to ask yourself before writing your bio:

1. How have you and your work been noticed up until now?

2. What professional achievements or personal interests serve to make you, along with your project, an intriguing package?

3. Does your background show special insider knowledge that would enable you to transport your readers to an interesting world, such as backstage in Hollywood, behind the scenes with Washington power brokers or a behind-the-headlines look at your subject?

4. How is your work informed by personal experience, such as meticulous research, surviving a catastrophic event, cherished family lore or travels to exotic lands?

“If you have blurbs from published writers, literary awards and/or reviews, include them. List your participation in readings, events and book festivals to show you’re not publicity shy.

“While this sounds like a lot, most first-time novelists are lucky to have a few of these to include. If your bio is running a little thin, it’s best to leave it that way. You don’t want to include unrelated personal information, negative setbacks or rejections you’ve logged in your writing life.

“’I don’t need to know that your aunt knew Elvis or you love cats or you make great lasagna,’” Sands says. “’Agents tend to short-circuit if too much information diffuses the message that this one work could work.'”

“As an author, you must be an impassioned ambassador for your book,” Sands says. You should also consider including ways you can promote your book to readers (e.g., do you have access to mailing lists? Can you set up seminars or workshops to promote yourself?).

Brian A. Klems is the online managing editor of Writer’s Digest magazine.

Here Is Another Post That Answered Many of My Own Questions about Writing an Author’s Biography:

“What’s The Best Length For An Author Bio In A Query Letter?

You can read more of the above post at Writers Relief Here

Jacki Kellum’s Author’s Biography

A part-time day-tripper, a part-time painter, and a full-time writer, Jacki Kellum is currently creating in the beautiful Ozark Mountains.  A member of SCBWI for years, Jacki only began submitting her own picture books for publication about two years ago. Soon after that, Frances Gilbert acquired her debut picture book The Donkey’s Song for Doubleday for Young Readers. In a personal message, Frances said the following about her writing in The Donkey’s Song: “What enchanted me most was your unexpected word choice throughout. Every line felt like a surprise and a perfect little package. And tying it up so neatly yet emotionally. It’s a masterpiece, Jacki.”

The Donkey’s Song is ready for pre-order now, and its release date is September 20, 2022. Although she is also a painter, Jacki is delighted when fine illustrators, like Sydney Hanson, create the art for her books. You can read other of Random House’s comments about The Donkey’s Song on her website at https://jackikellum.com/