Literary Group

Finding and representing the next generation of authors

The Rebecca Pratt

Writing Your Brief Biography

Temporarily closed to queries/submissions

You have the final decision as to what goes into your biography.  But as you write it we ask that you keep several things in mind.

Keep in mind the reason this page exists.  We are presenting a package that we hope will sell your manuscript to a publisher.  Here is how we expect it will work:

First, a publisher's representative either visits our Manuscripts page or your agent contacts an editor who may be interested in your work.  In the process they read the logline that you have developed.  At the same time the editor sees the genre of the manuscript and the size of your manuscript.

The editor can then look at the synopsis.  At that point they are either pretty much hooked or have decided that--for whatever reason--it is not what they are currently looking for.  The next step is to contact your agent and begin a personal dialog--but first they have the opportunity to learn a little bit about you.  To do that they click on your brief bio.

What do you want the editor to see there?

Publishers like writers who can show knowledge or skills that relate to the subject of the manuscript.  They most certainly want to know if you have been published before, where, when and by whom, and publication includes newspapers, magazines, even academic writings but only if it relates directly to the manuscript.

Mention your academic or technical accomplishments, especially if they provided you with knowledge that helped you to write the book.

If you have written a non-fiction manuscript, publishers will want to know what authority you have to write this book.  If it is a book on law you almost must be a lawyer.  A biography will require you to explain your access to the individual or your research methods but they need not be part of your biography.

Certainly, if you have writing awards you will want to mention them.  If you have an Oscar, mention it because it will improve your sales potential.  However, the Father of the Year Award your kids gave you or the Best Behaved Dog award from the local Petlovers Club are probably not germaine.  Enjoy them but don't add them to your bio.

Write in third person, not first.

We encourage you to make your bio no more than two paragraphs of no more than five sentences per paragraph.  But we will not hold you to that.  Working with your agent, craft a bio and send it to the webmaster (with a courtesy copy to your agent) as soon as possible.

You can also include a photo (in gif, jpeg or tiff format) but it is by no means required.  Entirely your choice.

At this point we have enough from you to get started selling your manuscript.  Now your agent will start working with you on the things that will be need to provide to an interested publisher.  We will start with a short synopsis and then move on to a long synopsis.

We will cover the short synopsis first, on the next page.

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