I recently wrapped up production on my first 'oeuvre de yum yum' and have been consuming your spoonfuls of Snarklicious consomme with a great deal of slurping and chin wiping. I also have partaken of several nuggets of lightly breaded submission guidelines from various agent websites, and here's where something got stuck between my teeth, leading me to seek the benefit of your Snisdom.
Many agents, it seems, request a brief bio as part of the query letter; and most that do specify that it should include the history of your writing wonderfulness. What if you have no such history? Is it better to not include a bio at all or should you still put a couple of sentences in telling them who you are, where you're from and that you once met the lead singer of Megadeth?
Any toothpick shaped advice you can give me would be very much appreciated. I'll set aside an escargot for KY.
KY is not sure about this escargot thing. While Miss Snark is fond of snail mail, KY's preference is to bite the snailmailman and slurp up soupcon de chat.
Alors, back to the topic du jour.
If an agent asks for a bio, what they really want to to know is stuff that will help them sell your piece de resistence. That's why they ask about writing credentials. It doesn't hurt to mention you were the lead singer of Megadeth or George Clooney's love toy, but unless it's gonna sell your book, I'm not interested. People tell me they are retired accountants, nurses, undertakers and the like. Ho hum. Now, a retired hitman, or spy..that I'd be interested in. People tell me which university they attended (the pathetic ones mention their gpa). The true straw graspers tell me they are big readers.
If you don't have stuff for a bio, it's ok to say nothing. In fact, if you're unsure whether to include a particular fact, look at ten author bios on books you love and see if something akin to it is is listed. If it is, go for it. If not, leave it off.
And for heaven's sake, if you have a website in your bio, clean it up before you start sending query letters out.