First you should recognize that you need more than one bio. I actually suggest 3:
- Super short - for twitter (160 characters)
- Medium - 500 - 600 characters
- Long - 500 - 700 words
I'll come back another day and discuss the super short and medium but for today I want you to think about your "long form". It should:
- Give the reader insight about you
- Be engaging
- Be truthful and heartfelt
- Tell a story
Blake took the "establish credibility route" - which is fine. He mentions his books, and how successful they have been - but this really doesn't "pull me in" or endear me to him as a writer. Readers like having a personal connection with people they read and Blake didn't give us enough about "him" to do this. I read an interview once where Blake mentioned that when he was young his parents were pulled in for a conference when little Blake wrote a paper for school that was "disturbing"...What a great insight!! What a fun story for someone who writes about serial killers and grisly murders. Blake, why isn't this in your bio?
BLAKE CROUCH is the author of DESERT PLACES, LOCKED DOORS, SNOWBOUND, and ABANDON, which was an IndieBound Notable Selection, all published by St. Martin's Press. Blake's latest thriller, RUN, his first indie release, hit the Amazon Top 50.
His short fiction has appeared in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, Thriller 2, Shivers VI, Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, and other anthologies.
In 2009, he co-wrote "Serial" with JA Konrath, which has been downloaded over 500,000 times and topped the Kindle bestseller list for 4 weeks. That story and ABANDON have also been optioned for film. He is currently at work with JA Konrath on the novel STIRRED, the conclusion to his Andrew Z. Thomas series. Blake lives in Colorado. His website is www.blakecrouch.com.
To illustrate the "tell me a story" aspect of the bio let's look at Michael's
I love this story about when he was a kid, not just because it is true, but it really makes me "like Mike". I can picture him typing on the page. Thinking he just did something great, and scrunching up his fact to figure out what comes next and licking his lips as he starts the next line. It's personal.
After finding a manual typewriter in the basement of a friend's house, Michael inserted a blank piece of paper and typed: It was a dark and stormy night and a shot rang out. He was just eight years old. But the desire to fill the blank page and see what doors the typewriter keys would unlock wouldn't let him go. For ten years Michael developed his craft by studying authors such as Stephen King, Ayn Rand, and John Steinbeck...just to name a few. During that time he wrote ten novels, and after finding no traction in publishing, he gave up and vowed never to write creatively again.
Michael discovered that never is a very long time, and he ended his hiatus from writing after a decade. The itch returned when he decided to create a series of books for his then thirteen-year-old daughter, who was struggling in school due to dyslexia. Intrigued by the idea of writing a series with an overarching story line, he created the Riyria Revelations. Each of the six-books were written as individual episodes but also included intertwining elements and mysteries that develop over time. Michael describes this endeavor as something he did "just for fun with no intention of publishing." After presenting the first manuscript to his daughter, he was chagrined that she declared, "I can't read it like this, can't you get it published?"
So began his second adventure on the road to publication, which included: drafting his wife to be his business manager; signing with an independent press; and later creating a small press. After two and a half years, the first five books sold more than 60,000 copies and ranked in the top twenty of multiple Amazon fantasy lists. In November 2010, he leveraged his success and received his first commercial publishing contract for three novels from Orbit Books (the fantasy imprint of Hachette Book Group, USA). In addition, Michael reached international status with foreign right translations including: France, Spain, Russia, Germany, and the Czech Republic.
Today, Michael continues to fill blank pages and has three projects under development: A modern fantasy, a literary fiction piece, and a prequel to his bestselling Riyria Revelations.
AWARDS AND ACCOLADES
2010 Fantasy Book Critic #1 Indie Fantasy (Wintertide & Emerald Storm)
2010 Iceberg Ink Award Best Read (Avempartha)
2010 Fantasy Book Critic Top 25 (Wintertide & Emerald Storm)
2010 Bookworm Blues Overall Best Reads of 2010 (Avempartha)
2010 Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Fantasy (The Emerald Storm)
2010 Fantasy Book Critic Top 12 Novels as of First Quarter (The Emerald Storm)
2010 Foreword Magazine Book of the Year Finalist (Avempartha)
2010 Foreword Magazine Book of the Year Finalist (Nyphron Rising)
2010 Fantasy Book Critic Top 5 Novels of Second Half of 2010 (Wintertide)
2009 Winner of Book Spot Central's Fantasy Tournament of Books (Avempartha)
2009 Speculative Fiction Junkie's Top 5 Close Contender(The Crown Conspiracy)
2009 Top 10 Books by Dark Wolf Fantasy Reviews (The Riyria Revelations)
2009 National Indie Book Award Finalist (The Crown Conspiracy)
2008 ReaderViews Annual Literary Award Finalist (The Crown Conspiracy)
2007 Foreword Magazine Book of the Year Finalist (The Crown Conspiracy)
BOOKS OF THE RIYRIA REVELATIONS (Ridan Publishing)
The Crown Conspiracy (October 2008)
Avempartha (April 2009)
Nyphron Rising (October 2009)
The Emerald Storm (April 2010)
Wintertide (October 2010)
Percepliquis* (January 2012)
OMNIBUS VERSIONS of RIYRIA REVELATIONS (Orbit Publishing)
Theft of Swords (11/2011)
Rise of Empire (12/2011)
Heir of Novron (1/2012)
*Limited edition release
Michael's website: http://www.michaelsullivan-author.com
Michael's blog: http://riyria.blogspot.com/
Michael's twitter: http://twitter.com/author_sullivan
Michael's publishers: http://www.ridanpublishing.com & http://www.orbitbooks.net/
The second part of the bio shows Michael as an underdog that had to go to great lengths to get his books to an audience. It concludes with him finally "making it" and we all feel good whe we see a little guy win.
Finally we round out the bio with a list of his books (in order so people know what order to read them in) and awards that he has won (to give credibility) and last but not least ways in which his fans can reach him.
This is 588 words and when I have to "reduce it for space" I remove in order:
- Awards (brings it to 430 words)
- Out of print versions (392 words)
- Reduce contact to just website and email (380 words)