Friday, June 29, 2012

Bio flap

I've been working on my bio to go on the flap of my picture book coming out next year, PENGUIN CHA-CHA. 

Do you read author and illustrator bios on books? I sure do. I especially love to see where the author and illustrator live. I don't know why that's so interesting to me. Maybe because I plan children's book conferences and if someone happens to live near here, I go, "Ooooo... I should totally keep them in mind to speak at an event." 

Bios on book flaps are usually short - most seem to be 3 to 6 sentences plus websites - but I find them hard to write. I've been reading dozens of them this past week to see what works best and what is the most important info to list. Here's what I've found: 
1. First, I want to relate my flap bio to the story somehow. Say something witty about why I wrote the book or how I'm connected to the characters or theme of the story. 
2. Then I want to share a bit about my other books. 
3. Optional pieces of my bio might include my education (does anyone care?) and my leadership role in SCBWI. 
4. Then finish up my bio with where I grew up and where I currently live with my family and my room full of hippos, monkeys, and sneaky penguins. 

I like to see a photo of the author and illustrator on the bio flap; it helps me feel like I know them. I especially like it when the photo relates to the story. In BIG SISTER, LITTLE SISTER, the author/illustrator, LeUyen Pham, shows us a photo of herself with her big sister when they were kids. I guess that means I should include a photo or illustration of me dancing or playing with penguins or dancing with penguins. Oh, that'd be fun.


k.h.whitaker said...

a photo with penguins would be adorable and very cool ;)

Christina Forshay said...

you could do something like mary poppins--a photo of the real you dancing with an illustrated penguin!

Kristi Valiant said...

Something I'd like to do when the book is published, is to have a giveaway in which to enter, you must download an illustration of my dancing penguins and then draw or photoshop yourself into the illustration. I'll post all the entries. Therefore, as Christina suggested, it would be super fun to have myself photoshopped into an illustration with dancing penguins for my bio flap! Thanks, Christina! I hadn't thought of the Mary Poppins connection - that's funny.