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  1. Adam Bolander

    Adam Bolander Active Member

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    Fake author bio?

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Adam Bolander, Jun 17, 2020.

    I decided a while ago that I want to use a pen name if I ever get published. Today I thought, hey, if I'm going to pretend to be someone else, why not have some fun with it? So here's a quick author bio, like which might be put at the back of a book, that I wrote up. What do you think?

    "Adopted and raised by a tribe of werellamas deep in the jungles of Wisconsin, Jonathon Frost never knew another human being until he was accepted into the Miskatonic University in Arkham, Massachusetts. He originally intended to unlock the mysteries of the universe, free the Old Gods from their interdimensional prisons, and conquer the world. Luckily, his studies were brought to an untimely end when a wayward glance at Cthulhu melted his brain. Jonathon spent the next thirteen years piecing his sanity back together, but when he finally attempted to rejoin the world...he found that he could only communicate in ridiculous made up stories. Now he lives on the moon, venturing down to earth once a year to leave books in the stockings of good little flibberty flobbin doopty wallawalla bzzzzzzt."
     
  2. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    I think you still want to be processional. If I read the bio you made off, I would most likely not be interested in reading your book. Sorry. Using a pen name is one thing. Making a joke of it is another.
     
  3. Steve Rivers

    Steve Rivers Senior Member

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    If i ever made a fake author up I'd call him Writer McWriteyface
     
  4. J.T. Woody

    J.T. Woody Slipping away across the universe Contributor

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    I found the first book in the Daughter of Destiny series at a use book sale when I was in middle school and read the entire series. It's by "Jenna Solitaire" who is the main character of the series. She travels the world with a young priest named Simon finding magical artifacts and keeping them away from the bad guys, but only she can use the artifacts.

    this is "her" bio thats in the back of the books:

    Jenna Solitaire was raised in Ohio, and now lives the life of a vagabond, searching the world for the next Board. When she was nineteen, she learned that she was the Keeper of the Boards, and her life has been filled with magic and mayhem ever since. With Simon Monk, she continues to travel the world and learn about the Boards of Babylon. She believes that sharing her story with others is important and plans on continuing to do so for as long as she can.

    The author's name is obviously a pen name and the bio is also obviously a fake one. So i'd say yeah, if it fits your fancy, do both :bigwink:
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2020
  5. Cephus

    Cephus Senior Member

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    It's one thing to have a pseudonym, I use one my self, it's another to make a joke out of it. If you want to make up an author bio, go for it. Just make it believable or don't include one at all. There's nothing requiring you to. You only have to supply the information you're willing to make public, whether it's real or not.
     
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  6. Adam Bolander

    Adam Bolander Active Member

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    What if I told you that I'm writing kids and young adult books? They probably wouldn't care about who I really am anyway, so at least they might get a giggle out of this.
     
  7. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    I worked for a place where a story that had made it to the final round of consideration was rejected mainly because the author submitted using a pen name that was a joke and included a bio that was even more of a joke. Sure, those things could have been changed if the author had agreed, but the professionalism wasn't there and there were plenty of other good stories where it was there. The editorial team decided to pass on this one and go with other works where the writers were taking it seriously.

    That's not to say you can't have some fun with a pen name or a bio. If you look at the bios in a place like The Sun Magazine. Their bios are quite playful and less stuffy than similar publications. But they still publish serious and many well-known writers. And none of their bios are off-the-wall ridiculous. Don't let your lack of taking things seriously be the reason why your work was rejected. In the example I gave, the writer was not told why his work was rejected. He was just sent a form rejection and probably never knew how close he came.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2020
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  8. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin We may just go where no-one's been.... Contributor

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    And there was the Million Tiny Pieces guy who was excoriated for lying about everything. Of course, he was actually misrepresenting himself in a memoir style book, IIRC.

    Different scenario, I know, but it was the first thing I thought of.
     
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  9. jannert

    jannert Who? Whooo? Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Judging from what I've already read of your 'stuff,' I'd say that bio you concocted would work a treat. It's obviously a joke bio, but it fits the style of your writing really well.

    Obviously if you're seeking traditional publication via an agent this approach probably won't work—at least not when you approach the agent. But if you're self-pubbing, why not? You're writing offbeat humour, so this fits. I wouldn't do a serious story and attempt to sell it with a bio like that. But in your case, if somebody reads an offbeat author bio that is obviously a joke, they will expect joke writing from the author. Which is what they'll get.

    Take a look at how Terry Pratchett presented himself. Or the comedy writer David Thorne. I'm sure there are others.
     
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  10. Naomasa298

    Naomasa298 Senior Member

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    I love Japanese pen names. Because of how the language works, many of them look real but are jokes in themselves.

    I remember one author who called herself "Ikeno Koi" - "ike no koi" means "carp in a pond".
     
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  11. Justin Attas

    Justin Attas Active Member

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    I think this vastly depends on which kind of bio you mean: the kind that goes in the back of a book set to be published, or one that's going to agents/publishers. If it's the former, go ahead and get as silly as you want (though you do run the risk of future agents/publishers being weirded off by this). If you're sending this bio out to other professionals... I wouldn't. It'll stick out, sure, but agents and publishers are so obsessed with what's marketable and stable, and this kind of persona doesn't exactly project that.
     
  12. Thorn Cylenchar

    Thorn Cylenchar Senior Member

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    I had read a book by a romance author set in the 1800's where the bio was along the lines of 'Author was decanted from cryo tube in the Australian outback in 19XX. Their arrival was met with cries of 'kill it!' and 'There it goes, behind the chair!'.

    Especially if self published I don't see a reason not to have fun with it, just like when it listing where author is from, make it ridiculous: XX city, XX county, XX state, Country, Continent, Hemisphere, Earth, 3rd Planet, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy, Universe #15.
     
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  13. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin We may just go where no-one's been.... Contributor

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    I think this is one of those things that kind of depend on who you are. There's a great scene in Bull Durham where Kevin Costner is lightly chastising Tim Robbins for the fungus on his shower shoes. He says something like:

    "If you win 20 in the Show, you can let the fungus grow back on your shower shoes and the press will think you're colorful. Until you win 20 in the Show however, it means you're a slob."

    But if you're self-pubbing, nobody will give a shit.
     
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  14. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Benevolent Ochlocrat Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I love Cthulhu mythos as much as anyone, but it's very much the rage now and you "bio" strikes me as rather...Hot Topic.
     
  15. tandem1

    tandem1 New Member

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    I would probably do the same and publish a book as a "fake author" - but it also really depends on where you publish your book. As deadrats has already mentioned, it has to be authentic and not something funny or whatever. An author having an interesting background, definitely makes me feel like buying a book than a book by somebody that appears boring. Also in terms of marketing, a good name sells better, in my opinion. It has to be a catchy name and a unique name.
     
  16. tandem1

    tandem1 New Member

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    but this is a really interesting question!
     
  17. psychotick

    psychotick Contributor Contributor

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    Hi,

    I like the idea of a fake bio - especially if it's a bit whimsical. The only thing I would say is your bio has to match your work. The bio you gave at the top is great if your work is comedic, but if your work is heavy then it would seem out of place.

    The basic purpose of a bio is to sell yourself as an author. And the reason you sell yourself as an author is to sell your work. So consider your bio as part of your marketing.

    Cheers, Greg.
     
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  18. J.T. Woody

    J.T. Woody Slipping away across the universe Contributor

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    Just came across this author bio:

    "David Gerrold is a figment of his own imagination" (Hella)
     
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  19. Room with a view

    Room with a view Member

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    I could see it working so long as it doesn't spiral out of control and dive head first into Steven Seagal territory lol
     
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