Wednesday, March 13, 2019

How Much Personal Info Does a Reader Want?

I was wondering the other day - how much do you want to know about the authors you read?

Personally, I don't really want to know that much.  And I've learned from experience there are some things about a person I really don't want to know.  Keep it simple and superficial.  But I suspect I'm not a typical reader.

I guess I like knowing that Allison Brennan is about my age and that one of her girls is the same age as mine.  Or that Roxanne St. Claire's son is the Kid's age.  Or that Kristen Painter has a bunch of cats.  But if I didn't know any of that, I'd still read their books.

But sometimes I learn unpleasant things.  And I don't know about you, but for me, it ruins everything they've ever written.   (Nothing ever from the aforementioned authors.  They're all peachy in my book.)

I expect in these weird times we're living in, it's unavoidable.  Social media gives everyone way more information about a person than they've ever had access to before.

And I've seen a trend - not sure if it's new or I'm just now noticing it - of authors putting their bio info above the book info in their marketing efforts.  When I'm looking for a new book, I definitely don't want to read about the author first.  Unless it's pertinent to the book, but that's mostly pertinent to non-fiction.  Tell me about the story.  Then if I like the story premise, I'll scroll down to see what you're all about so I maybe get a heads-up about what you've written.


Here's my Amazon bio:

Minor conspiracy theorist and major hermit, slayer of fish and stacker of wood, pessimistic optimist and hopeful romantic, a veritable fount of useless knowledge, B.E. Sanderson spends her time reading, writing, gardening, and generally enjoying life with her husband and their cat.

Short.  Simple.  You want more in-depth, read this blog or follow me on FB.  (You can try friending me, but I don't accept all the friend requests on my personal page.  It's hit or miss there.)

So, tell me, how much info do you want to know about the authors you read?  If you are an author, how much information do you make public? 


  1. I've stopped reading authors who were auto-buy for me because I found their social media rants and views unacceptable. I make it a rule to very seldom discuss my politics or other controversial views. My bio is much like yours but not as interesting and I mention what I write. Authors who are friends, I know more about. Authors who I simply read, I want them to be clever and entertaining like their books. Period. If that means sharing their critters and bits of their family? Cool beans. But I don't need the grimey details.

  2. My philosophy is KISS, too. I think your bio is perfect, short and amusing.

    For instance, I'm still sad about the Lovecraft info, and I hadn't yet gotten around to reading him. Just knowing will color all of his work. But he's long dead, and from a different era. Maybe someday I'll get hold of one of his books. Modern writers are harder to... forgive isn't the right word, exactly.