Saturday, July 30, 2011

Bios reveal more than you think

Because my fiction reading goal for this year is to avoid novels and to read short stories only, I've been reading more short fiction than usual. Because of this concentration, I've noticed an interesting correlation between author bios and the stories they accompany.

For example, if I read the bios in an anthology and I notice that some are written in first-person and some are written in third-person, I'm reasonably confident that no professional copy editor has touched the book. (One thing a copy editor does is ensure consistency.)

In the cases where it appears no copy editor has touched an anthology, I have noticed an additional correlation: a well-written bio often accompanies a well-written story and a poorly written bio often accompanies a poorly written story.

This correlation--and it's only anecdotal evidence at this point--might make my purchasing decisions easier. After picking up an interesting anthology I might be best served by glancing at the author bios than by reading any of the fiction before making a decision to purchase or not to purchase.

After all, if the writers can't present the details of their own lives without spelling, punctuation, and grammatical errors, what's the likelihood that their fiction will be any better?

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