How to write an autobiography
Edit the book
Make sure that all facts are correct
Recheck the dates, names, descriptions of events and other things that you have included in your book to make sure that you have recorded everything correctly. Even when describing one’s own life, one should not make inaccuracies.
You can slightly distort the facts about your goals and intentions, but don’t include fictional conversations with real people in the book or describe events in a different way than it really was. Of course, you will not remember everything exactly, but you need to try to reflect the reality as close as possible to the truth.
Ask permission from the people you mention, use their names or quote. Some people will not like your desire to include them in your autobiography, and you must respect this decision. Change the names if necessary.
Editing the draft
After the first draft is ready, go on it along and across. Rearrange paragraphs, fragments and even chapters if necessary. Get rid of jargon, rephrase thoughts so that they sound easier and more interesting. Correct grammatical and spelling errors.
Show the draft to someone
Share your work with friends or buddies on the book club to get an opinion from the side. Stories that seem funny to you can be completely uninteresting from the point of view of another person. Ask a few people to share their opinions so that you can better imagine how they perceive all written others.
If several people advise you to shorten a section, think about it.
Ask people who are not your friends or relatives to evaluate your work. Close people can feel sorry for your feelings or express a biased opinion, especially if they are referred to in the book.
Hire an editor
He will bring your style to perfection and make even the most boring moments exciting. It does not matter whether you publish your book in the publishing house or you do it yourself, you should ask the editor for help, so that the book is finished.
Think of a name
It should correspond to the general tone and style of the book, as well as attract attention and sound intriguing. You should choose a short and memorable name and discard long and complex titles. You can simply name the book with your name with the prefix “My autobiography” or stop your choice on something less straightforward.
Publish your work
Engage in publication
Even if you don’t plan to sell your book to a wide range of readers, you should think about writing and publishing so that you have the opportunity to distribute the book to relatives and other people who are mentioned in the autobiography. Study the proposals on the market for design, printing and delivery and decide how to print. Many small firms offer services for printing books, and the quality of their publications is in no way inferior to the quality of a large printing house.
If you are not ready to pay for the publication, you can just refer the manuscript to the firm that prints the text on the printer and stitches the sheets.
Think about hiring a literary agent
If you want to publish a book and share it with the world, a literary agent will help you with this. Find a few agents and send them a letter with information about the book, about yourself and how you think the book should be advertised.
Start the letter with a brief description of the highlights in the book. Determine the genre of the book and explain what distinguishes it from the background of others. Explain to the agent why you consider him the right person for this job.
Send a few chapters to agents who are interested in your proposal.
Sign the contract with the agent you trust. Carefully read the contract and review the agent’s work history before signing anything.
Send a letter to the publishing house
If you don’t want to work with an agent, you should send an email to the publishers directly and see if there will be an answer. Find out what publishers are and what they are printing. Do not send the entire manuscript at once – wait for the request to send it.
Many publishers do not accept applications without agents. Send letters only to where your application will be accepted.
If the publisher decides to print your book, you will need to sign a contract and agree on the terms of editing, design, proofreading and publishing your work.
Try to publish the book electronically
This method of publication is becoming more popular. In addition, it allows you to save money on printing, shipping and other services. Find out which online publishers can print a book like yours, submit an application and go to edit and print.
Make your story bright, but omit unnecessary details. You want your autobiography to be memorable, not boring? Too detailed descriptions overload the story. Don’t describe all events that happened during the day, and list all dishes that were on the table during the party.
If you have a bad handwriting or you just can not put the thoughts together, you can hire a personal biographer or a historian. Many celebrities do so. Also there are programs that allow you to enter your text into the template on the computer, and this solves the handwriting problem. Some people use online templates.
Your biography may include introduction, a preface, statistical data, a chronological event table, a family tree and an epilogue.
If the purpose of writing an autobiography is to send your story to descendants, consider including memorabilia (photographs, relics, medals, important gifts, letters) and design it as an album. Of course, not all things can be copied and included in the autobiography, so you will have to decide for yourself what to do with medals and other bulky relics.