How to Write and Publish a Biography

How to Write and Publish a Biography

A biography is a written record of a person’s life. It can be a few lines which describe a person, or it can be an entire book. The length of the biography will determine the details you will include. Usually a biography becomes more interesting when you write on the significant events in the person’s life as opposed to common things that happen in the lives of everyone.

Since a biography involves writing about another person’s life story, the first step is to choose who you want to write a biography about. It might be that the person is a celebrity or their life has had a significant impact to society. You can also write a biography on family members who are alive or dead.

Once you have chosen the person you will write about, you need to gather as much information about them as possible. If the person is alive, you can arrange for an interview with them in addition to what you will get from other primary and secondary sources. If the person is not alive, you have to rely on sources such as local papers, magazines, books, public records offices or you can visit the local archive. For posterity purposes make sure that the dates are accurate. You owe it to your readers to deliver correct information and where you may not be sure, it does no harm to say that you are not certain.

Now you can decide which angle you want to use in writing the biography. Is it a certain part of the person’s life, say business life? However, most biographies cover the entire life of the person in question. Start with a sentence that captures interest describing where and when the person was born. Mention something about the parents and what born the person is in the family.

Talk about the major events surrounding the person’s childhood that may have shaped their character in one way or another. It is here that you get to mention the school attended by the person, their childhood friends and their siblings if they had any. Let the education bit parallel other achievements outside school because nothing happens in isolation. Talk of the first relationship they had. Did the person have ambitions and did they achieve them? Were they married or did they have a family? Finally talk about how the person died and if they left a legacy. If the person is still alive, mention where they currently live and what they do.

Once you are done with the writing, it is time to publish your work. You can decide to approach a publisher directly and hand in your manuscript, contact an agency, or self-publish. A list of agents is available in Print or online at WritersMarket.com. Here you will also find a list of publishes who can take your work without having passed through an agent. If your work is not published by a publisher, you may decide to self publish.


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