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Publishing a book can feel like a monumental task, especially when you do it on your own. There’s a whole world of design choices, marketing strategies, and printing options that you need to navigate before your book finds its audience. Count on Palmetto Publishing to guide you along the way.
You’ve had a remarkable life, and you want to share your story with the world. Consider writing an autobiography if you want to inspire others with the pivotal events of your life. Texts in this genre provide readers with an intimate look at the authors’ experiences and perspectives. Many famous people create autobiographies, but regular people also write fascinating stories in this genre.
At first, publishing an autobiography may seem simple. After all, you’re writing about a deeply familiar topic: yourself. But this type of book writing has many surprising challenges. To write a compelling autobiography, you’ll need to self-reflect profoundly and choose which personal details you want to reveal. You’ll also need to publish your book and market it to appropriate audiences. The self-publishing experts at Palmetto Publishing offer a range of services to help you get your autobiography into the hands of readers.
What Is an Autobiography?
An autobiography is a self-written, nonfiction narrative that recounts the author’s development, experiences, and struggles. Most writers use the first-person perspective in autobiographies, and these stories often include very personal details about the authors’ lives.
Many significant people have produced autobiographies. Examples of notable works in this genre include:
- The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin Franklin
- Fun Home by Alison Bechdel
- I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy
- Up From Slavery by Booker T. Washington
- We Were Dreamers: An Immigrant Superhero Origin Story by Simu Liu
Bookshops and libraries often shelve autobiographies with biographies and memoirs, but these genres have key differences.
Like autobiographies, biographies comprise a nonfiction account of a real person’s life. However, the author of a biography is not the subject. For instance, a biography author might write about a celebrity or a long-dead politician. These texts have less personal bias than autobiographies, but they don’t fully capture the intricacies of another person’s life and voice.
A memoir resembles an autobiography, but these texts are distinct genres. Both types of stories retell influential moments in the author’s life. However, a memoir focuses on particular experiences or themes, while an autobiography recounts the author’s life chronologically. Autobiographies are implicitly factual, while memoirs focus on emotional truths and experiences.
Writing An Autobiography
Crafting an engaging and truthful autobiography takes effort and time. Here are a few basic steps for writing in this genre:
- Create a hook. Consider what makes your life interesting enough for strangers to want to read about it. Have you had unusual failures, successes, or struggles? These experiences serve as great content for an autobiography.
- Choose which key events you’ll include. Most people could fill several books with memories, thoughts, and hopes for the future. Your audience will want to read a coherent and relatively concise account of your life, not a detailed retelling of everything that’s ever happened to you. Outline pivotal moments that you want to include in your autobiography.
- Discuss all areas of your life.The primary purpose of an autobiography is to provide an overview of your life and the pivotal moments that helped you develop into the person you are today. Start with your childhood origin story and move forward chronologically to the present day.
- Embrace your unique voice.Since you’re telling your story in first-person, you should have an engaging writing style that lets readers understand your personality. Don’t be afraid to include anecdotes and humor.
- Have an exciting title. Many autobiographies have short, punchy titles that attract the reader’s attention.
- Strive for accuracy and fairness. Critics and readers could fact-check your autobiography after publication, so only include truthful information. Remember that the people you depict in your autobiography could read your book one day, so portray them accurately and fairly.
- Thoroughly conduct research. It may seem a bit silly to research your own life, but your memories may not be as reliable as you think, especially when retelling events from the distant past. You may find it helpful to research by interviewing family members and friends about relevant experiences and searching for old photographs, journals, social media posts, and video recordings.
These simple tips can help you start brainstorming and writing your autobiography.
Publish Your Autobiography
After you’ve written your life story, you’ll need to decide how you want to publish it. You can either secure a traditional publisher or self-publish your autobiography.
If you want to publish your autobiography traditionally, you must pitch your book to publishing houses. Many publishers don’t accept unsolicited manuscripts, so you may need to secure a literary agent first.
Prominent traditional publishers often have broad distribution channels. For example, chain bookstores frequently carry books produced by traditional publishers, making them more accessible to the general public. But traditional book publishing also has many drawbacks. You’ll only retain a small percentage of your royalty earnings, and the publishing process can take months or even years if it happens at all.
By contrast, self-publishing lets you control your earnings and autobiography completely. You can print your book quickly and order as many copies as you like. However, self-published authors typically need to take on most of the marketing work themselves, and you’ll need to invest money upfront to publish your book.
Both paths can lead to success, but one publishing avenue may be a better fit for you, depending on your goals.
Self-Publish Your Autobiography With Palmetto Publishing
Writing an autobiography offers a rewarding but challenging journey. Fortunately, you don’t need to embark on this trip alone. Palmetto Publishing is a top-tier publishing company that can help you achieve your dream of publishing your autobiography.
Our team offers a range of self-publishing services, including:
- Book Editing: Our skilled editors provide comprehensive feedback on every aspect of your autobiography, from plot to punctuation.
- Cover Design: An enticing book cover will help your autobiography stand out to potential readers. Our genre-savvy design team will work closely with you to design an effective and stylish cover.
- Book Printing: Palmetto Publishing works with the highest quality printers to transform your manuscript into a polished final product. We can also format and print your autobiography as an eBook, increasing your potential audience.
- Marketing: Our marketing team can help you share your book with the world. We create author websites, press releases, and more.
Are you ready to make your dream of publishing an autobiography a reality? Contact Palmetto Publishing today to learn more about how we can help you self-publish your book.