Master Wings Publishing’s Tips on How to Write and Publish a Biography

A good biography is a wildly different animal than a good fictional tale, but it’s also more than page after page of facts. If you’re in the process of writing a biography about a notable person, we can give you the standard advice: maintain a strong timeline as a backbone reference, track your sources throughout, and perform meticulous research on significant events as well as the buildup to these events. But we can also give you the insider tips that elevate biography authors to the next level, potentially securing publishing deals and critical acclaim. Here are essential how to successfully write and publish a biography.

  • Why are you writing this biography?
    Reflect on the significance of the person’s life. Consider why others would care about this person and what larger narrative or theme you aim to convey. Reflect on your motivation and goals for undertaking this project. Identify universal themes and insights that make your work meaningful and impactful.
  • Who is your audience?
    Determine whether your target audience is academic or general. Understanding your audience will guide your writing style and help you pitch your project to the right people, enhancing its potential success.
  • What new insights are you bringing?
    Whether the biography is about a famous or unknown individual, consider how your perspective adds value. Keep an open mind, adapt as you research, and be willing to refocus your narrative as new information emerges.
  • How much speculation and bias are present?
    Acknowledge the limits of your knowledge and the biases in your sources. Being upfront about your limitations or the limitations of the available research builds trust with your audience and fosters credibility. This approach can also promote critical thinking and open doors to further collaboration and engagement on the topic.
  • How do sections interact with the whole?
    Ensure that each part of your book contributes to a cohesive narrative. Balance a solid thematic narrative with facts and valued-added information, and of course, include an index.
  • What other media can you incorporate?
    Incorporate visuals, historical letters, and other media to enrich the reader’s experience. These elements provide additional context and emotional depth that words alone may not convey.
  • What questions are you leaving with the reader?
    Even comprehensive biographies have limitations in scope. Acknowledging room for expansion and growth goes a long way in establishing trust and sparking excitement.

Answer these questions throughout your writing process to enhance your biography’s impact. Thoughtful consideration and execution are key to creating a compelling and successful biography.

Check out Master Wings’ latest biography, Politics, Partnerships, & Power: The Lives of Ralph E. & Marguerite Stitt Church, for inspiration. If you’re working on a biography, let us know via our submission section.



Master Wings Publishing's Tips on How to Write and Publish a Biography