A commissioned biography is one of the most valuable gifts you can provide to your loved ones and one of the best investments you can make in yourself. Not only does it enable you to document your life in a compelling and visually stunning manner, it also frees you from the writing aspect itself so that you can focus on doing other things that are equally important to you.
Review the information below and when you’re ready, contact me to schedule a complimentary 20-minute consultation and receive a custom project estimate.
WHAT EXACTLY IS A BIOGRAPHY?
Ghostwritten or coauthored biographies are no longer reserved for celebrities, athletes and politicians. Individuals such as yourself also have important life experiences worthy of sharing and just like the celebrities, you don’t necessarily have the time or desire to actually write it yourself.
That’s where I come in as a commissioned biographer. I completely write your story on your behalf from start to finish and omit my name as author from the front cover (ghostwritten) or have it listed underneath your name (coauthored).
In either case, you can sit back and relax as you receive a customized, professionally written biography.
- A series of 6-12 recorded interviews These friendly and relaxed interviews last approximately 2 hours each and can be done via your preference of telephone, video messaging or in person (travel expenses are an additional fee). The interviews are then transcribed and serve as the framework of your manuscript.
- Supplemental research Your story provides a wonderful first-person account of life in the past. I will incorporate relevant social history to create a backstory in the narrative. I will also perform the necessary research to verify facts to ensure as accurate a rendering of the past as possible.
- A narrative manuscript that retains your voice and style. Each book that I write is different and customized to the client; I don’t use a cookie-cutter approach. I pull all of the transcripts and research together and write your unique story. You are then given ample opportunity to review, correct and approve the text before moving on to the editing stage.
- Photo/memorabilia selection assistance Photos and scanned images of memorabilia help to bring your story alive to your readers. The problem with photos, however, is that it can be a huge time drain. You set out to find photos to include in the manuscript and three hours later, you’ve only gone through a single shoebox and you’re stuck in memory lane. I can help you determine where photos will be an asset in the book and can even help you sort through them, keeping you on task in the process.
- Professional editing While I serve as the developmental editor and offer my professional editing skills throughout the writing process, I also follow the lead of major publishing houses, which utilize multiple editors to ensure a polished and error-free book. I recognize the fact that two sets of eyes are better than one, so I work with a highly professional freelance editor who serves as my proofreader before my clients’ biographies go to press.
- Professional cover design and interior layout Even if you don’t intend to make your book available to the mass market, you want to be sure that your finished product is something you’re proud of. After all, why invest so significantly in this project, only to have the resulting book look and feel like a shoddy afterthought? No, you deserve a professional-grade layout and cover design. I work with several highly skilled freelance graphic artists who create amazing finished books.
- Recommendations for quality printing companies Whether you want a hand-sewn book with linen cover, a genuine leather cover, a specific paper stock, or self-publishing (print-on-demand) options, I can help you find the right printer for your project. The costs of the printing and shipping of books are not included in the biography package.
I believe that your life story is worth preserving and sharing. However, I do not provide literary agent recommendations. I do not submit your manuscript to editors at publishing companies, nor can I guarantee that your book will ever become a bestseller or that you will secure movie rights for your story.
What you can expect, however, is a custom experience that results in a beautiful, engaging written legacy that will inform and inspire readers for generations.
Considering the personal nature of a biography, trust is a critical factor when determining who to hire. You need someone with whom you feel comfortable talking, who knows how to listen, and who is responsive to your input, questions and concerns.
In addition, you need someone who will respect your privacy. Interviews should remain confidential in nature until the publication of your book.
Respecting your privacy and attaining your trust are very important to me. I understand that they aren’t given freely; they need to be earned. I welcome the opportunity to get acquainted with you and determine if working together is a mutual fit. Schedule a complimentary 20-minute book consultation.
Commissioning a biographer is undeniably a significant financial investment, with projects beginning at $25,000. Because of this, you deserve to know up front what is involved in the process and what you get for your financial investment.
On average, it takes 8-16 months to complete a biography. It’s not a weekend project. But as with anything in life, you spend time and money on the things that are important to you and those you care about.
Imagine being able to spend that amount of time individually with each of your children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and other future descendants – sharing your experiences with them, helping them avoid life’s pitfalls, instilling the values that are important to you.
That is precisely what you can provide with your life story: your book becomes a timeless connection to future generations, enabling them to learn directly from you, in your words.
The value of the project – the legacy that you create – is absolutely priceless.