If you’re an aspiring autobiographer, you’re probably keen on getting your memoirs in print and contributing to your family tree or adding to the annals of local history.
There are many tools out there to help you write your life story. All you need to add is organisation, determination, and a tale to tell. The result? A beautifully bound and printed book for you and your loved ones to treasure.
Top 4 tips for writing your life story
Deciding how to start can be daunting, so here are four tips to help you:
- Decide whether to write non-fiction or fictionalise. A non-fiction approach faithfully recalls dates, facts, and memories. But you may want to play with the format a little and blur the line between fact & fiction.
- Summarise significant events to cover. Decide exactly which events you want to write about and try to summarise each one in 2-3 sentences. These will form the framework of your story.
- Use your authentic voice. Be true to yourself when writing. Use both positive and negative emotions. We all have good and bad parts to our personalities. Authenticity is key.
- Get some help. This can be trusted feedback on your drafts, or editorial and writing coaching. And of course, you will need a professional to print and bind your memoir.
Follow these guidelines, and writing your life story will be off to a good start.
The best software for writers
There are many options available to help you with organising, writing, and editing your book. A few of our favourites are:
- Loads of features, can be complex to use for beginners, great for formatting your book.
- Google Docs. Free, good for collaboration with editors, poof-readers, etc.
- A formatting and word processing tool that turns your manuscript into a document ready for printing.
- Debate rages on the usefulness of online grammar and spellcheck tools, but software like ProWritingAid or Grammarly is a relatively low-cost alternative to hiring an editor.
Printing and binding your own book
You’ve expended enormous amounts of time and effort writing your autobiography, so it’s worth getting professional help to print and bind your book.
There are many different types of bookbinding available, with the commonest method comprising individual pieces of paper glued directly onto a thicker paper binding – your basic paperback.
But many modern bookbinders provide a range of bespoke methods, turning your manuscript into a beautifully finished, personalised book – a true gift to yourself and your family.
Handmade binding fuses materials such as leather, paper, and the needle with 21st-century knowledge. This is achieved through attention to detail, a respect for the materials, and a dedication to craftsmanship.
For example, you could end up with a hard-backed book in thick, high quality paper, hand-stitched with leather covers, silver-leaf detailing, and personally chosen calligraphy. But there are so many styles and options available, a professional bookbinder will cater to your needs.
The Document Centre has experts with over 100 years of combined experience in bespoke bookbinding and printing. For expert advice on how to print and bind your autobiography, follow this link: www.document-centre.co.uk/product/bespoke-book-binding/