Today, I’m addressing the role of an autobiography editor in detail.
I previously blogged on this difference between a memoir editor and a biography editor and explained that a memoir encapsulates a certain time in the author’s life, while a biography chronicles an entire life.
To further clarify, an autobiography is written as a first-person account by the author, while a biography can be written by a third party or even posthumously.
These editing projects often involve much more than surveilling for correct grammar and punctuation — they may require research and developmental editing.
Autobiography Editor — Value Added
When authors compile their autobiographies, they often cover many, many decades of life experiences. Much of their journey may have occurred before the advent of the internet and extensive genealogical resources. A lot of their family history may have been passed down by word of mouth.
An autobiography editor can be hired to research, verify, and tie together loose ends that become problematic if not fact-checked. Good editors also consider the entire story arc and fill gaps in the narrative. They may spend a considerable amount of time interviewing the author to clarify timelines and historic events.
As you can see, there is much that might be missed without an extra pair of eyes. It really does make sense to invest in an experienced autobiography editor who ensures the major and minor details are not lost to time.
Collaboration: Third Parties and the Autobiography Editor
Authors and their family members are wonderful resources when it comes to unearthing old journals, diaries, documents and newspaper clippings. A biography editor may draw on these resources to add content to the manuscript. After all, certain “industry standard” word counts should be achieved in various genres, and the editor will ensure that the author’s autobiography meets this standard.
Some authors have great stories, but aren’t exactly polished writers. In these instances, they hire memoir or biography editors to write for the, and supply the material needed to compile an entire manuscript. In these instances, the ghostwriter takes on a more robust role when researching content and interviewing third parties.
Contact me for an editing or ghostwriting quote.
Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll discuss the ins and outs of your project.