Tell me about telling a non-fiction story in book form.
December 8, 2011 1:35 PM Subscribe
I have a journalism background and an idea for a non-fiction book that is biographical in nature. This would be my first attempt at writing a book of any kind. What should I know before beginning this process (other than it will take up all of my time and I'll likely never see a dime from it)? Suggestions specific to non-fiction writing appreciated.
posted by iamisaid to Writing & Language (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Without getting too specific, the book would profile a pair of regional entertainers from a bygone era. One of the principals is deceased, but I believe the other one would be willing to grant me interviews as needed, along with the supporting players.
My motivation for wanting to do this: I want to tell this story, I want to try my hand at long-form writing, and I want to be a published author, even if it's self-published. However, I believe a local or regional publisher (possibly a university press) might be willing to pick up the book down the road. I believe there is a built-in potential audience of nostalgic fans of the entertainers, and possibly some broader appeal to fans of their genre. But regardless of what happens with it from a publishing perspective, writing the book is something I want to try on a personal level.
To the authors and book industry types out there: what should I know before beginning this venture? Is there anything I need to know from a legal perspective, since I'm writing about some people who are still living? Since it is a biography, am I required to call it "authorized" or "unauthorized"? Tips and suggestions appreciated.