When reading about someone’s life, you probably wonder if it is a biography or an autobiography. In this blog, we will compare biography vs autobiography. Also, we will explain the difference between autobiography and biography.
If we tell you in simple words, a biography is the life story of a person written by someone else. On the other hand, an autobiography is the life story of a person written by themselves.
Autobiographies have more personal nature as they are based on the writers’ own thoughts and memories. On the other hand, biographies are more objective, as they are written with the help of others’ opinions and perspectives.
What is a Biography?
A biography, or you can call it a bio, is a written piece of someone’s life. It does not just contain basic info about the subject, but the experiences of them throughout their lives. It sheds light on various aspects of the subject’s life. For example:
- Personal details
- Family background
- Life events
- Triumphs in their field and their impact on the world
Let’s have a look at some examples of famous biographies:
1- Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs is an authorized biography. The subject of the book Steve Jobs himself requested the author Walter Isaacson to write the story about him. Walter is also famous for biographical works like Benjamin Franklin and Albert Einstein.
2- Into the Wild
It is a nonfiction book based on the life of a young man who abandoned his life and disappeared into the wild. The author of this biographical story is Jon Krakauer.
What is an Autobiography?
An autobiography, informally called an autobio, is a biography of one’s own written by themselves. It is based on the memory of the writer. It generally enlightens the below aspects of the subject:
- Life description
- Meaning of life
- Significant experiences
- Personal failure
- Plans for future
Let’s have a look at some of the autobiographical works:
1- I am Malala
The autobiography “I am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education was Shot by the Taliban” is the story of Malala. It was co-written by Christina Lamb.
2- Long Walk to Freedom
It is a biography of Nelson Mandela, ghostwritten by Richard Stengel. The book portrays his story from his early life to his years in prison.
Biography vs Autobiography: The Key Differences
While biographies and autobiographies are somehow similar, there are several contrasts between them. Let’s take a look at how they are different from each other.
You can find the difference between a biography and an autobiography by recognizing who writes it. A biography is always written by someone else other than the subject. Whereas in an autobiography, the subject of the story writes it themselves.
2- Point of View
A biography follows the third-person point of view. It uses “He, Him, His, She, Her, Hers.” In contrast, an autobiography follows the first-person point of view. It utilizes “I, Me, My” as the pronouns.
3- Authorized vs Unauthorized
If a story is written with the permission of the person, it will be an authorized work. Otherwise, it will be unauthorized because it is written without the consent of the person.
An autobiography will be more authentic than a biography. An autobiography writer usually recalls his events and narrates his own experiences. On the other hand, biography writers gather info through different sources and by talking and interviewing various people. As a result, the input can differentiate from the reality.
Autobiographies can be more biased than biographies. The neutrality of the biographies can depend on the intent. Some writers can show themselves as more genuine than they are in reality in their autobiographies. However, when it comes to biographies, they can either go mild or extreme in talking about the subject.
Biography vs Autobiography: Similar Features
Autobiographies are basically a type of biographies. Therefore, they share some common elements. Let’s take a look.
Biographies, whether of someone else or of the writer, have the same purpose of telling people the story of their life.
The genre of biographies is always nonfiction. A biography can not be a piece of fiction. If it is, it will fall under the category of a biographical novel.
The subject of biographies will always be famous people. The people who have achieved something in their life. For example, historical figures, celebs, political leaders, athletes, etc.
How to Write a Biography?
To write a biography, you can follow the below steps:
1- Get Permission
The first step to take in biography writing is to get the permission of the subject. In some conditions, it is not necessary. For example, if the subject is not alive anymore. However, if you have their consent, it will be helpful in your research, and the writing process will be easier. Also, the subject will give you some details by themselves that you may not have acquired without their permission.
2- Do Research
Research is necessary for biography writing. If you don’t have a sufficient amount of info about the subject, you can not compile a book about them. Therefore, you have to collect data and interview people as much as possible.
3- Write the Biography
The next step is to convert your research into words. Suppose you don’t have time or ability to write. In that case, you can acquire ghostwriting services. It can help you create content for your book.
4- Format the Book
When you are done completing your written work, it’s time for book formatting. Most of the time, biographies follow chronological order. However, you can also follow a non-chronological order based on your preference.
5- Promote your Work
Your work will not find the right audience if you don’t advertise it well. Therefore, you should promote your biographical work effectively. For this, you can also benefit from book marketing services.
To learn more about what is a biography? And how can you write one? You can read our blog.
How to Write an Autobiography?
Let’s have a look at tips on writing an autobiography:
1- Brainstorm Ideas
Begin with revisiting all the memories and events that happened in your life. Look for ideas you can talk about in your book. Also, consider both the positives and negatives so you can create unique content that attracts readers.
2- Create an Outline
Outlining helps you organize your content. Therefore, start your work by creating an outline. It will help the flow of the story; as a result, the reader will quickly understand the story.
3- Write the Autobiography
Autobiography books usually are written in the own voice of the subject. So, use first-person voice as you are speaking directly to the readers. Also, start with a solid intro, use anecdotes, and provide vivid details.
If you are also going for a digital version of your biographical book, you can have ebook writing services at your disposal. They can be handy in writing and also editing, and polishing your work.
4- Publishing the Book
The most challenging task to do after you have your story written is to publish it. High are the chances that you will need help regarding the publishing process, whether you are going for traditional publishing or you want to publish it yourself. It is where you can get in touch with a self-publishing company. The rest of the tasks to complete are on them.
You should also advertise your work so as many people as possible read your story. You can publish and market your work on various platforms. However, the best way to promote your story is through your author’s website. If you don’t have your own website, you can obtain author website design services and have your website showcasing your literary works.
Want to learn more? Read our detailed blog about what is an autobiography. Here you will get to know the “Autobiography Definition, Examples, & Writing Guide for 2023.”
Memoir vs Autobiography
After you know what’s the contrast and similarity between biography vs autobiography. Let’s look at the difference and similarities between a memoir vs an autobiography.
1- Memoir vs Autobiography: The Similarity
If we talk about memoir vs autobiography, they both are accounts of the writer’s life. Also, writers use the first-person point of view in both.
2- Memoir vs Autobiography: The Difference
In an autobiography, the writer talks about his whole life. Whereas, in a memoir, writers cover a small part of their life or tell an interesting or particular memory of their life.
Want to know more? Read our blog on what is a memoir.
What are the Two Types of Biography?
There are three types of biography, not two. They are:
Why are Biographies Better than Autobiography?
Biographies are more neutralistic than autobiographies. Also, they tend to be less biased than autobiographies.
Is Autobiography Written in First?
Yes, autobiographies are written in the first-person point of view since they are written by the subject themselves.
Why is an Autobiography Called an Autobiography?
The words Auto, Bios, and Graphein came from Ancient Greek. Their meaning is “Self,” “Life,” and “To Write,” respectively.
After reading this blog, you will have a grasp of the difference between biography vs autobiography. Also, you will know what they are composed of. Learning this will help you when you write your biographical books. In addition, if you still need assistance in writing, you can ask Authors Breeze for their services.