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How to Get Permission to Write a Biography About Someone


Once you make the decision to write a biography about a person, you have a long and difficult task ahead of you. However, if you have chosen the career path of working as a professional writer, then you likely do not mind the hard work and effort that will go into creating the biography. But if you want the biography to sell, you would be better off writing an authorized biography, in which you have permission to write about your subject.

Write a proposal for your biography project. The proposal should include the sections that will go into the book and the main topics you plan to discuss, such as the person’s career and family life.

Approach the person with your proposal. Oftentimes, you can mail it to them beforehand and then set up a time to get together. At this meeting, formally request permission to write the biography.

Get lawyers involved. At this point, you’ll want to draw up a legal contract to ensure that the person does not back out on the deal. Each person should have legal representation. Keep in mind that your subject might have limitations for the biography that will get added to the contract, such as a subject matter that is off limits or approving the book before it’s published.

Ask the person if you can interview them as part of the process of writing the biography. Once you get permission, you should set up several interviews to get the content for the biography. This will ensure accuracy and authenticity with your work.

About the Author

J. Johnson has been completing freelance writing work since September 2009. Her work includes writing website content and small client projects. Johnson holds a degree in English from North Carolina State University.

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