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You have written your memoir and you sense that independent publication is your best route. Now you ask, “Where can I find the information I need to make a best decision about how to self-publish a memoir? How does my manuscript go from computer document to a hard-copy book?”

Holding your book in hand is a natural outcome of writing a memoir. How could you possibly be faulted for wanting a hard copy of your story—a hard copy to admire, to pass out to family and friends, to sell to an appreciative audience?

At the same time, you realize that your memoir is not likely to sell in the tens of thousands. It is a good book and it will appeal to its audience, but you have no illusions about the tens of thousands of copies going out into the world.

To self-publish a memoir is probably your best option

But, you’ve never published before and you are a bit diffident about undertaking such a big project.

When  you choose to self-publish, you are the publishing company, you are the general contractor. We are your book packagers. We have done every step of the process, and we can take your hand and lead you to a successful completion.

Before you  contemplate self-publishing a memoir, you should have it professionally edited and proofread.

The first part of the process of transition from manuscript to book is called “pre-publication” and the second step is “printing.” The whole process adds up to “publication.” The book publication information below—drawn form our years of working with writers, probably very much like you, to publish independently—will help you with your own process of self-publishing a memoir.

When you can ask us to be your publication desk, you can be assured that you will receive a quality book you will be proud of.

Book production info for your self-publication start

Read the articles below. Almost to a one, they point to the self-publication route.

We think the book publication information they offer will convince you to take your memoir from manuscript stage to printed book—via the self-publication process. Then…

If you want help in the process beyond this “mini-course” of posts on how to self-publish a memoir—either for parts or for the whole, we can assist you in any way that works for you. Call us at 207-353-5454 or email us at [email protected] and schedule a free consultation for the assistance that will best meet your needs. And…

Keep writing. No book publication happens until you have a book to publish.

place photos in your memoir book

Photos in Your Memoir Book Layout

Where you place photos in your memoir book layout is important.

While it may seem obvious, it bears repeating that where you place photos in your memoir book layout is important.

It will influence how readers appreciate your story. The only way I can grasp that makes sense is to place photos chronologically within the text. Why?

A bit of book-writing talk

There is in reading and writing a phenomenon called “suspension of disbelief.” If I as the reader am constantly saying “This is only a book. This isn’t really happening as I read,” then it is impossible for that reader to get “lost in the story.”

On the other hand, if the reader agrees not to challenge the story—to make as if the story is actually happening as s/he is reading—then there is a good chance the reader will enter the story and experience it as if it were unfolding before his/her eyes.

Now the reader is only one partner of the agreement. The other partner is the writer.  The writer MUST NOT do anything that forces the reader to suspend disbelief.

A famous gaffe [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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Memoir Has A Powerful Impact

Cindy Doucette’s Memoir Has A Powerful Impact.

Cindy Doucette (Berwick Maine) has seen her poignant story depicted in It Can Happen To Any Family used by the juvenile correctional system of York County, Maine, to effect turn arounds in young people.   Below is a testimonial written by a young person who was in the correctional system and who is testifying to the […]

publishing independently

My first publication story: publishing independently

Let me share the independent publication story of my first book, What Became of Them. It is a collection of short stories that I had written over a number of years in the 1980s. In 1987, I decided it was time to send the collection out into the world, but I was not ready yet to do publishing independently.I learn to support myself in the creative life.

Taking stock of myself, I knew I had no need to be approved by someone, to have my writing found to be worthy.  I know many writers want to have a “real book,” and by this, they probably mean they want their book to be canonized by someone—the larger the reputation and the more famous, the better.

This sort of approval was not important to me. I was looking for a way to reach my audience which I  knew both existed and would want my book.

I also wanted to earn some income from my writing. I understood that my income would come both from sales of the book and from speaking and teaching from the podium my book would allow me to step up on.

Where to send my manuscript?

I gleaned names and addresses I researched in the library and bookstore. After selecting a few of the more promising—they championed topics which I thought would attract my audience and encompassed a territory where my audience lived.

I sent the book out—and then I waited and waited.

I totally understood how a book has to fit into a publisher’s catalog. (A fruit distributor doesn’t, after all, take on a chicken farmer as a client!) A new book must support the company’s mission and complement books that have already been successful.

In addition, a book must promise to earn the company some income (preferably a large one) from its audience.

A losing proposition

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book publishing tips

Better Book Production is Possible — Book Publishing Tips

Yes, I can do better book production!

Note: This is the 4th article in a series of 4 on the writing process of A Sugary Frosting published in 2016. 

Post 1: I Finish A Sugary Frosting: Notes on the Memoir Writing Process

Post 2: Mechanics of Writing a Memoir: It’s not all Inspiration

Post 3: Preparing for A Successful Book Launch

Post 4: Better Book Production is Possible

Here are a few book publishing tips to prepare for better book production that I learned from publishing A Sugary Frosting / A Memoir of a Girlhood Spent in a Parsonage.

My book, A Sugary Frosting / A Memoir of a Girlhood Spent in a Parsonage, made its way to publication. To launch it, as many readers know, I created an advanced reader community and was able to gather 90+ people who volunteered to write a review for Amazon in exchange for a heartfelt thank you from me, and upon sending me a copy of the published review, a link to the finished e-version, a hard copy and a $50 voucher in The Memoir Network’s e-bookstore.

The response from readers had been gratuitously generous. I had about 90 people who agreed to review the book. I was elated! Not only were these wonderful people provided me with a review but so many offered suggestions that made the book into a better one than it was initially. I don’t only mean by sending in corrections of typos but by suggesting tweaks for the story—adding and taking out text. This experience of working with advanced readers was a tremendously positive one for me.

I offer the following review of what I learned on my way to better book production. I hope it helps you in the process of preparing a book for publication.

What have I learned? Book publishing tips…

1. I created too tight a deadline.

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how to market your memoir

How to Market Your Memoir Through KDP Select

Writing a memoir can be a pretty arduous task — dredging up old memories, mining complex emotions, and trying to frame your experiences in a way that will engage and provide value to readers. It’s no wonder that most authors, having finished their memoirs, feel like the hard part is over and they can finally relax.

But if you’re planning to self-publish your memoir on Amazon, don’t get complacent just yet. While traditionally publishing memoirists often have their marketing plans laid out for them, those on the self-publishing track need to put in a little more personal effort. And while there are tons of great resources to help you along, it’s also important to know how to market on Amazon specifically, as it’s by far the largest retailer in the biz. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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idependently-publsished book self-published memoir

Sending Your Self-Published Book Out Into the World

You’ve been writing for a long while. Your book has been edited professionally. You are ready to get your independently-published book into your readers’ hands. Let’s explore and execute options for packaging and printing your memoir. 

how to write strategically

Why You Should–and how to–Write Strategically!

Can memoir writers write strategically?

We writers are artists. Most of us cultivate inspiration and are happy when we are under its influence. However, there is no one reading this who is unaware that writing can be pick and shovel work and it can be hard going sometimes—there are days when we would rather clean out the garage or the refrigerator than sit down to write. So…why not make the most of our work and learn how to write strategically?

We all love inspiration, but the problem with inspiration is that, while it can make the experience of writing today an excellent one, inspiration does not concern itself with the need we may have to think of our writing in a practical way. For instance, if I have something to say, how can I best approach making my statement available to the largest audience possible or to derive from the writing the best support? Another “for instance” is how can this writing support me financially? (While financial support may seem farfetched to some readers of this blog, it is possible.)

Examples of how to write strategically

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basics of book design

Basics of Book Design

I recently received a request for printing information from a reader who asked: I am getting ready to print my memoirs. I’m using Word and trying to figure out what typeface and type size to use. Also, what are the best margins to use? Are there any sources which might provide suggestions about the basics of book design?

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memoir writing support

Solving A Narrator Problem

A narrator problem can ruin a memoir.

A narrator problem can ruin a memoir. In 1996 and 1997, I composed about 200 pages of a memoir about my high school years and then could not continue. It was blocked; I was blocked. As a result, I stored the manuscript in various computers for all the while since then.

After having completed my mother’s memoir (We Were Not Spoiled), I was looking for a personal writing project I might devote myself to. The high school memoir was always in the back of my mind—had been for years. As I picked it up to peruse it, completing it seemed the next project. It is what I am working on now. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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how to publish a memoir

Publishing A Memoir the Right Way

Today, technology, better distribution and a growing interest in reclaiming regional identity makes publishing a memoir the right way a viable option for many authors who want their books to reach a wider circle than their immediate family and friends. It is not true that your book is not worthy to be read unless it has been purchased by a New York corporate publishing house. Self-publishing has many benefits, not the least of which are that you can control production decisions and can recoup your expenses.

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A gift for you...
...because you need to get your memoir written. This little book will focus you to complete your memoir.
  • Your memoir deserves to be written. We help people get their story down—right!
  • Writing a memoir or want to improve one you're working on? Download Memoir Writing 101: How to Craft a Compelling Memoir or Lifestory / 10 Steps and a Bonus.
  • Memoir Writing 101 comes with The Lifewriter's Guides, a biweekly "workshop in an email.".
  • If you are already a member of The Memoir Network, this e-book and others are available to you free in Member Resources.