So, you want to write for a larger audience than family and friends! While family and friends are a worthy readership for your memoir, it is possible to enjoy an even larger audience. Here are four suggestions to enable your story to appeal to a broader public.
Once you have diligently followed the suggestions for publishing your book and your book is published, it’s time to enjoy being a “famous author” and start promoting your book.
Two ways to do that that come readily to mind are doing a book launch party and securing as many readings of your memoir as possible in a public setting. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]
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.
Note from the Editor: This second installment of Before Sending a Manuscript to an Editor series offers basic editing tips around time use of time. For Part 1: Self-Editing Techniques Click here. For Part 3: Time Sequencing and Flashbacks Click here
Clean Up Your Use of Time
This second post on self-editing revolves around the use of time. In the next post, I will write about time sequencing and flashbacks.
1. The historical present looks like the past, but it isn’t.
What tense are you going to use to narrate your story?
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? [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]
Important 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?
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. ]
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.
Publish Your Own Book
You have finished writing your memoir or are nearing its completion. Now you begin to think about publication. Going the route of finding an agent and waiting years for your book to be accepted does not appeal to you. You decide to publish your own book—a realistic option in this day and age.
To help you, let me offer you ten tips to make the process by which you publish your own book easier.
1) If you want to reach a larger audience than family and friends, your independently-published book must look like a “real book.” Today, a professional cover and binding will be required. It is possible to have a book designed that will look like it came from a big New York publishing house. Gone are the days when an independently-published book had “home made” all over it—that is, it is possible to pass for a New York publisher if you yourself are a designer with computer skills or if you engage the services of self-publish. Don’t skimp on the book design when you publish your own book. People do judge a book by its cover! [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]
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?
First, 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. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]