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Be a Memoir Professional FAQ

Q. I want to be a Memoir Professional, but I am concerned about how much could I earn?

A. How much you could earn will depend entirely on how much outreach you do, how effective it is, how good you are at retaining students and converting prospects into coaching/editing/ghostwriting clients and workshoppers. For some, this is the fun part, and for others, this is difficult.

Your earning power will depend on your ambition, your skills, your drive, your focus. While some localities may be more conducive to higher earnings, generally with the variety of memoir services you will be prepared to offer with the guidance of the Memoir Professional Package, you can overcome the limitations of a particular locality.

For many who want to be a Memoir Professional, the workshop is the cornerstone of their memoir work so I will proceed with the workshop model as a way of helping you to estimate your income. Start by identifying local and regional presentation venues (senior centers, clubs, book stores or cultural groups). How many of them lie within a reasonable driving distance for you to travel to them? Does this seem enough? (These are the same venues where you also ought to present a speaking program if you are interested in coaching, editing and ghostwriting.)

The Develop Vivid Characters Program

  • Are the characters in your memoir captivating your readers—rather than boring them?
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  • Are you embarrassed by the “stick” characters you have presented? “She really was a complex person, but I don’t know how to show her that way.”
The Develop Vivid Characters Program is a text and audio to set you in the right direction to write better portrayed and more delineated characters. Your readers will love the results.
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Look through the calendar of events in area arts / culture and community news magazines and newspapers. (These are the “freebies” you will find in libraries, bookstores, boutiques, etc.) They list workshops, lectures, and activities being offered in your area. (These are the places where you can also offer memoir workshops and programs.) Read the listings with the eyes of someone who wants to be a Memoir Professional and is looking for viable venues.

Select those venues whose workshop fees are feasible for you. (Centers that offer nearly-free programs may be attractive while you’re gaining experience, but they will not support your work in the long run. (The most successful Memoir Professionals do not undervalue their work with low fees!)

Call venue directors to assess their interest in having you present a memoir-writing workshop.

Here are two “how to be a Memoir Professional” blog articles: how to assess your income and how to launch yourself successfully.

I expected the Memoir Professional Package to be full of information—but not this full. You guys know what you are talking about. It felt like I was in good hands to launch myself as a Memoir Professional under your guidance. I feel confident now. It’s been good.

—Lynda McDaniels, Memoirs for Life, Miami, Florida

Q. Is a Memoir Professional Package appropriate if I do not need to earn income?

A. We have had many people buy the program without having much need for it to provide income—either because they are on a pension or because the are working elsewhere.

You have much to contribute to your community and whether and how much you charge or do not charge is up to you. There are many ways to assess worth that does not include money. But… for those who need to earn income: that’s fine too. We have a variety of people who want to be a memoir professional

Whether you are pushing for income or not, you need to fill your classes. The Memoir Professional Package  will help you to attract the right clientele for you.

Q. Do I have to use the text Turning Memories Into Memoirs / A Handbook for Writing Lifestories?

A. This a book that will organize and facilitate your class instruction. You will be able to refer to it to make a point and your students will be able to review material easily when they get home. With these benefits, why would you not center your workshops on it?

Turning Memories Into Memoirs / A Handbook for Writing Lifestories will also be an attractive source of complementary income for you as it simplifies and enhances your task of teaching the best lifewriting workshops in your community. You receive a commission of up to 50%. Turning Memories Into Memoirs / A Handbook for Writing Lifestories will also inform your editing and coaching. Here’s an article on offering back-of-the-room sales successfully.

Interestingly, university teachers who do workshops have no problem assigning texts—they have done so every September and January for years. They know that assigned texts facilitate the work for teachers and for students.

Q. Once I buy the materials to be a Memoir Professional, can I say I teach the Turning Memories Into Memoirs workshop?

A. We ask that you say you teach using Memoir Network Memoir materials or method, but not say you teach THE Memoir Network Memoir workshop. We do not have a certification process at this time—although we did have one for years. Only certified teachers can say teach THE Memoir Network Memoir workshop.

I took online classes from Denis a few years back and then began teaching The Turning Memories into Memoirs classes to older people in Florida. It has been an outstanding experience.

— Cindy Davis, Hollywood, FL
Cindy Davis Memoirs

The Memoir Network

We can also launch you as a coach, editor and/or ghostwriter. If you want to help people to write their memoirs, but you do not want to buy the full package, you can buy the following materials individually by title:

5 Questions to Accelerate Your Financial Success

Do you have a strategy in place for the financial success of your memoir business? Memoir work attracts idealistic people who often have few business skills. This article focuses on five skills-building questions a memoir professional ought to ask himself/herself to accelerate his/her financial success. They are five important questions but not necessarily an exhaustive list. (more…)

A Better Way to Teach Memoir Writing

Writers have been able to teach memoir writing from Memoir Network packages since 1996. The idea of creating packages started when people began telephoning us to ask if we could help them teach memoir writing. “I’d like to do what you do right here at home,” they’d tell us. At the time, we had no materials but, in 1996, I took four months out to write the two core manuals: The Curriculum Manual and The Presenter’s Manual. We are now in the process of a major update of the revisions of these texts.

By now, hundreds of individuals—600 and counting—have made great use of the materials to engage people in their communities in memoir writing. One could easily presume that 100,000 memoirs and lifestory collections have been written as a result of the memoir teachers we have helped launch. In the process… (more…)

Pay Attention–A Writing Based Business Launch Tip

Pay attention to your writing-based business. It is this practice of paying attention that will make the difference between your success and failure as a business person.

In today’s business marketplace, the quality of your work is a given. It is almost not something you can market-the public expects you to offer only. (more…)

Nine Tips For Making a Business Strategy Plan

Creating a business strategy plan takes time and focus but it need not be difficult. Much of the business plan info on the internet is intimidating and a waste of your time if you are a small outfit. A business strategy plan is much simpler and may be just what you need. It is essentially a “to do” list with a projected income attached to it: what you want to do, how you will do it, and by when. (more…)

Succeeding As a Memoir Professional – Filling the Pipeline

Filling the pipeline through marketing is not magic. It’s the measurable result of sustained outreach! Marketing is not rocket science. In many ways, it is an intuitive process that is constantly in need of a “reality check” from the numbers (ultimately of dollars) it generates. Your outreach is successful not because someone says you have a beautiful brochure or a great website, etc. Marketing is successful when it brings in paying clients. (more…)

Market to Pre-Qualified Prospects – Period!

It is important to market to pre-qualified prospects (people within your potential buying pool, people who have identified themselves as wanting your product). While some individuals in a church, a club, a benevolent association, or a school may have expressed general interest in your product, groups such as these are examples of lack of pre-qualification. You would be marketing to people the vast majority of whom are not potential buyers–nor will they ever be. (more…)