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Memoir Professional FAQ
Be a Memoir Professional

Q. I want to be a Memoir Professional. How much can I earn?

A. That 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 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 Memoir Professionals, 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.)

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 Memoir Professional” blog articles: how to assess your income and how to launch yourself successfully.

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 you charge or not 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. 

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

Please let us know if you would like to participate in a certification program. We will place you on a wait list.

Q. While I love to read memoirs and have such high regard for preserving stories in writing, I am neither a writer nor a teacher. Is this appropriate for me to be a Memoir Professional?

A. Enthusiasm goes a long way in helping students access material. The Curriculum Manual will outline a teaching process that works. Follow it.

As for the writing, you will need to improve your skills, but you are working with cooperative adults here not with recalcitrant junior high kids. Your students want to be motivated and they want a peer group. You can always deflect a question to the group. “What do you guys think about this?” You will be amazed at how often the group “knows” the answer. Alternately, you can say, “I don’t have the answer to that question right now but I’ll get it by the next class.”

Just to show you that I am not underplaying your need to be the best teacher you can be, click here to see how I discuss the topic on the Memoir Professional Blog.

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The Memoir Network

For the individual materials, select from the following:


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…)

Outline Your Goals to Grow a Better Memoir Business

In order to grow your memoir business, you will need to outline your goals. It’s likely that there are some skills (teaching, business, or writing) you would like to improve, so you can be more successful. Organizing your plans to build your skills will help you attain them more quickly. (more…)

Becoming a Memoir Professional – Be Very Adept at the Memoir Genre

To create a successful business of helping people to write their memoir, you must be familiar with the memoir genre itself. Being a good fiction writer or a poet or an essayist is not enough. You must have read many memoirs and have written in the genre. Your clients will rightfully expect no less from you than you be expert at both memoir writing and the theory behind memoir writing. (more…)

Increase Your Income by Asking the Right Questions

Here’s a sure way to increase your income for your memoir business.

Break your quarterly strategy plan into weekly units. What do you need to do this week in order to meet your quarterly and annual goals?

Take these weekly strategic goals and combine them with your weekly and daily “to do” list. A weekly strategic goal might be to revamp your website. A daily “to do” might include answering a specific e-mail or calling the electric company about a bill. (more…)

Tips to Grow Your Memoir or Writing-Based Business

Writing and memoir professionals too often have little sense of what a memoir or writing-based business is or how it functions. Too frequently, when people think of a business they imagine a machine shop, or a dry cleaning store, or a computer repair place rather than a writer’s office. But…writing as a business? (more…)

Memoir Business Success – Four Steps to Pay Yourself First Today

If you are working for yourself, begin a schedule to pay yourself every week. This commitment will stimulate your business growth.

Part of Business Development is to Pay Yourself

1. How much do you want to earn in the next 12 months? Add to that net income a guesstimate of what your expenses and your taxes will be. That figure will be your projected gross income for the next year. (more…)

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.