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memoir writing support

How I Launched Myself Publicly in the Creative Life

Editor: This post first appeared in February 2014 at a time when covid as not part of our lives. It advocates marketing that I undertook in pre-covid days but which I believe will soon be available and viable again.

I believe that implicit in every publication is access to an audience. Whether you hope to support yourself or to merely attract a more substantial audience, this post—written about a time half a life ago—has something for you.

“Is it possible to find readers who will support me in the creative life?” I wanted to know.

One day on 1988, I stood in front of a door, on the other side of which was a group of Foster Grandparents. I had in hand a copy of my book of autobiographical short stories, What Became of Them and Other Stories from Franco-America, which my wife Martha Blowen and I had published through my brand-new imprint, Soleil Press. Soleil means sun in French and Martha who was a paper maker called her studio Moon Papers. So Soleil Press and Moon Papers seemed to us a great combo for a couple (hovering on both sides of 40) who were seeking to live a creative life. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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memoir success

Memoir Success: Approaching Neverland

Memoir Success

Over the years, I have worked with many writers to help them create and shape their memoirs. It’s my pleasure to bring to your attention once again the success of one such writer: Peggy Kennedy from San Ramon, California, for whom I had the pleasure of providing coaching and editing help that led to her memoir success

Many readers of this blog have been writing for a while and some are despairing of finishing. There is hope. After a number of years of preparation, Peggy Kennedy’s memoir of growing up in a family with a mentally-ill mother, Approaching Neverland, saw print. (Ordering information at bottom.)

While the information below is from over a decade ago, I believe this memoir success story is dateless. Approaching Neverland did well—and so can you. A review in the magazine the Midwest Book Review gave it five stars. Originally fearful of speaking before an audience, she was a guest on a number of radio and television programs. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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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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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.

[Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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Ten Tips on How to Publish Your Own Book

It’s time to publish your own book! Yeah!

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 self-publish easier.

1) To reach a larger audience than family and friends, a 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. Your audience will judge your book by its cover! [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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3 Suggestions For Choosing the Right Publication Option For You

What’s the Right Publication Option For You?

You have finished writing your memoir or are nearing its completion. You feel satisfied with the text. It has been edited by a professional and you have made changes, You are ready for the next step. You are ready to be published. But what is the right publication option for you?

Congratulations!

Now, your task is to decide how to best send it out into the world—that’s what publishing a book comes down to it: making your memoir public after all these months of having writing it be a personal project.

The are basically three options.

[Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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The Memoir Network

Three Tips For Creating an Effective Writing Schedule

 

It’s time to commit to creating an effective writing schedule.

You’ve already taken several steps in lifewriting. You have begun to write your stories and memories. Perhaps the summer got in the way of your perseverance or perhaps it was something else—an illness, a temporary job, travel. Now you need to recommit to memoir writing by creating an effective writing schedule for yourself.

Rather than think in the general terms of “I’ll write as much as I can” (who are we kidding here!), base your writing schedule on a specific time or a page quota.

1) Decide how much time per week you want (or have) to devote to writing schedule.

[Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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ebooks from the memoir network

5 Reasons to Undertake Ebook Publishing

Are you making a mistake not planning to include ebook publishing in your publication schedule? People interested in independent publication ask me if they should publish their manuscript as an ebook, a hard copy book or both. The honest answer on my part is I don’t know. The decision is individual and unique to you. […]

The Memoir Network

Self-publish your memoir or go the commercial route?

Independent publishing is growing exponentially, but is it a viable option financially to self-publish your memoir?

Certainly, if you are publishing for family and friends and want only a few hundred copies or even fewer, to self-publish your memoir is the option of choice. But…

Is is a viable decision to self-publish your memoir if you hope to use it to launch a writing career, earn an income, support an existing career?

I think it is!

Am I justified in believing you can self-publish your memoir profitably?

[Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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Memoir-Writing Support

How to Self-Publish with a Book Packager

So you’ve decided to self-publish the book you have worked so hard to write. Congratulations! You have taken an important step, But, have you decided to self-publish with a book packager?

You are joining the ranks of some of the most well-known authors, including Deepak Chopra, James Joyce, Gertrude Stein and Anais Nin. In fact, you probably have several self-published titles in your own library. What Color is Your Parachute by Richard Nelson Bolles and Irma Rombauer’s The Joy of Cooking are two examples. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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