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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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leading a conference workshop

Leading a Conference Workshop as a Guest Presenter

Participating in writing conferences, either as a panelist, lecturer, or as a workshop leader is a great way to get your name and book out in public and to network with other writers like you—especially when you are leading a conference workshop.

Being a presenter comes with tasks, but the challenge is not impossible. I’d like to offer you some  guidelines to help you be as successful as you can be to:

  • Respond to a presenters’ request for proposal,
  • Adhere to a list of conference presenter’s guidelines, and
  • Develop a workshop that keeps the promises you proposed – in the specified allotted time.<!–more–>

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

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audience for my memoir

Who Will Be the Audience for My Memoir?

Writers ask me all the time: “Who will want to read my memoir?” Recently someone said, ”If I were to write my memoir, it would probably be of no interest to you or anyone else. There is no audience for my memoir!”

Your memoir has a niche audience.

Wondering about the available audience for your memoir is legitimate and necessary. At the core of the effort most writers commit to is a deep desire to share with others—to reach an audience. Certainly this is true of a memoir writer also.

This is the challenge: stop thinking that no one will want to read your memoir. It may be true that I may not be interested in your memoir, but someone in this wide world certainly is. There are some billion people on this planet who read English. Surely you will find there will be “an audience for my memoir” among that billion!

Find your niche

The name of the game for an unknown memoir writer seeking an audience is niche writing and marketing.

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

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Successful Book Launch

Preparing for A Successful Book Launch

Note: This is the 3rd 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

Preparing for A Successful Book Launch: I’m finished writing the text for my next book, A Sugary Frosting/A Memoir of A Girlhood Spent in a Parsonage. What follows is a synopsis of what I am doing to promote the book so that its natural audience is aware of it.

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

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find a best title for a memoir

Best Title for a Memoir: How to Choose

Writers ask me how to choose a best title for their memoirs. Because I have worked with them, usually as their coach or editor and know their story, I am in a position to brainstorm with them to come up with a decent —and sometimes even a great—title for their book.

There are many possibilities available to a writer, but one thing is certain: a writer must choose a title for a memoir strategically.  It is a marketing opportunity. The title printed on your book cover can—and ought to— promote sales of your memoir.

Here are some guidelines I use to generate a memoir title—for my own titles or for those of a client. I hope they prove helpful to you, too.

How important is a working title?

When you are working on a memoir, you may want to have some way of distinguishing one manuscript from another. You may also be working concurrently on a second or a third book—and that is not unusual for some writers. In that instance, you will want a name so as to be able to distinguish this manuscript from another as you speak to your writing group, your writing coach or a friend.

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

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how to write strategically

Why You Should–and how to–Write Strategically!

Ought 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

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

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memoir writing information

How to Have a Successful Book Reading–Author Book Reading Tips

A successful book reading requires a little planning upfront.  If you use the following tips, you will have a great book reading and engagement with your audience.

At a recent author book reading, I read from my mother’s memoir, We Were Not Spoiled, to a group of Senior College people. Since the program was offered in Lewiston, Maine, where my family is from, I looked forward to the event because I knew that the space would have many individuals who had known my mother, me or many people in my family. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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organize a book launch

What an Author Needs to Bring to a Book Launch–What You Need to Organize a Book Launch

Most of the people I work with opt for self-publication. As independently published authors, they are the ones who organize their own book launch. Writing a memoir is a long haul and it is refreshing to have an event to gather friends and family and fans together to acknowledge that an end and a beginning are occurring. The Memoir Network has participated in a number of book launches. Here is a distillation of what has made these launches successful.  Follow the tips below to organize a book launch. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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speakingman

Tips for Doing a Memoir Reading Program

Q. I am about to have my first opportunity to read from my newly-finished memoir. Any tips for a memoir reading program so that I can make the most of the opportunity? A. I have many tips for a memoir reading program, but I will limit myself to five.