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Teach, Coach, Edit, and Ghostwrite Memoirs

Before you head down to the blog, I want to take a moment to tell you about how I became a Memoir Professional and began to teach, coach, edit and ghostwrite for people from around the world.

One day in 1989, I stood outside a conference room, listening to the chatter inside. I had been invited to speak to a group of older people about What Became of Them, my then-new book of short autobiographical fiction. Little could I know that I was pausing before walking into my future! How could I suspect I would teach, coach, edit, ghostwrite memoirs for the next decades.

After my presentation, I asked members of the audience to share their personal and family stories which my stories had been evoked. The outpouring of memories was truly amazing and that led the group leader to ask if I would be willing to lead members of the group in a memoir writing workshop.

The rest, as they say, is history—a delightful history that I have been privileged to live.

You can succeed as a Memoir Professional

If you are here on this blog archive, you must be interested in exploring how you, too, can become a Memoir Professional. Whether you are just starting out or have already done this memoir work, there is much here to support you to be successful—critically and financially—as a Memoir Professional.

When I began to offer the Turning Memories Into Memoirs® workshop in 1989, I already had many years of high school and university teaching behind me. I hold a master’s degree in education. With this background, under the auspices of grants from the Maine Humanities Council, I developed the first workshops that evolved into the curriculum that led to my success. Subsequently, I began to teach, coach, edit, and ghostwrite memoirs. So can you.

As a Memoir Professional, you will wear many hats: that of writing teacher, lecturer, businessperson, and publicist—and perhaps that of coach, editor, and ghostwriter. You will assist people from all walks of life to access the writing skills they need to make their lifestories as effective and as successful as they hoped them to be when they came to you.

Denis Ledoux’s Memoir Professional materials are an excellent, comprehensive training focused on how to start and operate a memoir business successfully.

—Robin Waldron, Memoir Professional
The Write Source, Franklin, Indiana

A rewarding venture: teach, coach, edit, ghostwrite memoirs

In this process, you will also be helping yourself to grow emotionally and psychologically as you engage in the writing process of the men and the women who will come to you. Because you are their teacher—or perhaps you are serving as their coach, editor, or ghostwriter, you will know them in a very special and rewarding way.

The articles below will help you to succeed at this important work as you teach, coach, edit, and ghostwrite memoirs.

There are more resources in our Memoir Store to help you succeed. You will find that they have been designed to jumpstart your success—financially and critically.

Memoir Professional Blog Posts

5 Rules for a More Profitable Memoir-Writing Business

Recently, while thinking about how to help Memoir Network Professionals to grow their businesses, I was jotting down some ideas about running a profitable memoir-writing business–the what-do-I-know-now-that-I-wish-I-had-known-then sort of stuff. Here are the first five I came up with to help jumpstart my (and your) endeavor and keep it going profitably year after year.

1. Create business goals.


6 Steps to Follow Through with Your Prospects and Clients

After you have garnered the names and contact information, it is important to commit to follow through with your prospects and clients. You need to call, email, or write a card to the prospects to remind your contacts of who you are and how you can be of service to them in resolving their problem.

Best Follow Through with Your Prospects and Clients


Memoir Business Strategies—Implementing Vision and Ideas into a Plan

Do you have a business strategy plan? Everyone who starts a business is a visionary of sorts. How else would we be able to face the daunting challenge of creating something out of nothing? Not everyone succeeds. What separates those whose visions culminate in viable businesses from those whose hopes and dreams crumble is perhaps the ability to dream realistically. Hint: it has to do with memoir business strategies (more…)

Develop a Full-Service Product Line For an Up-Sell and Cross-Sell Strategy

It will be hard for you to generate an attractive income without a diversified, full-service product line to offer to the public—especially to existing customers. Existing clients are easier, cheaper to sell to than new customers. They already trust you and have seen your track record. Providing they have further needs, they will buy from you over someone else—of course, to get the additional sale, you must have additional products to sell. (They will not buy the same product—again!) (more…)

Paying Yourself Will Grow Your Business: Five Steps 

Editor’s Note: This article—Paying Yourself Will Grow Your Businesswas first published on September 26, 2018, in a slightly different form.

Perhaps this post is for new Memoir Professionals—but not necessarily. It’s for everyone who does not yet believe that paying yourself will grow your business.

It’s about growing a vision of yourself by creating your habits. It’s about learning to accept a certain reality.

As you begin working for yourself, it may seem like you will never earn any money. You can slip into believing “I can’t earn money doing memoir work.”

In this post, I will help you to begin to act as if paying yourself will grow your business. It really will. To show you how this is so, I’ll ask you to play a little game with me, a little game that will have big results. This game will stimulate your business growth.

“But, I don’t have money to pay myself!” you persist in decrying.

But you do! Let me show you a strategy. It will work to get you to think in terms of paying yourself weekly.

Part of Business Development is to Pay Yourself

There’s no denying that your business has got to support you. Your business has got to be how you earn your income. Paying yourself will grow your business. Here are steps to doing this.

1. How much income 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 likely be. That total figure will be your necessary projected gross income for the next year. Just say you want to earn $800/week and you guess-timate your expenses are $200/week (taxes, Social Security, printer toner, etc.) This adds up to $1000/week.

2. The non-salary expenses have to be provided for. They don’t occur every week but they do occur over time. They are not negotiable. Put aside enough money to be able to pay for these. I am not writing about these expenses in this post.

3. Now, take the figure that is your desired net weekly income (what you will take home) which I listed above as $800. This is the weekly personal income your business owes you—yes, I wrote “owes you,” the income you have agreed (with yourself!) to work for.


I hear you. You may not have $800 in your business bank account to meet your entire projected income figure week after week, but you did produce some income this week (let’s say). Trust me: paying yourself will grow your business

4. To imprint the habit of paying yourself weekly, go through the motions anyway—this is a sort of game that can bring high dividends. This is what you’ll do: Go on your bank’s internet site and from your personal account, transfer the amount you need to meet the balance of your weekly net income. Your business account will receive an infusion from your personal account. (You may even have to go to your Overdraft Protection for this.) This process will create a figure amounting to $800 in your business bank account.

5. Then, transfer your desired weekly income payment ($800) to your personal account. Voilà, you have just paid yourself—symbolically, if not really. Pay yourself weekly. Paying yourself will grow your business and become a habit of paying yourself.

How paying yourself will grow your business

What you transferred is not real income, of course, but this process can imprint two things in your your mind

  • what your weekly deficits are that are keeping you from your income goal, and
  • how you must take massive action to remedy your deficit. This deficit cannot continue indefinitely!
    • How about making those cold calls to prospective workshop clients to boost your upcoming enrollment? Call co-authoring queries to close the sale.
    • Write to people who owe you money to request their payment.

Make yourself take massive action. Remember: your weekly salary will be due again next week. There has to come a time when you naturally have enough money in your business account.

This game is great for implanting the habit of paying yourself but it does not solve the money problem!

I hope this will impel you to focus on:

  • billable time,
  • efficient use of time (e.g., not talking longer on the phone than necessary), 
  • income-producing projects in the short term and passing on “creative” projects that probably will not change your income. (Do you really need a new logo?)
  • etc.

In short, you will begin to “chase the money” which is a primary goal of any business, of your business.

Remember: set up a regular day to make the salary transfer again and again. 

This is a business.

This is not a hobby you are engaged in. It is a business. A business owner must learn to produce wealth.

If you need help with this sort of strategic planning or if you have failed to plan for where you will be in 12 months and how you will spend your time while in the office, you OWE IT TO YOURSELF to sign up for individual business coaching.

In conclusion to “Paying Yourself Will Grow Your Business”

What tips or advice can you share for a successful memoir business? Do you follow a strategic plan for your business?

Have you dreamed of starting a full-time, memoir-writing business or possibly a sideline business? You don’t have to wing it. Click here to download your FREE Jump Start Your Memoir Business book now.

You can learn to write better, deeper memoir and to write more quickly and with more satisfaction. The Memorable Story/Write Your First Memoir Draft  today.

Join us on LinkedIn in the MBA: Memoir Business Accelerator group. For Memoir Professionals seeking predictable, solid success. The MBA group was created for memoir professionals—whether involved as teacher, coach, editor, ghostwriter, publisher, scrapbooker, film maker, audio producer—to share information that will enhance their experience or that of their clients. The focus of the MBA will be to generate professionalism, promote profitability and encourage co-operation.

Manage Workflow—How to Work With Multiple Clients

How do you manage workflow as you attempt to deliver to multiple clients in your memoir-based writing business?

If a full schedule is just a pipe dream now, this information will be useful even if you have only one, two or three clients.

Your company will eventually have multiple projects going on at the same time, each in various stages of production. How do you schedule multiple clients so that you manage workflow reasonably? (more…)

Set Goals When Starting Your Memoir Business—Work Smarter, Not Harder!

When starting your memoir business, you need to set goals from the start. Working hard is not sufficient for business growth. Like most entrepreneurs, people who are launching a memoir business are sometimes prone to working harder and not necessarily smarter. One smart strategy to use to grow is to set goals for specific time periods: the year, the month, the week, the day. A company needs these goals to focus on if it is to grow. (more…)

How To Target Your Memoir Earnings – Your Hourly Income Is Less Than You Think!

A constant complain I hear from Memoir Professionals is that they believe they can’t earn a living from memoir work. “Your problem is,” I tell them, “you do not target your memoir earnings.”

This is true if you treat your work as a hobby, but it clearly not true if you treat your memoir work as a business. A starting point is to chart how much you earn in the time you devote to working. All businesses must turn profits! As a business owner, you must target your memoir earnings.

Do you know what your actual hourly wage is and how to improve that figure? The fact is many—and perhaps most—Memoir Professionals have no idea how much they are making per hour not much about how to improve that income. Do you?

To Better Target Your Memoir Earnings, Let’s Look At The Numbers.


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 monthly, quarterly and annual financial 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 a part of your website. A daily “to do” might include answering a specific e-mail or calling the electric company about a bill. (more…)