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!”
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.
Let me share a shocking truth: your memoir—and mine—will not appeal to everyone in the world. It is likely to appeal only to a small niche group, but given that there are a billion people in the world who read English, the “small” group may be large enough to support you nicely as a writer. You, the writer, have to reach them—that is the niche marketing part.
An example of a niche market: the writer raised a Down syndrome child and has written a memoir of the experience. Her/his audience will be parents of such children and professionals who work with them. I’m not one of this audience. I’m sorry, but while I am generally sympathetic to this issue, I am not interested enough in it to spend hours reading about it. But, not to worry! There are tens of thousands of people—parents and professionals—who are interested in such a story.
To write effectively for a niche market, you will have to focus on choosing your theme well (i.e., of interest and use to your audience) and developing it so that it conveys an essential message your audience not only needs to read but recognizes the need to read.
I will not expound on theme as much of what I might say here is on this blog’s theme archives already.
You have in you a memoir that someone will want to read—find your niche, write for it, and market to it. You will find yourself saying, “I have found the audience for my memoir!”
Good luck. Let me know if writing for a niche memoir market works for you.