Help for Memoir Writers: Tips on Publishing and Proposals

So you’re writing a memoir! Brava!

It’s cathartic, challenging, satisfying, and powerful. You’re telling the story you always wanted to tell/never thought you could! And when you’re done with your first draft, you look up from your cluttered desk for inspiration, and you’re immediately thinking, “Where I can I publish this?”

become a writer

Take a deep breath and read this roundtable with memoir agents from Writer’s Digest.

Here’s one agent’s take on key questions you need to ask about your memoir:

” 1.    If the reader doesn’t know you, would they care? Why?
2.    Is there a universal story/theme? What is it? (Is it a transformation story? An inspirational tale? A cautionary tale? Coming of age?)
3.    If you summed up your story in one to two sentences, would my response be, “Wow!”?
4.    How truly different is your story—and is it different enough to warrant publishing yet another book on the topic?”

And there’s a lot more good advice in the article about deciding how to edit your work, writing good queries and proposals for agents and publishers, finding a publisher, and creating a publishing platform.

As far as I’m concerned, the first step is editing, editing, editing! You may call your manuscript a “book,” but if you haven’t gone through at least three edits, you’re still working with a brilliantly messy draft! Don’t set yourself up for disappointment. Edit, rethink, revise!

As a writing coach and editor, I’m honored to be an honest, compassionate and practical resource for authors who, unlike Virginia Woolf and others married to the perfect editor, need an outside eye on their manuscript. However you get real input into the blessings and challenges your manuscript presents to the reader, get honest input! The people who love us want us to be happy, not necessarily marketable! Ask someone who will tell you the truth — the truth will help you publish…..

So, congratulations — you’ve done the hardest part! Now comes the rest of the labor of love, that is, if you want to share your remarkable story (and all that hard work of creating a book manuscript!) with the world.

Contact me today for a free 30 minute consultation about your memoir manuscript, your writing process, or steps towards publishing!



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