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Terrible publishing advice for memoir writers.


This week, I’m offering the 5 worst pieces of advice a memoir writer can follow if they want to land a publishing deal.


#1. Think of your memoir as a project that will occupy you for the next year.

Wrong! You need to be so passionate about your memoir that you will spend the next decade thinking about it, writing about it, and talking about it.


#2. Write your memoir for yourself, no one else.

Nuh-uh. Unless your memoir appeals to an audience beyond your close friends and family, it won’t find commercial success. (Ideally, of course, a million readers will love your memoir just as much as you do!)


#3. Don't worry about "platform." Every author is unknown until their first memoir is published.

Noooo. Most memoirists have built up their credibility through writing articles, speaking on themes related to their memoir, running a popular podcast, or (of course) being Tiktok stars.


#4. Publishers are only interested in memoirs from celebrities, not “regular” people like me.

Not true. #JaneFriedman found that of 159 memoir deals in 2022, only 22% went to celebrities. The other deals went to established writers, event-driven books, and a notable 23% to “others” who didn’t have a high profile at all.


#5. Self-publishing should only be considered as a fallback, if you don’t land a publishing deal for your memoir.

Not at all. If you have a close connection with your readers (as a speaker or coach, for example), you may be in a great position to sell your memoir directly to the people who are already listening to you.


Ready to get your memoir published and looking for some GREAT advice?

I’ve teamed up with memoir guru Joanne Spataro to present a webinar specifically about writing a book proposal for your memoir. In this 90-minute, on-demand webinar, we answer all of the pressing questions like:

  • How can I find a publisher for my memoir?

  • Can’t I just send in my manuscript?

  • What even IS a book proposal?

  • What are agents and editors looking for?

  • How can I make my memoir stand out?

Along the way, we also touch on saxophones and out-of-body experiences. You’ll have to join us to find out why!

Find out more and sign up for the webinar here!


Image by Sam Williams from Pixabay



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