So many of the famous people who have published well-written memoirs in the past five or ten years have gotten a boost not only in their bank accounts but in their “personal brand.” They become respected in a new way. One great example is actor Jennette McCurdy, who was only marginally well-known before her memoir, I’m Glad My Mom Died, blew up the best-seller charts.
Memoirs Create Closeness
It’s not just that these celebrities are adding an impressive credential—book author—to their résumés. When a celebrity’s book is compelling and sells well, it’s typically because the content is raw, honest, and revealing. The writing tends to be courageous, showing the author’s vulnerability and sharing failures and other low points. This all helps the person’s star rise, because readers/fans feel closer to them.
You wouldn’t think someone as globally famous as Bruce Springsteen would gain much from writing a memoir, but his critically acclaimed book opened him up in a way that even his most personal lyrics never did. An artist down a rung or two on the fame ladder like Dave Grohl, whose memoir has also received high praise, expands people’s perceptions of him.
The latest memoir author to fall into that mid-level of celebrity is Molly Shannon, whose very recent memoir, Hello Molly!, tells of Shannon’s lifelong effects of trauma from losing her mother, sister and cousin in a car accident when she was a little girl. She also chronicles her rise to fame and dishes about lots of “Saturday Night Live” (SNL) cast members, but it’s that early episode that draws you in and makes you feel that you really know her. Book sales may very well have helped her to snag a hosting spot on this past weekend’s SNL, which in turn got her a visit to “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.” One of the things Fallon pointed out was that Shannon’s book had just been made available in paperback.
You’ll Shine Up Your Personal Brand
Remember all of this as you write your own memoir. You’ll be a published author, so that’s an accomplishment in itself. But you’ll also establish a type of intimacy with every reader in a way that you cannot otherwise achieve—even in person. There’s just something about a candid, forthcoming memoir that goes deep into the heart. Write your memoir, and your personal brand will shine.