Every ordinary life story is extraordinary!

Every ordinary life story is extraordinary!

Creating a Cover for Your Memoir

As an online publisher, we’d like to help you, at every stage of the process, to produce a true autobiography. Your cover is an important component of your book, so let’s discuss that.

You can have a solid color with no image but just your title. It’s sleek and certainly the least labor-intensive way to go. But, come on, you can do better than that. At least come up with some sort of design. You must have a budding artist in your family who can create a graphic for you; email that to us, and we can turn it into your cover.

The obvious choice is to cover your book with a photograph of yourself. Then the question becomes: what age of myself do I want to present? You may like your look best at a certain age, which is a good enough reason to dig up a photo from that time. Who you are right now, even with gray hair and a few facial lines, is another appropriate option. You’re looking back on your life from this moment, so the author and the subject of the book are both accurately represented by a current picture. Another good idea is to put your family home or the home in which you grew up on the cover of your memoir. When you choose an earlier photo of yourself, a house or other object, you can run it in black and white to convey the image of a time gone by.

The Next Step For Your Memoirs: Publish!

I’m so excited to announce that Write My Memoirs now has everything in place to help you publish your memoirs into a real paperback book. After you’ve invested all of the time and your heartfelt work, it makes sense that you’d want to preserve your life story in something tangible, not just online.

We understand that self-publishing websites can be confusing and typically require you to submit special formats or fill out lengthy forms. That’s why we are determined to make it ultra-simple for you. Since your work already is stored here in your Write My Memoirs account, there is no need for you to resubmit it or transfer it to another format. We can take your chapters just as you have them and create your book. You’ll find our fee for this competitive with other online publishers, while the convenience can’t be matched! Just push the “Buy Now??? button and select credit card or PayPal payment, and we’ll do the rest.

For more information, please click here to jump to our memoirs publishing page. There’s also a link if you scroll to the bottom of the Write My Memoirs home page. Prices apply to 10 copies of your book so that you’ll have enough to hand out to friends and relatives. We also can run a higher count—just ask! In future blog posts, I’ll give you tips about selecting a cover for your autobiography and answer more questions you may have about publishing your memoirs.

Enter Your Memoir in a Contest

Enter Your Memoir in a Contest
Having trouble staying on task with your memoir? A writing competition can be motivating for a couple of reasons. First, contests come with a deadline. That in itself keeps you working toward a goal. Then, of course, there’s the reason you’re entering—to win. Competing makes you try harder to produce the best product you can.
If you’re interested, the San Francisco Writers Conference is sponsoring an Indie Publishing Contest that specifically includes a category for non-fiction and memoirs. The other three categories are fiction, children’s lit and poetry. After narrowing the field to 25 entries in each category, the judges will name one winner and one runner-up in each category. The grand winner will receive a publishing contract, but all winners and runners-up will receive prize money or publishing help.
To be eligible to enter, you must:
Live in the United States or Canada.
Fill out a required form.
Submit up to the first 5,000 words of work that has never been traditionally published, although it’s okay if you’ve self-published the work.
Pay an entry fee of $35 for all categories except poetry, which has a fee of $25.
The deadline is January 5, 2011. Winners will be announced in February. For details, go to www.sfwriters.org. Good luck to all Write My Memoirs members!

Having trouble staying on task with your memoir? A writing competition can be motivating for a couple of reasons. First, contests come with a deadline. That in itself keeps you working toward a goal. Then, of course, there’s the reason you’re entering—to win. Competing makes you try harder to produce the best product you can.

If you’re interested, the San Francisco Writers Conference is sponsoring an Indie Publishing Contest that specifically includes a category for non-fiction and memoirs. The other three categories are fiction, children’s lit and poetry. After narrowing the field to 25 entries in each category, the judges will name one winner and one runner-up in each category. The grand winner will receive a publishing contract, but all winners and runners-up will receive some prize money or publishing help.

To be eligible to enter, you must:

  • Live in the United States or Canada.
  • Fill out a required form.
  • Submit up to the first 5,000 words of work that has never been traditionally published, although it’s okay if you’ve self-published the work.
  • Pay an entry fee of $35 for any category except poetry, which carries a fee of $25.

The deadline is January 5, 2011. Winners will be announced in February. For details, go to www.sfwriters.org. Good luck to all Write My Memoirs members!

Amazon Offer Makes Self-Publishing Even More Attractive

Although the Kindle ebook reader has become quite popular on its own, Amazon is giving it a further boost by offering authors a great self-publishing deal if they will publish digitally. After you finish writing your memoirs, consider this option for publishing your autobiography: bypass traditional book publishers and go directly to digital, and Amazon will give you 70 percent of all sales of your book.

“Today, authors often receive royalties in the range of 7 to 15 percent of the list price that publishers set for their physical books,??? said Russ Grandinetti, Amazon’s vice president of Kindle content, as part of a statement released with last month’s announcement. “We’re excited that the new 70 percent royalty option for the Kindle Digital Text Platform will help us pay authors higher royalties when readers choose their books.???

To qualify for this option, you must price your book at between $2.99 and $9.99, and you must grant Amazon some digital rights in case the company needs to adapt the text to new versions of the Kindle, such as a future text-to-speech option. You would retain the rights to any print versions you might publish. Members often ask us how to publish their memoirs when it’s so difficult today get an agent and then attract a publisher. This offer from Amazon is a very workable alternative.

Can You Find a Publisher for Your Memoirs?

The quick answer to that question is: Yes! But let me quickly add that the publisher you find to publish your memoirs may be right in the mirror. Today, it’s a steep uphill climb for a previously unpublished author to get any type of book published—fiction or nonfiction—in the traditional manner. It’s tough to find an agent who will represent you and, even if you do, the odds are still stacked against receiving a contract offer from a publishing house.

But the flip side about today is that authors do not have to go the traditional route in order to sell a book. Self-publishing is now accepted as a valid way to get your book out there. Without a publisher doing the distribution, you will have to contact bookstores yourself or set up a website to sell your book on your own and, with limited distribution, chances are that your book will not land on an best-seller list (although you never know). But you also will not have to share the profits. In traditional publishing, the author’s cut typically falls below 10 percent of the sale price!

You might want to read David Louis Edelman’s account of his difficulty in finding a publisher for what eventually became his best-selling science fiction novel—and Edelman already was a professional writer with much published nonfiction. Next time, I’ll tell you about Amazon’s tempting offer to self-published authors. Meanwhile, if you want help publishing your memoirs, please contact us.

WriteMyMemoirs Publishing Services to Arrive Soon!

blog15One question that frequently pops into our WriteMyMemoirs inbox is how to publish memoirs into a real book, either for sale or just private ownership. Many people feel they have compelling stories to tell that would enlighten, inform, amuse or inspire readers. Others would like to have a hard copy to give as a gift or keep for themselves.

Getting published through traditional channels is very difficult. Typically, you first need to find and convince a literary agent to represent your work to book publishers, and even then the odds are against you. But the good news is that self-publishing has become not only common but quite accepted. What used to be looked down on as “vanity publishing??? is now a respected method to get your book out there quickly and within your own control.

While lots of companies on the Internet will publish your work for a fee, we thought that it would be most convenient if we could offer such a fee-based service right here at WriteMyMemoirs. All you have to do is give us the green light, and we can take the autobiography chapters you’ve written right from your account without your having to create a pdf or do any of the other tasks that Internet publishers tend to require. We are in the process of putting together a very affordable package and will email our members when it’s ready. If you’re in a hurry, email us and we can get started publishing your memoirs right away!

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Then just set up a chapter and start writing your memoir. Don’t worry about rules. There are no rules to writing your memoir; there are only trends. These trends are based on techniques and features identified in current top-selling memoirs. At best, they’re the flavor of the month. If you’re capturing your life in print for your family, for your own gratification or to inspire readers, rather than aiming to set off Hollywood screenplay bidding wars, these trends don’t even apply to you. You’ll write the memoir that suits you best, and it will be timeless, not trend-driven.There are no rules, but there are four steps:

1. Theme/framework
2. Writing
3. Editing/polishing
4. Self-publishing

You’ve researched this, too, and you’ve been shocked at the price for getting help with any one of those steps, much less all four. That’s because most memoir sites promise to commercialize your work. They’ll follow a formula based on current memoir trends, because they want to convince you that they can turn your memoir into a best-seller. These sites overwhelm you with unnecessary information not to help you, the memoir author, but to address Search Engine Optimization (SEO) algorithms so they can sell more.

That’s not what we do at Write My Memoirs. Our small community of coaches, writers and editors are every bit as skilled as any you’ll find, and we charge appropriately for their expertise and the time they’ll spend helping you craft a compelling, enjoyable read. But you won’t pay an upcharge for other websites’ commercialization, the marketing that follows, and the pages of intimidating “advice.” You can sell your book if you like—we have ISBNs available for you—but our organic process of capturing your story takes a noncommercial path.

If you want help with any or all of the four steps above, choose from our services or save money by selecting one of our packages. If you’d like to talk about what’s right for you, schedule a call. One year from now, you can be holding your published memoir in your hand. And at that point, it will be a big deal!