To Sell a Memoir, First Build a Fan Base

You may be writing a memoir only to hand out to family and friends, but if you’re hoping to sell it you’ll benefit from earning some credibility ahead of time. You’re an author now, so start establishing yourself as a writer!

Write up an op-ed, share a personal essay, post a fictional story, report on the local angle of a news story or become a frequent commenter on a handful of news websites. Find any way to get your name out there early and often! On each social media platform, you can start a page named after your memoir or attach an ID like “the author” to your name.

For me, the personal essay is the easiest route. One that was posted today on is helping me promote my children’s book, because it’s the article out of which the book grew. Another essay is coming out next week on a site targeted to baby boomers. There’s a website, and usually more than one, for every topic, hobby, demographic – whatever you’re writing about. They don’t all accept submissions, but many do. Look up the site’s guidelines for submitting an article, follow it to the letter and push “send”! Be brave!

As people begin to recognize your name as an author, you can start generating excitement for the upcoming publication of your memoir. Promoting yourself and your work takes time, but you have a lot of options that were never open to the average person before everything went online. Good luck!