Marketing Your Memoir Before You Finish It: Part I

When you’re in the midst of writing, the last thing you may be thinking about is marketing your memoirmarketing your memoir.

After all, isn’t it better to handle tasks one at a time – first writing the memoir, then publishing it, then finally marketing it?

In most cases, the answer is “no.” Unless you’re writing a memoir just for yourself and have no plans of selling, it’s a good idea to think about marketing before you start writing. That’s because it takes time to build relationships, network and establish a platform, all of which are crucial factors when selling your book.

Building Relationships and Networking When Marketing Your Memoir 

Writing is a business, and the odds of success increase if you, like other businesspeople, build relationships and network with people in your targeted customer group.

Begin by asking yourself who will want to read your memoir and how you can reach these people. For example, if your memoir explores the years you spent in Italy studying art during the 1960s, you might join an art lovers’ club – whether online or in “real life” – or perhaps an Italian-American social group. Even before your memoir is complete, you might read an excerpt at a group meeting, or publish it on the group’s website.

Establishing a Platform

The more people who know you, or know about you, the better your chances of selling a lot of copies of your memoir. So be sure to create a website featuring your book and its subject matter. You can begin with a simple website; a single page is enough to start. As you get more into the marketing process, you can expand the site. Link it to Facebook and other social networking sites, and get it listed on other websites that attract the people who might like your memoir.

Consider contributing brief articles or comments to relevant websites or magazines, identifying yourself as the author of an upcoming memoir and referring readers to your website.  Volunteer to speak to groups that might be interested in your topic and go on local radio shows for interviews. Doing these things can help you establish a platform – that is, assemble a group of fans who are likely to want to buy your book.

Remember, however, that at this stage in the marketing process your goal is to sell yourself, not your book. At this point, you should concentrate on building your “brand.”

It’s Never Too Early to Start Thinking About How to Market Your Book…

… but don’t become obsessed with it. I have met writers who spend so much time marketing, they never get around to finishing their books!

I’ll look at more techniques for marketing a memoir in a future blog.

If you are looking for a professional ghostwriter who knows how to build relationships, network and establish a platform, contact Barry Fox. I can help you write an interesting, compelling memoir. And, if you like, I can also guide you through the processes of marketing your book and self-publication.

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