It can be very difficult to sell a memoir when you’re
not famous. Without
a celebrity’s fan base, or a loyal and captive audience, then you
need to write like a master, or have such a fantastical story that no one
can divert their attention from it!
The other question that often arises with memoir is: How true does it have to be? That may sound like a funny question, but it’s a valid one.
Below you’ll find links to the most useful advice I’ve seen (or offered) in the past couple years on writing and publishing memoir.
OR: If you prefer to have someone present material to you in a focused and interactive format, then I highly recommend How to Write a Marketable Memoir presented by Paula Balzer. This online event is apart of Writer’s Digest’s free writing webinar series.
From Writer’s Digest magazine
The Market for Memoirs (July/August 2010), an agent roundtable on what they’re looking for and what sells
The Key Elements of Writing a Good Memoir (July/August 2010), on story arc
A Hook for Every Book (July/August 2010), by agent Paula Balzer on finding a salable hook for your memoir
Do Memoirs Have to Be True? (July/August 2010)
Full Disclosure by Laurie Rosin (July/August 2010), on why you shouldn’t gloss over the tough stuff when writing your memoir (look on right-hand side of site for link to article)
My own advice at NO RULES
Guest posts at NO RULES
My favorite agent & editor advice on memoir
Agent Rachelle Gardner on writing memoir [similar to above, but different angle]
My favorite book on personal stories & memoir
The Situation and The Story by Vivian Gornick
What are your favorite articles, blog posts, or books that specifically address memoir writing? Share in the comments! I’d love to find more resources. In my mind, this is a topic that’s not covered often enough.