Some Tips on Memoir, Part 1: Don't Combine It With Self-Help

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I spent a lot of time this past weekend at a writers' conference talking to people who were writing memoir, and I want to share some conversations we had.

First of all, it seems that a lot of people feel the need to combine their memoir with self-help information. In other words, a person will write a book that 1) tells their experiences of taking care of a child with down syndrome, but also 2) has chapters on what down syndrome is, how medicine for it is changing, etc.

Combining these two categories - memoir and self help - is not recommended because publishers aren't looking for these types of books. There is a market for both, but not when combined. If you really want to focus on your personal story, it's a memoir, and people can easily take something away from it. Or - you have a more business-like self help book that is instructional.

Choose one; not both.

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Early Bird is the memoir I'm
reading right now.

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