Today’s guest blog post is excerpted from Anne R. Allen’s Blog… with Ruth Harris. Writing about writing. Mostly.
Book length memoir is a hard sell, but short essays can be a goldmine.
Memoir is the most popular genre at any writers’ conference.
Unfortunately, it’s the hardest to write well—and the least likely to be successful if you’re an unknown newbie writer.
That’s because book-length memoir isn’t likely to become a bestseller unless people already know who you are.
So how do you get people to know you? You could become a reality TV star, run for political office, or be related to somebody who marries into the British royal family of course, but not everybody has that option.
You can also work to get yourself known through social media, which I recommend for all memoirists.
Start a blog, podcast, or vlog on the subject or setting of your memoir and put some serious effort into promoting it through social media (also known as “building platform”).
It also helps to publish short memoir pieces and personal essays in traditional venues. If you’ve been working on that memoir a while, you probably have the material mostly written in the form of a book length memoir.
With a few tweaks, your excerpts can become publishable personal essays.
And the good news is, those short pieces can pay very well. Look at the fantastic success of anthologies like the Chicken Soup series. And if you get into an anthology along with some well-known authors, you’ll establish a fanbase that would take years to garner with a solo book release.
To read Anne’s entire blog post, including “Tips on Getting An Audience for Your Blog” and an essay by award-winning author and editor Paul Alan Fahey on how to expand a scene from your memoir (or directly from your life) into a flash memoir piece or personal essay, click on: Writing Memoir that Sells: Think Outside the Book!