Writing a Memoir? The 5 key facts that you need to know for commercial success

WRITING THE MEMOIR: From Truth to Art by Judith Barrington

Everyone has a story to tell, but does that mean it’s a book? I get many queries for personal memoirs, but I am the most selective about memoirs because the puzzle pieces falling into place have to be so much tighter. This is because of the success of memoirs in the 2000s: the market was flooded with everything from mis-mem (misery memoirs) to business. Now health memoirs have reached saturation. Editors are still open to memoirs, but they have to have terrific writing and a personal story that will inspire, intrigue, and entice consumers to purchase.

So how do you know if your memoir is right for commercial publishing? These five factors:

  • An interesting story to tell *that the mass market would want to know about*
  • Excellent writing (or celebrity status)
  • Actual plotting, pace and characters that readers can invest in and care about their outcome — I know it’s true, but it has to read like a novel.
  • Stories of redemption, loss, love, unbelievable happenings, that tie into current events, the underdog, cultural/political conflicts, humour, sports–you’ll notice that family sagas aren’t on this list and it’s because family saga isn’t a sales point on its own, it has to be tied into another hook.
  • Did I say Continue reading Writing a Memoir? The 5 key facts that you need to know for commercial success
Advertisements