Start a Movement with Your Book

Think about a book you read that literally changed your life. It could be spiritual, political, self-help, religious, relationship, improve finances or just about anything you were seeking an answer on.

Now imagine if the author never wrote the book. Or maybe they wrote the book, but never did anything to get the word out about it.

It could have gotten buried under the sea of books written every year that no one ever heard about. Just another, “I wrote the book, but no one will ever read it,” story of lost potential.

The first book that comes to mind (for me) as one that absolutely changed my perspective is, Man’s Search for Meaning, by Viktor E. Frankl.

This little book has impacted millions of people.

Here is what is written about the book on the book’s Amazon description.

Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl's memoir has riveted generations of readers with its descriptions of life in Nazi death camps and its lessons for spiritual survival. Between 1942 and 1945 Frankl labored in four different camps, including Auschwitz, while his parents, brother, and pregnant wife perished. Based on his own experience and the experiences of others he treated later in his practice, Frankl argues that we cannot avoid suffering but we can choose how to cope with it, find meaning in it, and move forward with renewed purpose. Frankl's theory-known as logotherapy, from the Greek word logos (“meaning”)-holds that our primary drive in life is not pleasure, as Freud maintained, but the discovery and pursuit of what we personally find meaningful.

At the time of Frankl's death in 1997, Man's Search for Meaning had sold more than 10 million copies in twenty-four languages. A 1991 reader survey for the Library of Congress that asked readers to name a “book that made a difference in your life” found Man's Search for Meaning among the ten most influential books in America.

Lost in the Shuffle

Imagine if this book had never been written. What a loss to millions of people who found meaning in the words of Viktor Frankl. Those of us who found comfort from getting inside the head and spirit of this amazing man.

It’s not just books with deep, life changing messages that we would dearly miss had they not been written. Fantasy books. Children books. Cook books. The list goes on and on.

Yet, many aspiring authors miss so much by not making a commitment to do all they can to get their words on paper. From there, they miss so many opportunities to market their books because they either don’t know how to market, don’t understand marketing or would rather write than have people read their works.

My Memoir

For well over a decade I talked about writing my memoir. Yet, I did nothing at all do move forward. Even though I wrote several books during that time, the one book I wanted to write more than anything was my memoir.

But year after year, it remained a dream. Until one day when the desire to tell my story was stronger than the desire not to.

A few months ago I was involved in a mastermind meeting. It was there something deep inside surfaced and I said, “Enough is enough. I HAVE to write my story.”

At the time, I wasn’t sure how the story would unfold or exactly what would be in the initial manuscript, but I knew I had to write it.

The process of writing my memoir was different than a business book. It was a process of allowing stories I had kept to myself unfold. Stories that are raw, unbridled and reveal a part of me I could have kept carefully tucked away.

Or could I?

You Must Tell Your Story

There comes a point where the stories that were born out of deep pain are the very stories that will be the catalyst for not only our healing, but the healing of others. These are the stories that will show, through example, that no matter what we’ve gone through, no matter what the choices, no matter how deeply we hurt, they are the stories that bring healing to us and others.

But unless we are willing to write the stories, they stay buried away to get lost in the pile of untold stories.

Imagine, just imagine, if Viktor Frankl had not told his story. What a pity that would be. Millions would have been deprived of the insights of this amazing man. A man who, like millions of others, had been the victim of the cruelty of the Nazis, but unlike millions, lived to tell the story and share a perspective that was uniquely his own. A story that shifted the perspective of the reader in profound ways.

What is your story? What is your perspective? What is the message that longs to emerge?

And what are you doing to assure the story does not go to the grave with you?

Your story could be the next life changing book for someone. It can be the very story that starts a movement by the fact the reader is so deeply impacted they make a change in their life that has been buried deep inside them.

Let your story out. Do all you can to share who you are. No matter what the genre, there's something waiting to emerge from your soul. Give it wings to fly. You never know, your story could start a movement.

Beyond writing your book, there is the marketing

of the book. Yet, many authors do little, if anything, to get the word out about their book. Curious as to how to do this? I have two ways for you to learn more about marketing you books and both are FREE for the asking. Simple click either image to be taken to the page to sign up for my webinar on how to Hit #1 or my report – Hit #1.

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Will Fear Stop You from Writing Your Memoir?

“If you don’t have at least some fear come up, you’re likely not going deep enough.”

This was one of the first things I read about writing a memoir well  into my first memoir. By the time I read about fear when writing a memoir, I had written over 29,000 on my first draft.

Honestly, I was relieved to discover fear is all part of the process of writing a memoir. Why? Because as I wrote about a very dark period in my life, I did have a fair amount of fear show up.

“Was it really this bad? What will people think? Wouldn’t it be better to let sleeping giants lie?” These were only a few of the questions that came up while writing about my demons with alcohol and the behaviors that seem to be a part of an alcoholic's life.

I thought it was just me being a wimp. After all, plenty of people have had dark times in their life. But plenty of people keep that a secret. They don’t write a memoir around their experiences. They close the door on their past and hope no one will ever find out.

Then there are those who reveal all, seeming to not have a fear in the world. But they likely dealt with emotions that were similar to being on a roller-coaster ride at the county fair.

One minute their feeling great, thinking this is the most freeing feeling in the world. The next minute they feel like they could puke their guts out. In some cases, they do.

Why Writing a Memoir Appeals to Some Writers

So, what’s the appeal to writing a memoir? For some, it’s a great way to heal the past. For others, it’s a way to relive a time they loved deeply and want to share it with the world. Maybe it was a period of great pain they wished would never have happened, but it did.

For some, it’s a great way to leave a legacy of a snapshot of a meaningful period in their life. Not that their entire life isn’t meaningful, but it could be their time in the military. Or when they were in a hostage situation. Or maybe it’s a tribute to someone who had a profound impact on the direction of their life.

Although I’ve written plenty of books, blog posts, articles and marketing pieces, writing millions of words over the years, penning a memoir is a new undertaking for me.

It’s Been A Dream for Years

I’ve thought about writing a memoir for well over a decade. A few years ago, I did write what I thought was a memoir. After a recent evaluation of the manuscript, I realized it was more of a self-help book than a memoir.

I have yet to do anything with that manuscript. At some point I may, but for now, my most recent writing project is what will be published as my first memoir.

What Exactly is a Memoir?

According to Dictionary.com, “a memoir is a record of events written by a person having intimate knowledge of them and based on personal observation. It’s also an account of one’s personal life and experiences.  Although some call biographies and autobiographies memoirs, in its truest sense a memoir is a snapshot of a period or theme in a person’s life.” Click here for full post.

According to a post on www.study.com “Memoirs are factual stories about someone's life. ‘Memoir' is from the French word mémoire, which means ‘reminiscence' or ‘memory.' They are a part of the nonfiction literary genre and are usually told in the first person. We might expect the information the author provides in a memoir to be factual, but that doesn't mean the memoirist won't occasionally embellish the truth to tell a more interesting story. Memoirs are typically classified as a subgenre of the autobiography.”

Increase in the Genre

Over the last few years, there’s been a substantial increase in the number of published memoirs. In years past, memoirs were usually written by celebrities, public figures and those who had incredible life experiences.

With the ability for any author to self-publish, nowadays there are countless memoirs. One need not do anything hugely substantial to write a memoir. There are plenty of stories of victory over drugs and alcohol, childhood abuse, overcoming a disease and care-taking a parent. So much in fact, some experts claim these type of stories are run of the mill.

It was in the 1990’s memoirs became a popular choice for seasoned and first time authors.

“Many observers have linked the memoir boom to the publication of Frank McCourt’s Angela’s Ashes  in 1999and its trip to the bestseller list, the Pulitzer Prize, and the National Book Award. With a subtitle like A Memoir, and with an author who was a retired public school teacher, this book—along with the earlier and more sensational tale, A Child Called It by Dave Pelzer in 1995—sent out a subliminal call to others, especially those who had endured difficult childhoods, to write their own stories.” https://janefriedman.com/memoir-trend/

As with any genre, there are pros and cons to self-publishing your book(s). The obvious upside is virtually any author can get their work to market. The downside is that virtually any author can get their work to market.

You Have to Market Your Memoir

As an author who understands (and embraces) the need to be fully responsible for marketing my books, regardless of the topic, I did a great deal of research on how to market a memoir.

There are many similarities to marketing a memoir as to marketing a business book including press coverage, social media marketing, database distribution, article marketing, interviews and book signing.

A nice aspect of memoir marketing are the many hooks in your promotions. For example, if your story-line takes place in a specific geographic area, and that’s central to the theme, you can market within that locale.

Finding an Agent and Publisher

If you dream of having an agent pitch your story to publishers, it’s essential to have a clear understanding of what a publisher is looking for. In a word, platform.

Your platform is your reach. It’s your community. It’s where you are known.

A few questions to consider:

  • Do you have a social media presence?
  • Have you spoken in public on the subject of your memoir?
  • Have you been interviewed on radio, television or podcast shows?
  • Do you write for a blog or blogs?
  • Have you guest blogged?
  • Do you have articles published?

One agent indicated if an author can sell 5,000 copies of their memoir on their own, they have a lot of leverage with a potential publisher. After all, publishers are interested in sales and profits. Show them your book will generate both and you have their attention.

The more you can show you have a clear understanding of visibility as an author and expert, the better. That’s if you overcome your fear long enough to dig deep and reveal the aspects of your life you have so carefully protected… until now.

Be watching for details on my upcoming memoir. Target date for publication is Winter, 2017.

I can promise you this, you won’t be bored with what you’ll learn about me when the book releases.

To receive updates on the release of my memoir and other fun information, join my Facebook group by clicking here.