It’s one thing to have led an interesting life and believe it will make a good read, and another to actually get it down on the page and then onto shelves—particularly if it is self-published. There are a number of services a memoir writer can take advantage of in writing their book.
A ghostwriter can help you in the writing and editing of the manuscript, and can help you keep things together. It’s easy to let details slip in the writing of a book, and having someone on hand to consult and confer with can really help the process. Ghostwriters will also be skilled researchers, which can save you a lot of time.
If you are not interested in a ghostwriter, you will need to work closely with an editor. Developmental editors can be especially useful, as they will work with you as you go and keep you on track. Hiring a good editor is fundamental to any written project, and if you plan on self-publishing, as many memoirists do, it is even more important that your manuscript be well-polished, as it will not have the security of a publishing house behind it.
Small details that may seem insignificant are actually very important in the reception of any book. Details like the typeface, the spacing of the text, how wide the margins are, where the page numbers lie, will help the book come across as professional and worthy of attention. Aesthetic details may not seem like a priority, but it is especially important for self-publishers not to skimp on these aspects as they will help you to receive the recognition that a publishing house would ordinarily provide for you. A well-designed cover will also be really important, as this will be the first thing people see. Make sure it is in-keeping with the tone of your memoir, and that it looks professional as well as eye-catching.
You will need to market your book skillfully. Make use of social media websites like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Tumblr. Make sure you have a well-defined market. If this is not your area, or you simply do not have the time, look into some marketing services. They can help you to find your market and conduct the research necessary to begin selling your memoir.
Robin Field holds a BA in English and Linguistics from the University of Cape Town where she is currently working toward her Master’s degree in Linguistics with a focus on gender and game studies.