How to Sell Your Memoir: 12 Steps to a Perfect Book Proposal
By: Brooke Warner
Publisher: She Writes Press
Published: October 25, 2013
Synopsis: How to Sell Your Memoir: 12 Steps to a Perfect Book Proposal offers memoirists an easy-to-follow formula to create a winning book proposal that will attract agents and editors. Brooke Warner is a former acquiring editor and current publisher who breaks the nonfiction proposal into three editorial components and three marketing components. This ebook includes a section about platform-and an explanation of why memoirists need one and how they can build one-as well as real samples from authors who have sold their memoirs to traditional publishers off their proposals. Find easy-to-follow templates and smart tips for navigating agents and publishers, along with best practices memoirists can’t afford not to know!
(Synopsis from Goodreads)
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With a memoir well on its way to completion, I’ve been muddling over what does a writer does once the manuscript is complete, when you believe it’s really ready for the hands of a publisher.
When the opportunity arose to review Brooke Warner’s newly released book, How to Sell Your Memoir: 12 Steps to a Perfect Book Proposal, I signed on to help spread the word about it. Little did I know that a majority of my questions would be answered while I read the book.
Warner succinctly and with clarity provides a step-by-step guide to what a memoirist needs to do in order to place his/her manuscript on the correct pathway to publication. Leaving nothing to chance, she provides tips set apart in such a way that it is easy to thumb back through the book and easily spot them. Here’s an example similar to what you’ll find in Warner’s book:
TIP: THINK OF YOUR BOOK PROPOSAL LIKE A BOOK REPORT YOU WOULD HAVE DONE IN GRADE SCHOOL. IT NEEDS A TITLE PAGE AND A TABLE OF CONTENTS SO THE READER OF THE PROPOSAL KNOWS WHAT THEY CAN EXPECT TO FIND, AND SO THEY CAN SKIP AHEAD IF THERE’S SOMETHING SPECIFIC OF INTEREST TO THEM.
Additionally, Warner provides other best practices information with each chapter. These are extremely well written and easily understood. Samples of each phase are provided, including query letter, components of proposal, marketing research, etc.
Sprinkled along the way are resources Warner believes beneficial to the writer new to the marketing and publishing aspects of book publishing.
Her writing and format are both good examples of what agents and publishers will likely be looking for.
Considering the short length, 88 pages of text and tips, Warner answers all of my questions to date and has demystified the issues of platform, query letters, book proposals and more.
I cannot recommend this book strongly enough for people writing memoir who may be reaching that point where issues surrounding marketing and publishing begin to come into focus. This is by far one of the best examples of a “how to” book which clearly maps out the process for you.
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Meet the Author:
Brooke Warner is the founder and president of Warner Coaching Inc., where she specializes in helping writers get published. She is also the publisher of She Writes Press. In her thirteen years in the publishing industry, including seven-plus years as an acquiring editor at Seal Press, Brooke shepherded over 500 books through the publication process. Her expertise is in traditional and new publishing, and she is an equal advocate for publishing with a traditional house and self-publishing. Brooke’s website, www.warnercoaching.com, is the recipient of an award from the Association of Independent Authors for Best Website for Independent Authors. She sits on the board of the National Association of Memoir and She Writes. What’s Your Book? is her first book and she’s proud to be publishing on She Writes Press. Warner lives in Berkeley, California, and works remotely with clients nationally and internationally.
Other places to connect with Brooke Warner:
Facebook: facebook.com/warnercoaching Twitter: @brooke_warner She Writes blog: http://www.shewrites.com/profiles/blog/list?user=1resr57ciyxus YouTube: youtube.com/warnercoaching Pinterest: pinterest.com/warnercoaching
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- Brooke Warner’s Advice on Self-Publishing: ‘Don’t Try to Do it All Yourself!’ (mediabistro.com)
- The 13 Best Biographies, Memoirs, and History Books of 2013 (lawprofessors.typepad.com)
- Three “just right” texts to investigate the craft of memoir. (twowritingteachers.wordpress.com)
- What Every Memoir Writer Should Know (eleanorvincent.com)
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UP NEXT: Coming soon we’ll take a look at how to choose stories you’ll include in your memoir.
Another helpful post. This entry will be tucked into my writing tips (publishing) folder. When I began my blog, I had no idea there would be so many helpful guides lighting the way. You are Beatrice in the creation of many a story, Sherrey.
Hi Marian! So good to visit with you here and by email today as well as on Sonia’s blog. I’m glad you found this post helpful. I believe Brooke has written the book I’ve been looking forward to — a concise, straightforward breakdown of what I’m supposed to do! Thanks for stopping by.
I’m not a writer at all but gosh, I love reading a good memoir! Glad you found this one to be such a great resource!
Monika, thanks for stopping in and leaving your comment. We who write memoir are glad you love to read them.
This sounds exactly like what I need! Thank you for this post!
Oh no, is it only Kindle?
Luanne, I hate to disappoint but I believe that is correct.
Stinks :(. I wonder if it’s possible to read Kindle books on iPads?
A suggestion. Email Brooke and let her know you want to read her book but don’t have a Kindle, and see if she’ll send you a pdf of it. It can’t hurt to ask.
Once you finish reviewing all of your memoir books, you need to make one list of the best of the best!
Rebecca, have you been reading my mind? 🙂
Yes! I have. Didn’t I mention that I can do that? 😛
I’d better be more careful then, hadn’t I? 🙂
[…] recently read and reviewed Brooke Warner’s new book, How to Sell Your Memoir: 12 Steps to a Perfect Book Proposal. This book invigorated and encouraged […]
I’m going to check this one out. Thanks.
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