Dear Friends | A Letter to My Followers

Via Google Images
Via Google Images

I hope when you landed here the updated theme didn’t startle you or cause you to double-check that you were in the right place, or the wrong place.

With my new-found pathway to rewriting my memoir project, I felt that my earlier theme was a bit too dark, mostly black in the header, rather dreary for a writer on a new mission.

Off I went to browse WordPress themes, and I found this one, Hemingway Rewritten. Apropos, don’t you think?

I am enjoying the rewriting, finding new twists and turns to the story, and look forward to the journey I’m travelling.

Hope you’ll come along with me.

New Year, New Look, New Goals

Attribution – xjrshimada
Attribution – xjrshimada

New Year

Here we are in 2014. Can you believe another year has passed by? 2013 sped by like a high-speed rail train.

Days flying by in a blur. Projects piling up no matter how fast we moved. Ideas for stories and books constantly dancing in our heads.

Where did it all go? Do we really have to have an answer?

After all, we’re here now — in 2014.

A clean slate. Ready to begin anew.

New Look

In this new year, I decided to tackle my 2014 goals right out of the box.

  • Among my goals is the completion of my memoir manuscript. And if that happens (and why wouldn’t it?), I need to be thinking about personal branding and author platform. Two fairly heady subjects. I decided to choose one of them to work on first.
  • Branding won out! When I began blogging, I didn’t know the first thing about branding. However, along the way I have read a number of posts and articles on the subject and with working toward the finish line with my book, I decided it was something that needed serious attention.
  • Note the new name, Sherrey Meyer, Writer. The tagline, however, remains tied to the central theme of my book and my goal here, “Healing life’s hurts through writing.” I chose to use my name and my calling to enjoy the freedom of being who I am almost every hour of every day of the week:
      • She who writes
      • She who loves words
      • She who hopes to help others write their stories
      • And with the new name, it was time to also adopt a more professional look, something crisp and clean with an underlying hint of purpose and mission. Look around and explore. A few things are different. Most things are nearly the same. I want you to be comfortable here — this is where we meet.

    New Goals

    In my last post, I talked about my goals for 2014. To date, I’m keeping pace. I want to mention something I came across after that post which is helping a lot with my daily writing goal.

    Catching up on a little reading the other day, I came across a post by Jeff Goins of Goins, Writer. In it, Jeff talked about establishing a regular writing habit, writing every day. The challenge is a simple one: write 500 words every day for 31 days, starting January 1st, or when you came across the post. Then you post how many words you’ve written on any given day on Twitter, Facebook, in the Facebook Group Jeff has set up.

    I decided nothing ventured, nothing gained, right? So, it was January 4th when I sat down to tackle my first 500 words. That day I wrote 1200 on my memoir, and my daily goal I had set here was to write 1500-2000 each day. Call me elated — I was close! And each day I’ve averaged about the same.

    Attribution
    Attribution

    Maybe my first goal was a bit lofty or maybe I’ve just got to get past that 1200 mark.

    Further, Jeff’s challenge has provided entrée for me into an online accountability group, and I’m meeting some greater writers.

    The takeaway on New Goals is that although we set up goals, we need to be flexible to allow ourselves the opportunity to take advantage of something we weren’t expecting which aids in achieving that goal!

    What about you? If you set goals for 2014, are you well underway? Have you had to make changes and be flexible? Let’s discuss in the comments below.

    How to Sell Your Memoir: 12 Steps to a Perfect Book Proposal by Brooke Warner | A Review

    Image via Goodreads
    Image via Goodreads

    How to Sell Your Memoir: 12 Steps to a Perfect Book Proposal

    By: Brooke Warner
    Publisher: She Writes Press
    Published: October 25, 2013
    Genre: Nonfiction
    Source: Author

    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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    My Thoughts:

    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.

    My Recommendation:

    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:

    Image via Amazon
    Image via Amazon

    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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    UP NEXT: Coming soon we’ll take a look at how to choose stories you’ll include in your memoir.