Writing a memoir is a deeply personal experience. It takes a tremendous amount of self-reflection to craft your life experiences into an engaging story. Now that you’ve completed that richly rewarding journey and self-published your book, it’s time to think about ways to share your memoir with readers. The marketing experts at Self-Publishing Relief recommend promoting your memoir using these specific strategies.
7 Strategies For Boosting Sales Of Your Self-Published Memoir
Find Your Audience
The first—and most important—question to ask is: Who is this memoir for? Many people write memoirs purely for their own purposes, to help make sense of an experience, narrate a life lesson, or pass a story down to their families. All of these are valid reasons.
But if you intend to sell the book, you need to look at the memoir through a different lens. Ideally, you should craft the work in a way that satisfies an identifiable audience.
To find your audience, ask yourself:
- What’s the memoir’s genre? Does it revolve around survival, nostalgia, addiction, sports, travel, politics, music, etc.?
- Will the memoir appeal to an ideal reader of a specific gender, age, sexual orientation, geographical area, religious group, etc.?
- What is the “hook” of your memoir—the intriguing, one-line description that will garner the most interest? Who will the hook appeal to most?
Connect Through Experiences
Readers who have experienced the same highs and lows that you’ve described in your memoir are an ideal audience for your book. Here’s how to connect with them:
- Seek Your Tribe. If you’ve written a memoir about twenty years of organic gardening, you’ll find fellow enthusiasts at organic gardening associations and civic gardening clubs, where you can mingle, connect, and talk about your story.
- Search Online. Facebook hosts a large number of specialized groups where people share their wisdom. Engaging with them gives you an opportunity to mention your memoir and include a cover image and links to e-vendors.
- Tweet About It. On Twitter, using experience-specific hashtags (#addictionrecovery, #vietnamvets) can connect you to potential readers and grow your profile.
- Post Photos. Instagram focuses on visuals, but it’s also a great social media app for targeting the millennial generation.
Embrace Cause Marketing
“Cause marketing” is a way to show generosity to a charity while also spreading the word about your memoir.
For example, if you’ve written a memoir that focuses on your connection to dogs, sweeten your marketing efforts by offering a percentage of royalties to a local dog rescue organization. Done well, cause marketing can lift the visibility of an author’s efforts by orders of magnitude.
Host A Contest
Offering up a free, signed copy of your self-published book is a great way to capture the attention of a new audience. You can host contests online using Rafflecopter and other contest software. Just beware of offering unrelated prizes that’ll draw sweepstakes fanatics who aren’t really interested in the book itself.
Speak At An Event
If you’re comfortable with speaking in front of people, consider offering a series of lectures on topics related to your memoir. Local civic groups, historic societies, survivor groups, and senior centers are always looking for new and interesting speakers.
Write A Blog
It’s likely your self-published memoir covers only a portion of your life experiences. Why not blog about related subjects? A series of short personal essays that expand on your memoir will help your marketing and promotion efforts.
Submit Excerpts From Your Memoir To Magazines
Is there a chapter in your memoir that can stand alone as a personal essay? Can you pitch an original, related topic to literary journals and magazines? Publishing credits will get your name out there, establish you as a pro, and help you reach a wider audience of potential buyers for your book.
Just as writing and self-publishing a memoir takes courage, successful marketing also requires putting yourself out there. And in both cases, the results are worth it! Remember to remain open to readers’ honest and heartfelt responses, whatever they may be.
Question: What’s the title of your favorite memoir?