Friday, April 30, 2010

Selling Your Book & Memoir: Part 1

We are very fortunate to have a place like The Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis. I have attended many classes, workshops, and events over the years. The staff is fantastic, and the experiences have been wonderful. I've made some friends from The Loft, and enjoy visiting there as often as I can.

I was asked to write a piece about "selling your book out of the trunk of your car" (along with three other writers). I shared my experiences in A View from the Loft:

I’ve never been much of a salesperson. Now I’m faced with selling me. Working for corporations and nonprofits for years, I did get into marketing—brochures, newsletters, promoting the business. But it is harder to promote yourself. This is especially true when it comes to something as personal as a story that you lived through. I think writers tend to focus on the creating, and forget about the legwork.

When Voices of Multiple Sclerosis, the anthology in which I have an essay, was released, I was fortunate to start out with a publicist. She booked me on a local TV talk show for an interview that was less than five minutes long and in which I was asked very basic questions about the book. Since I was not only promoting myself, it was important to mention that there are 32 other authors in the book, who published it, and where people could find it. I thought I would be so nervous, but it was actually fun. Being in the famous “green room” at the television station with a comedian, a musician, and a fellow writer also made it interesting.

In the end, the publicity business is an ongoing process and learning experience. Next time, when the entire book is mine—and I know that time is coming—I hope I can take the experience of the anthology and understand the process better. Finishing the manuscript may give you a great sense of completion—and it should—but it’s really only the beginning.

Thanks again to my fellow writers, both on the site and in the book. And thanks to The Loft....especially Dara! It is so great to have a place that is so supportive of writers in the community. You guys rock!

There is another piece yet to come out attached to this on writing memoir and how the story has to be told - so this is, I guess, to be continued...

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