Now for the Hard Part: Marketing

Writing the manuscript is the easy part. It took me two years to complete the first draft of my memoir, and now it’s in revisions (guided by a professional editor). That means it’s time for me to get started on the one thing I – and many other writers – detest: marketing.

The very idea of “branding” myself is offensive: I’m wild at heart, a free spirit. The idea of being “branded” like a herd cow stokes my inner Goddess, Durga of the fiery eyes and flashing swords. I don’t fit inside a corporate box; I can’t be bound by marketing metrics!

OK, now that that’s out of my system…

For now, at least, I’m not going to try to “brand” myself, but I am going to begin the thought process to start creating marketing materials. Wordclay has an excellent article on creating a marketing plan for memoirs, which I’m using to guide my efforts. It also offers a lot more resources here.

First, I need to define my audience, that is, “who would read this book?” At first, my answer was a shrug and a half-uttered “I dunno.” Obviously, I needed to hone in on that a little more. Usually, people read memoirs because there’s something about the story – or the protagonist – they relate to. So here are my first stabs at defining who might want to read my story:

  • Witches, Wiccans, Neo-Pagans
  • Survivors of abuse
  • Southerners
  • Nerds, outcasts, loners
  • Single mothers, mothers whose experience of pregnancy and childbirth included trauma
  • Feminists
  • Anyone concerned about poverty
  • Anyone who lived through the ’80s

I’ve also compiled some of the reasons why people read memoirs generally. These are my answers as well as from friends who read memoir:

  • For a sense of connection
  • To get out of your own life
  • To be inspired
  • To experience different lives and worlds

Does my memoir provide these? I think it does. And I’ll need to highlight how it does so in my marketing materials.

Following Wordclay’s advice, the next step I’ll need to take is to figure out how to reach my market: where do they hang out? What kinds of events do they go to? Etc. I’ll continue to post about my journey through this confusing, challenging process.



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