An important step in selling your memoir to a large market beyond the family and your circle of friends is to identify your intended audience early in the process. Your buying audience will affect what you include in your memoir and the manner in which you write it. You will likely include different material in your memoir depending on who you believe will purchase it. Below are thoughts that range from helping to promote a memoir that might appeal to a large audience to a small edition of a memoir of only local interest.
1. Will it reach a larger audience than family and friends? A book written specifically for friends and family may have a more personal or intimate tone than one intended for a wider readership. Certainly it will contain more personal information that you might not wish to share with strangers. For example, you may wish to speak less candidly about a dysfunction in the family–for instance, alcoholism or mental illness–if you know that the readership will not be in inherent sympathy with the subjects of the memoir.
Conversely, when you write for a larger audience, you may include much more public sort of information such as the development of your town or region. This information would be inappropriate or uninteresting for a personal audience.
2. Who would benefit from reading your lifestory? Every story has a natural audience just waiting to read it. For instance, if you were the first woman in your region to participate successfully in a particular business, you might want to focus on providing specific information that would mentor other women launching themselves. These are the readers who will wish to buy your book for the information it might furnish them. For a book about your experience running a small business, you may want to identify some small businesses in your area and send them a notice about your upcoming publication.
3. Have you made a list of every individual you know whom you assess should buy your book? If your book is intended for friends and family, you may use your Christmas card mailing list to alert your potential readers. Your first book will sell more easily to this audience than will your second or third book. People will want to encourage you when you start out but may not feel that need later on. By including a wide group of individual in a passing mention, you heighten the sales of a local book.
4. Are there community groups that may wish to celebrate your accomplishment (perhaps even want to plan a publication party!) and be thrilled to make your book known and available to their members? These groups can be a religious group or a civic organization, an educational institution or a social club. By spending some time including material that will be of interest to this group, you can enhance your book’s appeal-and profitability.
Good luck with your writing.
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