(The Wonderland of Memoir Publishing)
A friend wrote to tell me his memoir had been accepted by a small press. They’d approached him on his Facebook page. Also from Facebook, he’s been contacted by someone who wants to develop a television series based on the memoir, and a third person chimed in about buying film rights. I admit, my friend’s life story deserves to be in print. But do I believe publishers, television, and film producers are trawling Facebook looking for memoirs from first-time authors? Accuse me of envy, but no, I don’t.
“That’s an extraordinary bit of luck,” I wrote back when he shared his news. “Highly unusual,” I added, hoping my words might provide an element of caution to a man giddy with good fortune. Luck does happen. But in the publishing world, the odds are long. More likely, he’ll get fleeced.
For the common man or woman, getting a memoir into print and widely circulated is an uphill task. So far, my memoir, Getting Lost to Find Home hasn’t enjoyed a smooth passage. Unless an author has thousands of dollars to spend with a marketing firm or publicist or both or is willing to bear the expense of a hybrid publisher, reaching out to buyers fall to him or her.
For those who haven’t several thousand dollars in loose change, I offer Elizabeth Lyon ‘s wisdom. Lyon is the book editor who in 2021 won the Stewart H. Holbrook Literary Legacy Award. She also edited my upcoming memoir. For her, the first step in marketing a book is to develop a timeline. Be warned, the work isn’t for the faint of heart. Marketing is harder than writing a book. Or, a person can hope Hollywood will seek them out on Facebook.
My next blog will cover other suggestions on marketing but we begin here, at the beginning.
4 to 12 mo before release create full publicity plan, press kit, press release, and send out copies of ARCs (Advanced Readers Copies) to long lead reviews such as Library Journal and Kirkus.
- 3-4 mo in advance plan book tour and events and schedule radio/tv
- 1-3 mo before release send queries to bloggers and book reviewers, create book trailers and personalized campaign elements
- 1 month – release follow-up on all leads, continue to send out ARCs, keep all reviewers up to date on developing news, follow up with reviewers, create weekly PR reports for author and publisher.
- During the week of the release, track sales and rankings… promote positive reviews, re-pitch reviewers with high sales, supervise release events to ensure they run smoothly and are promoted.
- Three weeks after release continue weekly PR reports and ranking info.
- 1 mo after release, PR wrap-up unless there is an additional publicity tory.
- After PR campaign completion, authors may request follow-ups such as book awards submissions, Wikki pages, and ongoing events.
((To be continued.)