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How to Know if You Should Write a Memoir

How to Know if You Should Write a Memoir

There are a lot of people out there that are thinking about writing a memoir. But most people will never be able to get theirs published. There is not a huge market for memoirs and most people simply do not read very many of them unless they have wide market appeal. If you have been thinking about writing a memoir, but aren’t sure if you should or not, here are some questions that you can ask yourself that will allow you to get a better idea as to the marketability of your memoir.

Is Your Life Unique?

One of the questions that you should ask is whether your life is unique enough to write a memoir. Everyone thinks that their story is worth telling. But the truth is, our own lives are much more interesting to us than they are to other people. You may have done some pretty interesting things in your life, and you may think that they are unique, but compare them with other people and try to determine whether they are unique enough to write a memoir about them.

Do You Have a Perspective No One Else Does?

You should write a memoir only if you have a perspective that no one else does. If someone else can write the same story better than you can, then you may want to leave it for them. Of course, if you are writing about your own life, you probably do have a unique perspective that no one else has, but it can still be a useful question.

Are You a Good Writer or Can You Hire a Good Writer?

You either need to be a really good writer or you need to hire a good writer to write your memoir. That’s because it is notoriously difficult to get a memoir published, so the writing has to be absolutely top-notch, tight and really compelling. Even if you have a great memoir, if the writing is an up to standards, publishers are not going to be interested in it.

Are You Prepared to Toil in Vain if You Aren’t Published?

Another thing to keep in mind is that you may have to toil in vain and end up not getting published. As mentioned, a memoir is a really tough type of book to get published. Only a very small percentage of regular books that get submitted to publishers actually make it to the bookshelves, and that percentage is even smaller when it comes to memoirs.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is that you should be really sure that you want to write a memoir before you begin. If you think that you truly have a story that other people want to read and the ability to write it, then go ahead, but be aware that it will be difficult to publish it. If you want more great writing tips and information on self-publishing a memoir, go to Reedsy.com. They have tons of great stuff for self-publishing authors

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5 of the Best Writing Contests in 2018

5 of the Best Writing Competitions in 2018

If writing is your passion, then put your skillset to the test in an open forum. Challenge yourself by entering a writing competition in the last half of 2018. Winning a writing contest could launch your writing career to best-seller status overnight. If you have dreams of being a professional writer, enter one of these 5 competitions and take a chance at making your dreams come true.

1. The Weekly Reedsy Short Story Contest

Join the community at Reedsy.com by signing up for their weekly newsletter for writers. Each week, the Reedsy team publish a short story contest and is eligible to all Reedsy members. The competition gives you the choice of writing a short story in one of 5 different prompts. Your submission must reach Reedsy by the following Friday.

If you win, you’ll receive a cash prize of $50. What’s more, Reedsy will publish your piece in their Medium Blog, and read by thousands of aspiring writers and members of the Reedsy community.

2. The Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing

This contest is specifically for first-generation immigrants to the United States. Winners have the chance to win a cash prize of $10,000 and publication of their book, or story, by Restless. The contest alternates every year between fiction and non-fiction.

2018 submission s must be works of fiction, with a minimum of 45,000 words. Consult with the Restless Books website for deadline details.

3. Words & Brushes

This competition focuses on combining the skills of artists and writers. To enter, select a piece of artwork from their online gallery. Draw inspiration from the piece and write a short story on it. Winners receive a cash prize of $350, as well as a showcase in a future publication.

There is no entrance fee for this contest and submissions must total between 2,000 and 5,000 words. The deadline for the next competition is still pending.

4. Minotaur Books – Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel Competition

Do you fancy yourself as a crime writer? If you’re 18 years or older, enter the Minotaur Books contest for mystery and crime writers. This contest may have a dark theme, but the prizes will light up your life.

The winner receives a publication deal with Minotaur, with up to $10,000 in royalties from sales of your book. The deadline for the contest is announced in the last quarter of the year, visit their website for further information.

5. Costa Short Story Award

The coffee-giants founded this competition in 2012, as an addition to “The Costa Book Awards,” one of the longest-running book awards in the industry. Costa’s competition is popular with writers because of the exposure a winner can receive in the writing community.

Along with the global acclaim that comes from winning this contest, you receive a $3,000 grand prize as well. This contest has no entrance fee and requires a short story of 4,000 words. Check their website for details and submission guidelines.

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The Myth of Writer’s Block

Is Writer’s Block a Myth?

No one really knows what causes writers block, which is led some writers to conclude that it doesn’t really exist. Of course, for the millions of writers who have gotten stuck for days or weeks due to writers block, this argument doesn’t hold much water. But you definitely should consider the possibility the writer’s block may not be an actual thing, but simply a symptom of another problem entirely. That starts with understanding exactly what causes writers block in the first place, and knowing what sort of steps you should be taking to fix the problem. Let’s look at writers block in more detail.

One of the things that cause writers block is self-doubt. Many writers experience this problem when they first start writing. They don’t believe that they can actually finish a story or novel or whatever they are working on. Even when they finish something, they do not believe that they will actually get anything published. Having the self-doubts is simply part of being a writer. But all too often, this doubt causes you to get stuck in a cycle that makes you think it’s not even worth it to write. The only cure for this doubt in the writers block the comes with it is to continue writing and prove to yourself that you do have what it takes.

Something else that can cause writers block is a problem in the story. In this case, writers block is not so much a myth as it is a symptom of the problem. For example, you may have written something previously that doesn’t make sense with what you are currently writing. You may not even remember what that is, but your subconscious mind does. Sometimes you have to go back and figure out where that problem is and corrected before you can move on. However, pro writers will tell you to let the scene go where ever it is that it wants to go, and then worry about fixing the mistakes such as continuity later on.

People sometimes get stuck because they are trying to force characters to do things that they do not want to do. In other words, your subconscious mind knows the kind of character that you have created. In fact, your subconscious mind knows a lot more about your character than your conscious one does. When you try to force the character to do something that is against his or her nature, or does not make sense in the story, then you get stuck and you feel like you are forcing it. This can bring your story to a grinding halt as well.

The bottom line is that although writers block is not necessarily a myth, it is not as big of a problem as people think it is. In fact, you are the one that gives it all of its power. If you refuse to acknowledge the power of writers block and continue writing no matter what, you will find it has very little effect on you.

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5 Ways to Save Money When Self-Publishing a Book

5 Ways to Save Money on Self-Publishing

When it comes to self-publishing, you are responsible for all of the costs that are incurred with making your book ready for the mass market. But most authors that are self-publishing do not have the kind of budget that a major publishing house does. Putting out a book properly by yourself can be expensive. That means that you are going to have to find ways to save money on self-publishing, and some of these ways are going to have to be creative, out-of-the-box solutions that you might not have thought of otherwise. Here are five ways that you can save money on self-publishing.

Use Amazon’s KDP Program

The first way to save money is to use Amazon’s KDP program. Kindle Direct Publishing is Amazon’s publishing program, and all that is required for you to be able to list your book for sale on Amazon is that you upload the book, upload the cover, and then fill out all of the relevant information about your book such as the categories that it belongs in, the author name and various other factors. Amazon does not charge anything at all for the service.

Design the Cover Yourself

Another thing that you may be able to do to save money is design the book cover yourself. If you have Photoshop, and access to the Internet, then you can very easily learn how to create your own book cover design that will rival most of the signs that you will get you hire a designer. This is not always the case, because some people are just not able to create graphic designs in Photoshop, but many people find that they are talented in this area even when they think they are not.

Do the Editing Yourself

You also may want to do the editing of your book yourself. Most authors self-edit anyway, but the trick here is to put your work a way for several weeks and then come back to when you have completely forgotten about it and have a fresh mind. If you try to edit your work directly after you have finished it, you are going to find very few of the mistakes that you have made and you are not going to be able to look at your work objectively and be able to do any sort of real editing.

Find Cheap Ways to Promote Your Book

You can also find lots of cheap ways to promote your book. One of the best ways is to start becoming active in the Kindle boards forum with your books listed in your signature. That way, every time you make a post in the Kindle boards, you’re going to be advertising your books. There are lots of other ways that you can advertise your fiction or nonfiction for very little money.

Do a BookBub Promotion

Finally, you may want to consider doing a BookBub promotion. While this will likely cost you several hundred dollars, you are going to make at least that much back and probably a lot more. BookBub is one of the best ways to advertise your book, and it almost always results in a profit.