Memoir Book Business: Build Your Brand–Here’s One Way

by Matilda Butler on February 4, 2011

Book Business PaperclipPost #66 – Women’s Memoirs, Book Business – Kendra Bonnett and Matilda Butler




One More Approach to Brand Building

Kendra usually writes to you today, our memoir book business day, but I convinced her to let me squeeze in a brief post instead. By now you know that we believe in a variation on the old Chicago mantra — Vote Early and Often — for memoir writers.

When you start to write a memoir, all the oxygen in the air seems to be taken up by the endeavor. How could you possibly start building your brand at the same time. Creating a blog and regularly posting? No time. Building a Twitter list and sending multiple tweets? No way. Creating a Facebook page and becoming connected with hundreds or thousands of other people? No, too scary.

Of course, many of you are already doing these three elements of brand building, or what we also call platform building. You may also have a marketing plan you are beginning to implement while still making progress on writing your memoir. If you are in this group, congratulations.

However, most memoir writers aren’t. So the point of today’s quick lesson is that you can also look for brand building opportunities that are closely aligned with your memoir writing so that they don’t seem to be pulling you in another direction. One of these is entering memoir contests.

memoir, memoir contest, memoir book businessWhy Enter a Memoir Contest?

Here are three reasons:

1. Writing is what you are doing and a contest allows you to take a small piece of your life and polish your telling of that story.
2. Making the commitment to meet a deadline puts you ahead of the curve. You can’t procrastinate. This is good practice for the main task of finishing your memoir.
3. Winning is always a possibility and writing is a lot about possibilities.

Women’s Memoirs Memoir Contest for February 2011
Our January Memoir Contest ended January 31 with a bang. We had a large number of wonderful entries, all focused on Valentine’s Day. We will announce the winner(s) on February 14.

Meanwhile, here’s our February Memoir Contest:

Memoir Writing Contest #2 for 2011: Deadline is February 28, 2011. Memoir Writing Contest Theme: Reflections on Green. This topic gives you room for creativity. You might write about spring or a dress or St. Patrick’s Day or … The winner(s) will be published in March.

Want to know about all 11 of our memoir contests this year? Click here.

We look forward to receiving your submission. Just put your entry in the text of an email to me: matilda (at) womensmemoirs (dot) com . We don’t require a photo or recipe, but if you have those elements, please send them as well. Questions? I’m glad to answer them.

Oh Yes, Here’s What to Do When You Win a Memoir Contest

When you win a contest, don’t just smile and go right back to work. Take time to let the world know. That’s how you actually build a brand. Yes, your award-winning entry will be published, but you need to get the word out.

At a minimum, you have an email list of family and friends. Send out an announcement to them and ask them to tell all their friends. Be sure to include a link to your published story. Have a Facebook page? Post your good news along with a link. Ask your FB friends to send the link to your award-winner story to their friends or to post it on their FB page. Been developing your Twitter following? This is definitely Twitter news. Again, (by now you know what I’m going to say) include the link. If the link is too long, you can get a www.bit.ly shortened url. And, of course, if you have a blog, tell your followers about your good news.

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