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How to Write a Memoir for the Marketplace with Book Coach Jennie Nash

Memoirs have a unique power to captivate, inspire, and connect with readers on a deeply personal level. 

They are windows into the lives, experiences, and emotions of their authors, offering a glimpse of the human condition in all its complexity. 

But, what does it take to transform your life’s story into a compelling memoir that not only resonates with readers but also finds its place in the competitive marketplace?

I recently interviewed Jennie Nash, CEO of Author Accelerator, a hugely successful business she has been running for 10 years. They certify, train and support book coaches. She’ll discuss the importance of understanding WHY you want to write a memoir and how it will serve you in the world.

She has developed blueprints for writing memoirs, non-fiction books, and fiction books. Each blueprint consists of 14 steps that guide writers through every aspect of writing their book. The first step is always asking why are you doing this? Understanding your motivation is crucial when it comes time to market your work.

Why Write a Memoir? 

First off, it can be super therapeutic – it’s a way for us to figure out what’s been going on in our lives. You know, sometimes we jot down stuff in a journal, maybe scribble letters to someone (even if we never send them), or just pour out our thoughts and experiences in various ways. 

It’s not about trying to sell a book or anything; it’s more about capturing your own life story, leaving a legacy for your family, or simply finding some healing in the process. So yeah, it’s definitely not about writing for the big, bad marketplace.

Memoir Writing is Unique

Memoir writing is a unique and sometimes challenging endeavor. More often than not, writers start with one idea in mind, only to discover that their story is something entirely different. It’s like planning a journey to London in the 70s, only to realize that Amsterdam in the 80s is where the real adventure lies.

Why does this happen? Well, memoirs are deeply personal. They’re about sharing your life experiences, your truths, and your vulnerabilities. But often, as you begin to write, you find that your story takes on a life of its own. It morphs into something unexpected and powerful.

Take, for example, the concept of “memoir plus.” This modern approach to memoir combines personal storytelling with additional elements like interviews or cultural analysis. Think of books like Carmen Maria Machado’s “In the Dream House,” which delves into a taboo topic within the lesbian community while simultaneously dissecting the act of storytelling itself.

Another fantastic example is “Wired for Music” by a scientist who initially set out to write about the impact of music on the brain. However, through collaboration with her editor, she discovered that her personal journey with music added depth and richness to her work, giving it a new shape and purpose.

How Your Book Will Serve You

How do you want to be in the world with this book?

Once you have established your “WHY” Jennie recommends thinking about how your book will serve you beyond just being published. Some people want their books to establish them as thought leaders or experts in their field while others may use it as part of their business funnel or ecosystem.

When trying to figure out why they want to write a memoir, many people struggle with finding an answer beyond simply wanting “to tell my story.” It’s important for writers to dig deeper by asking questions such as “Who do I want my readership audience to be? What do I hope they gain from reading my story?”

Building a Blueprint

In an ideal world, writers would approach Jennie and say, “I’m ready to do this. I have nothing. Let’s go!” But, let’s be real, that’s not how it usually goes down. Instead, clients typically arrive with a draft, a few chapters, countless attempts, blog posts, keynote speeches, and a whole bunch of other material.

Jennie asks them to show me what they’ve got as they follow her 14 steps blueprint plan. It’s like a creative puzzle, and it’s often a rollercoaster ride of discovery. Some parts are like hitting the jackpot, while others need some serious TLC.

Rarely does Jennie advise her clients to scrap everything and start over. It’s more of a discussion, a journey of inquiry. The blueprint process is about asking the tough questions before diving headfirst into writing. Why are you doing this? What’s your strategy? What’s your ultimate goal? These questions can be unsettling because they often lead to answers that aren’t as dreamy as writers would like.

Let’s face it; we often wish for a fairy godmother to swoop in and magically grant us a million-dollar book deal, a blockbuster movie adaptation, and the freedom to quit our day jobs. It’s the dream. But the blueprint process reminds us that crafting a book is a journey, not a shortcut to instant fame and fortune.

So, why does Jennie love this part of her job so much? “Because it’s a journey of self-discovery and growth for both me and my clients. It’s about turning their dreams into a tangible plan, one step at a time. It’s about refining their creative process and transforming their scattered thoughts into a cohesive story.”

In the end, it’s not just about writing a book; it’s about the adventure of becoming an author. So, whether you’re just starting or you’ve been on this path for a while, consider taking that two-week journey of inquiry. Embrace the magic of the blueprint process, and who knows? Maybe you’ll find your own version of happily ever after in the world of writing.

Getting Excited About the Marketing Plan

Getting people onboard with creating an effective marketing plan is not easy since most writers are introverts who prefer working alone rather than connecting with readers early on. However, helping them understand what they bring to the table in terms of talents and proclivities can make this process less daunting for them.

One of the critical points in getting your memoir ready for the marketplace is having an effective marketing plan in place before finishing or publishing your book. Waiting until later could mean missing out on opportunities to connect with readers early on, making it harder to market your work effectively later on.

Creative Marketing Strategies

Marketing your book isn’t just about pushing it out into the world; it’s about aligning your intentions, passions, and expertise with your target audience. It’s about making a difference and connecting with those who genuinely care about what you have to say.

Also it’s important to understand that building a platform doesn’t mean amassing a massive Instagram following. It’s about finding unique and authentic ways to reach your readers. There are countless avenues to explore, and it all starts with a clear sense of purpose and a willingness to step out of your comfort zone.

Identifying Goals for Your Book

Today, writers are realizing that publishing is a tool, not the ultimate goal. When you ask an aspiring author what they want, many might say, “I want to be published.” But what does that even mean? The real desire behind it is to get their words into readers’ hands, to make an impact, and to engage in meaningful conversations. The method of publication is just a means to achieve these goals.

Now, here’s where it gets exciting. The landscape of publishing has evolved dramatically, offering numerous avenues to get your content out there. It’s not just about traditional books anymore. Have you considered a Substack newsletter, or perhaps a paid subscription newsletter? Why limit yourself to one format when there are so many possibilities?

You see, it doesn’t necessarily have to be a book, and it doesn’t have to follow a specific blueprint. The key is to ask yourself, “How do I want to use my work? What impact do I want to create?” Once you have those answers, you can explore the myriad of publishing options available.

Now, some of you might wonder why there is still focus on the agent and traditional publishing process when we just discussed this newfound openness to alternative routes. It’s a valid question.

The reason is simple – the traditional publishing path has historically set a high standard for quality and excellence. When you approach your project with the intention of meeting that high bar, it will serve you well, regardless of how you ultimately decide to publish.

Think about it. What if you had to create a book proposal or pitch your idea in a query letter? What if you had to thoroughly research the market to see what else is out there? These are valuable steps that can help refine your work and make it the best it can be no matter which route you choose.

Why Work with a Book Coach?

Why should you consider working with one in the first place? Imagine this: You’re embarking on a road trip, and you’ve got a map (or GPS) to guide you along the way. Your book idea is your destination, and the manuscript is your journey. A book coach is your trusted travel companion, helping you navigate the twists and turns of the writing process, keeping you motivated, and ensuring you stay on the right path.

Start working with a book coach right from the beginning. Don’t wait until you’ve penned a complete manuscript. It might be tempting to think, “I’ll just write it all down, and then I’ll have someone polish it up.” But here’s the deal – having that guidance and support at the outset can save you a ton of time and effort down the road.

Think of it as building a solid foundation for your book. A book coach can help you refine your book idea, create a blueprint, and set you up for success from the get-go. It’s like having an architect plan your dream house before construction begins, ensuring that everything is in place and the structure is strong.

How do I find a book coach?” Well, that’s where Author Accelerator comes in. They have a network of 180 certified coaches located all over the world, each with expertise in various genres. These coaches have all been trained in the blueprint process, which is a fantastic framework to get your book started on the right foot.

The beauty of working with an Author Accelerator book coach is that they aren’t rigid in their approach. They’re encouraged to adapt the blueprint to suit your unique needs and writing style. They’re tool agnostic, meaning they’ll use whatever methods work best for you.

If you’re ready to take that crucial step in your writing journey and work with a book coach, you can visit Author Accelerator’s “Match Me” page. There, you can search for a coach who aligns with your goals, whether it’s reviewing your blueprint or guiding you through the entire book-writing process.

Remember, working with a book coach isn’t just about getting your book polished; it’s about ensuring your book’s foundation is solid, your ideas are refined, and your journey as an author is supported every step of the way.

So, if you have a book idea burning inside you, don’t hesitate. Take that first step and get the guidance you need. Your future readers are waiting for your story, and a book coach can help you bring it to life.

If you want to listen to the full interview, you can watch it here.

Getting Started with Social Media Management Tools

As social media platforms keep expanding, it becomes increasingly necessary to utilize social media tools to make the most out of them. Social media management platforms offer a wide range of advantages for businesses of all sizes. These tools save time and effort by allowing you to schedule posts in advance, analyze data, and track progress.

With so many social media management tools and platforms available in the market, it can be overwhelming to choose one that fits your needs. Factors such as pricing (some are FREE!), audience size, user-friendliness, and the types of analytics offered are crucial things to consider when selecting a social media management tool. 

Keep in mind that each platform is unique, so understand the features offered by each to make sure they align with your marketing strategy. With the right social media tool, you can streamline your marketing efforts and maximize their potential. 

Here are some of the ones that I use and recommend to clients: 


Hootsuite($99/month; though annual discount is nearly 40% off)

Hootsuite is a powerhouse with functionalities like scheduling posts, social listening, and real-time analytics, to name a few. The streamlined dashboard and user-friendly interface make social media management a breeze. If social media management is stressing you out, give Hootsuite a try! It might just make your life a whole lot easier.

Planoly ($9/month)

Planoly was the first visual planner for Instagram and it’s beautifully crafted to be simple, clean and easy to use. It also helps in simplifying social marketing on TikTok, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube too!

Later ($18/month)

Later (formerly Latergramme) has grown from a simple social media scheduling tool to the #1 visual marketing platform for Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. It also has really useful blog articles and emails

Buffer(FREE version for 3 channels)

If you are really new to using a social media post manager, then Buffer is a great place to start. Focusing on just a few platforms, you can organically grow your audience on social and beyond.


Canva(design work; FREE or upgrade to Canva Pro for only $14.99/month (or $119.99/year).)

Canva is an online design and visual communication platform with a mission to empower everyone in the world to design anything and publish anywhere. With the Pro account there is a content planner that you can schedule content (with IG, FB, Tw) directly from Canva

Capcut – (video editing; FREE to download and use, with no hidden fees or in-app purchases.)

When it comes to video editing, CapCut is a game-changer. It offers some amazing features, is extremely easy to use, and is compatible with a variety of platforms. One of the key features of CapCut is its ability to add and remove clips easily. You can trim and cut videos, add effects, and transitions all with the click of a button. Plus, the interface is extremely intuitive and user-friendly. 

Check out this recent video tutorial from Elise Darma about making reels using Capcut.

Curious? What else would you add to this list of social media management tools? Also let me know if you need help making a decision or getting started.

What Is Clubhouse and Why You Should Check It Out

Resources to Help You Understand and Better Engage on Clubhouse

Yes, Clubhouse is Another. Social. Media. App.
Cue the eye roll and know that I did not want to engage either. I don’t need another thing to do (or distract me) and was happy to sit this one out. But I can’t (I’m blaming Jen Lehner) and I don’t think you should either.

It’s so accessible – audio-only – no video or no carefully crafted, beautiful, witty, meme-type posts. You can come and go – there’s no feed where people can see where you have been or what you have posted. They can only see if you are in a room in real-time (or maybe see when you were last active).

[Want to know more about how it works or how to get started check out: Clubhouse App: How To Get Started from Social Media Examiner.]

Think of Clubhouse as a virtual event or conference where you can go wherever you want, where you can listen, learn and meet like minded people and industry experts from around the globe. It’s also possible to chat, ask questions and even collaborate with peers and celebs.

You can be as passive as you want – listening in on rooms; or as active as you want – raising your hand, getting on ‘stage’ (not as scary as it sounds) or even hosting rooms and starting clubs. How you choose to use Clubhouse is up to you.

For those of you interested in learning and connecting; or focused on growing your community or sharing your expertise or thought leadership. I really think it’s worth your time to check it out.

[Need more convincing? Check out this excellent piece I wish I’d written: How to Use Clubhouse to Grow Your Reputation from Social Media Examiner.]

Yes, you can get sucked in and lose hours of time mucking around. Yes, there are loads of people on there who are shameless self-promoters and hustlers who take up too much time and space on the platform – or as A.J. Jacobs put it “It’s like a bad podcast: poorly edited and only available on single speed.”

But for every bad experience, I’ve been equally blown away in other rooms by the generosity of the moderators and speakers to share not only their time, wisdom and insight (for FREE) but to graciously offer connections, opportunities, collaborations and sometimes even work!

In truth, the rooms I’ve enjoyed the most (besides the ones I host with my indie bookstore owner sister Holland – see more below) are the rooms where I don’t really know the subject well or I’m curious to learn more or go deeper on a subject.

And that’s why I’ve been recommending Clubhouse to clients and friends (and you) because it’s a way to share your expertise and make connections in an intimate, easy engaging way! No flying to a conference to be on stage, no complicated video prep or production and no glitches trying to do collaborative virtual LIVE meetings.

[Interested in how to make Clubhouse work for you? Check out Clubhouse App for Business: What Marketers Need To Know, another great article from Social Media Examiner.]

Is it for everybody – not necessarily! But I really believe for many that Clubhouse is an innovative platform worth investing some time and strategy, especially while it is still in its relatively early stages.

At this point, Clubhouse is “invite only” and only available on iOS (Apple). I’ve got invites I can share! Let me know (email or DM) if you’d like one or go ahead and download the app to get on the waiting list. It will notify your friends who might also have invites to share.

Then come on in! I co-host a “room” every Thursday at 12:30 ET / 11:30 CT with indie bookstore owner, sister Holland Saltsman where we chat about “Books, Business & Beyond” and love to welcome folks new to Clubhouse. Here are upcoming links:

March 18th: https://www.joinclubhouse.com/event/m2QgR5e9
March 25th: https://www.joinclubhouse.com/event/m2n7bNlA

And follow us on Clubhouse to get notifications for future rooms!

I’m also thinking of offering a “Clubhouse Concierge” service or class. Would you be interested? I’d love to hear what you think about Clubhouse, if you need help figuring it out, technically or strategically – or if you’re looking for a co-moderator to help you get started!

I’m here! Set up a time for us to chat now! In the meantime, I’ll see you in ‘da club!

What’s Your Planning Style?

Are you like me and the idea of resolutions makes you a bit queasy – especially talking or thinking about them before January? Join the club – and celebrate that January is just a month like any other. If and when you are ready to make some plans for your new year, then take a look at some of my favorite resources and experts below.

I basically take a little bit from each one of these approaches to mosh up “my plan” that feels good and aligned with what I want to accomplish and how I want to feel at the end of this year.

Kate Hanley / Better Than Resolutions Week – check out her episodes 89 – 94 of her “How to Be a Better Person” podcast. Each less-than-5 minute episode gives you an easy task to get started on planning and goal setting.

One Word – yes, there is actually a book and helpful approach to finding your “one word” for the year. I always think I know what it is going to be until I actually go through the process and then I am always surprised when my word finds me. The year it’s PRESENT.

Laura Vanderkam / Best of Both Worlds: Goals 2020 – This annual episode provides helpful insight on how to map out what you want to and actually put some time frames and accountability around it. Laura’s approach also helps to prevent the overwhelm that comes when you front-end your goals, but instead shows you how to pace them out over the year in simple categories.

Patty Lennon / Marketing Planner For Coaches & Consultants – If marketing is where you get stuck, then check out Patty’s easy and simple 5 Step Planner to take the overwhelm out of promoting yourself and your business.

Miriam Schulman / Art Journaling – Call all creatives who hate the idea of planning. Take advantage of Miriams’ FREE (for a limited time) Art of Journaling video series. Yes, doodling really can make you productive.

Jen Lehner / Content Planner – Another favorite of mine is Jen Lehner’s Content Planning System. Her holistic yet very tactical system ensures your content actually sees the light of day. It’s one of the many many overwhelmingly valuable tools she shares with her Front Row CEO group.

Nancy Sheed / Content Planning templates – I also have simple, customizable content planning templates to help you bring structure and schedule to your content and marketing planning. You can download them for free here – and learn more about how use them here and here.

Happy purposeful and productive planning!

3 Key Takeaways From A Writers Conference To Help Build Your Online Platform

As a first time attendee to the ASJA (American Society of Journalists and Authors) Writers Conference, I didn’t exactly know what to do expect – especially since I am not officially a writer. But many of my favorite clients and authors regularly attend this gathering, so I figured there had to be some value in spending two days in NYC with very prolific people.

And value there was, not only in the sessions and the keynotes (more below), but even more so in the warm, welcoming and very engaging group of people who organize it and attend the conference. Yes, there is networking, but it doesn’t feel like a shark fest of schmoozing, much more like a reunion of family and friends. Everyone asking about each other, their work and helping to make connections.

But I digress, and now want to share the three most valuable things that I heard at the conference that are critical concepts to people strategically building and growing their online platforms:

Being a thought leader is NOT the same as being an expert. From a panel of publishing gurus, Janet Goldstein, Nancy Peske and Dan Gerstein, who work on “big name” books, we were guided through their respective definitions of a thought leader.

Their combined basic premise is a thought leader is an expert who:

  • Has a brand and a point of view
  • Has fresh and original ideas
  • Is making a contribution in her/his sphere of influence
  • Is recognized and seen by others as a thought leader

This distinction is critical because many experts get caught up in their expertise, jargon and industry that they neglect to distinguish themselves with a clear voice, point of view or brand. On the flip side, there are many self-proclaimed thought leaders today, that might have big brands and even be recognized, but they are short on point of view or fresh and original ideas.

Takeaway tip: Making sure you tick all of the boxes for thought leadership is critical for building your online platform.

Having empathy for your reader can be more important to Google than keywords. Yes, this sounds like common sense, but many of us in the content world have been led to believe that keywords are king (or queen) and nothing else matters. Experts Tom Gerencer and Miral Sattar. While, advised while you shouldn’t ignore keywords, it is even more important to think about your readers’ pain points and reasons for looking for you. When writing your content or copy put yourself in their shoes, and think like they would when they need or want to find you.

Takeaway tip: Think about what people would “Google” or what they would ask “Alexa” if they were looking to find you. Make sure your content is being found for and is answering those questions and queries. Also, train your readers how to find you, especially on smart speakers.

The path to getting published is not always direct.
According to author and keynote speaker, Camille Pagán, there are no right and wrong decisions in your career journey. What’s more important than the perfect path, is your following your passion with persistence (lots of Ps!). Camille gave several examples from her career trajectory from journalist to novelist where her decisions and results might not have been what she had planned. However, they all served to the greater good of helping her get where she is today – writing a book a year!

Takeaway tip: Don’t get fixated on the traditional route or doing what everyone else does or says you should do. Stay faithful to what you believe in, get your content out and surround yourself with people who will support you on the journey.

If you are stuck in your own way of your expertise or your passion or can’t figure out how to get your best content out into the world, let’s set up a call and see if I can help. And I most definitely would recommend the ASJA Writers Conference – maybe I’ll see you there next year!