If you’re about to query a book-length memoir like I am, perhaps you’ve heard about having a platform—what author Jane Friedman defines as “an ability to sell books because of who you are or who you can reach.” As I discovered this summer, you can reach more people, and let them know who you are, by speaking at a conference.
The experience of speaking to an audience was at first daunting. Terrifying, even. Nonetheless, it showed me that public speaking is an excellent way for writers to build an audience for their book.
In this post, I’ll share with you my experience speaking at a conference and what I learned from it. I’ll also show you ways in which you could leverage the power of public speaking to create an audience, at the same time offering unique contributions.Continue reading
On June 24, 2020, the New York Times published one of my essays on their website for the first time.
Soon after “All We Can Do Is Sudoku” appeared online, an executive editor from Riverhead Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House, followed me on Twitter. As a writer of nonfiction seeking representation, I was thrilled. I’d written the memoir To Have and to Hoard: How I Found Treasure in My Husband’s Trash and planned to query agents soon.
Publishing in a goal publication is a confidence-booster. But even reaching for your goal pub can increase your confidence and improve your writing—whether or not your piece is accepted. I didn’t know that when I dove in, so I want to help other memoirists and novelists use their time wisely.Continue reading