Are you looking for a new book to read?

The majority of our books are not published and are only available for the family to read. However, Jewels’ memoir, The Making of a Woman, goes live on October 5, 2021!

Jewels signs books for her readers at her recent book-release party

You won’t find another story like this one, where Jewels shares how she overcame poverty, abuse, and addiction as well as what it took for her to become an elite athlete. She’s not just an amazing woman but also an incredible person you can learn from every day of your life.

Birthright Books is excited to have sponsored Jewels’ book release event this past weekend in Dallas, TX. The Making of a Woman will be released on October 5, 2021, and is available for pre-release now.

Click here right now to purchase The Making of a Woman!

And The Winner Is…

Congrats to our client, Logan Lee, for winning the coveted Silver Medal in the LGBT category of the Global Book Awards! In providing such awards, the aim of the GBA is to help readers discover new talent. GBA hopes to give authors the recognition they deserve, whether that is in their writing creativity, or in the way they have marketed their books to attract new readers. 

In his breakout memoir Small Town Gay, Logan Lee shares his experience of reconciling his sexuality at a young age, with no like role models to look to for guidance. With a heart for education, Lee strives to be that example for the next generation, by inviting children, parents, and allies of the LGBTQ+ community to unify in the name of voice, tolerance, unconditional love, and above all things—home.

Lee is a traveling nurse who grew up gay in the small, fictional town of “Mercer” in Kentucky. With a big heart and a penchant for creative storytelling, he shares his early childhood experiences tiptoeing through life in a southern community that didn’t embrace his identity. In his breakout memoir Small Town Gay, Lee invites his readers to experience the beautiful southern culture of central Kentucky, his family’s interesting dynamics, his love for rich food, and his discovery in third grade and beyond that “he likes boys, not girls.” 

All love is good love, according to Lee, and we all deserve to be exactly who we are, even if we don’t fit in with the norm. Having learned to be an advocate for himself, Lee now encourages others in the LGBTQ+ community to do the same. When he’s not writing, Lee is often on the move, working with critical care patients throughout the United States.

Lee is thrilled to have won this prestigious book award for his breakout memoir, which is a huge accomplishment. The award establishes Lee as an author who writes memoirs that are helpful, healing — and entertaining — to others. If you want to read Logan’s work, check out this link.

In sharing this news we want you all to know how proud we are of Logan Lee at Birthright Books. Not only does winning such awards encourage people who love reading but also provides author recognition for the memoir community.  

Thank you for joining us in celebrating our client’s creativity. Stay tuned for more winners coming soon!

 

How to sell more copies of your memoir

There is one goal you need to keep your eye on when positioning your memoir for sale: make others care.

As this is a ginormous topic that has been expertly covered by massive numbers of professionals, allow us to list a number of questions to get you thinking about ways to get others to care.

When answering these questions, consider groups, podcasts, social media influencers, journalism, websites, etc. that would be interested in knowing more about you:

1. What sets you apart? (A characteristic? An event? A series of events? Your sexuality? What are your spiritual beliefs? Who you’re related to? Is there an aspect of your personality that is unique or remarkable?)
For example, you are a survivor of a cult.
2. Where do you live? (Are there groups related to any of the above that are location-based?)
For example, you have juicy stories to tell about life in Fancy City.
3. What do you do for a living? (Are there groups that specialize in your field?)
For example, you’re an athlete.
4. Where do others like you congregate? (Online, in person)
For example, you struggle with addiction.
5. What kind of lifestyle do you live?
For example, you’re in an open relationship.
6. What is your age group?
For example, you have knowledge to pass on to the younger generation or share with a similar generation.
7. Which networks are you already a member of?
For example, in the business world you belong to groups that would relate to your story.
8. What do you do in your spare time?
For example, your story would appeal to the fitness world.
9. Who are your friends and family?
For example, do you have a large network of people willing to spread the word?
10. What struggles have you overcome?
For example, have you overcome abuse, trauma, religious oppression, health challenges?

Now it’s time to do your research. Find out where your people are. Contact them and let them know you can provide content for their group, podcast, social media page, event, etc. Let them know you’ve written a story and you want to share your experiences with their audience.

Good luck!

Why you need an outline for your memoir

“If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there” – Lewis Carroll

Everything has a structure. Our planet. Different countries. A house. A city. Even your DNA.

When writing your memoir, the first thing your ghost should establish with your assistance is a solid outline.

Why?

Let’s face it. When you have a good connection with an experienced listener, you’re going to want to talk. Even the shyest clients open right up with an empathetic ghost listening. But if those heart-to-hearts aren’t leading somewhere specific, you could be facing a long haul of unnecessary work.

Endless writing.
Endless revisions.
Endless deletions.
Endless editing.

Every ghost has had a client who wanted “to let it flow.” Sounds great in theory, but it’s a very sloppy way to deliver a finished manuscript anytime soon. Out of 62 books, we’ve had two clients who were difficult to reign in. They had one idea. Then halfway through the book, they decided to change lanes. Or they became comfortable enough to deliver some pretty big reveals we needed to know at the beginning.

You might think that outline means to include all the details of your life from start to finish. That would be an autobiography, while a memoir can be any slice of your life. Regardless of which type of book your ghost is writing for you, there must be structure and it must have some entertainment value.

Does that surprise you?

Consider the outline (autobiography or memoir) to be the DNA of your story. To make it entertaining, let’s look at a typical entertainment outline. It may sound counterintuitive to follow a “Hollywood” example. However, as consumers of knowledge and experience, we are subconsciously conditioned to expect the following outline from books, TV series and movies:

Three Acts
Five Turning Points
Six Stages

Your ghost should know this, and draw your story out according to this structure. The acts, turning points and stages should become your table of contents.

Let’s take Imaginary Client, Liz, and prepare a typical entertainment outline for her memoir. Liz wants her ghost to write out Liz’s childhood to the age of 18.
Stage One: family is intact

Act One: Dad dies.

Chapter One: Age five. Dad dies, Mom inherits a huge life insurance policy (turning point)
Chapter Two: Living circumstances begin to change dramatically. Life becomes upscale.

Stage Two: massive change is life circumstances

Chapter Three: Moving to a mansion (turning point). Owning horses. Lessons: music, riding, tutoring.

Act Two: Mom remarries.

Stage Three: new family members

Chapter Four: Age seven. Mom remarries (turning point). New stepfather. New siblings.

Chapter Five: Adjustments. Struggles with how to allocate money.

Stage Four: Drama (this is the high point of the story)

Chapter Six: Stepfather and new family is… not so good.

Stage Five and Act Three: Mom loses all the money.

Chapter Seven: Through nefarious means, new family jilts mom out of money (turning point).
Chapter Eight: Divorce. Moving from mansion. No more lessons (turning point).

Stage Six: Mom and Liz learn how to survive.

Chapter Nine: Life goes on. Mom and Liz survive.

Chapter Ten: Liz earns a scholarship and prepares to go to college.

Epilogue: Tie all the loose ends together.

You must plan how your book is going to sell even before it’s written and this comes down to the outline, the most important part of the book.

Have questions about how to structure your memoir? Contact us!

How Writing as Personal Therapy Can Lead to a Memoir

No doubt you’ve heard it before:

“You should write a book.”

When I was a child, I read a book by Richard Bach in which he said the only way for the creator of the universe to experience all there was to experience was to create enough people to live out all the varieties of possibilities. One person and one lifetime wouldn’t be enough to do it all, see it all, live it all. The concept stuck with me all these years, coloring the way I look at the things people do, as well as the things that just happen.

Since we’re all living different lives and experiencing different ways of being, we like to know the stories of others: this is how we experience humanity. It’s obvious how stories help a reader, but how does sharing our stories help a writer?

In many ways, I’ve discovered.

From the age of 10, I was a diarist. My adult writing led to a more in-depth analysis of my personal experiences. My posts then became noticed by others who could relate. This led to friendships, deeper self-analysis, refined writing skills, noticing my part of humanity, and the subsequent desire to transcribe crucial parts of my life into a book which became Overlay: A Tale of One Girl’s Life in 1970s Las Vegas.

Alleviating Loneliness
The paragraph above took over thirty years to happen. The relevant part of this article is that writing was a form of personal therapy for me, which led to a career in memoirs. Writing was the only therapy available to me as a child. My diary was where I confessed everything I could not tell another. On the pages, I poured my feelings about my life and my hopes and dreams for a better existence than the one I was living. Putting my thoughts and feelings into a collection of words made it real: this happened, this is how I felt, and this is how I wanted things to be different. I didn’t need another human to hear me or read my words. Creating the diary entries was enough. I felt great relief after each scribbled page. The pages were proof of my existence and how I learned to tell a story.

Analyzing Confessions
My childhood diaries morphed into teenage journalling. The stakes grew as the self-analysis went deeper. The choices I made as a teen took me from the victimhood I felt as a child subjected to my parent’s choices to the realization that my teenage choices were my own – with subsequent consequences. As a teenage journalist, I learned to see how those choices played out in my life. Rereading the journals was a great way to keep me on track. That choice didn’t work out so well, I could later see as I promised myself to do it differently next time. Patterns became more clear in reviewing what I’d written, including my patterns, as well as those of other people. I learned to be honest. There was no sense in confession and subsequently analyzing cause and effect if I wasn’t honest with myself.

Shared Understanding
With the internet came the opportunity to create a blog. Blogging became a powerful way for me to discuss my experiences publicly. With each post grew the ability to interact with others. These others were strangers, and we learned we had things in common. We were of different ages, genders, and nationalities, but they could relate to what I discussed on my blog. Then they began sharing their experiences with me. Together we realized we were not alone in our struggles. No matter the written confession: abuse, neglect, addiction, single-parenting, divorce—there was someone out there who understood. In fact, there were many who understood, and far more than I could have imagined.

When I heard/read ‘you should write a book’ enough times, I wrote one. I spent three weeks writing feverishly until I’d completed the first draft of my memoir. All my earlier training as a diarist, journalist, and blogger shaped and honed my ability to write a compelling memoir.

How?

My time spent easing my childhood loneliness taught me how to express my feelings. Rather than keep them inside, the pouring of my thoughts and emotions onto a page trained me to discuss what was troubling me. There was no sense in hiding my thoughts and feelings from myself. Years of journaling helped refine my skill at self-analysis. By learning how to examine where my choices led me, I could write a memoir that did not indulge in self-pity or recrimination. I simply told a story exactly as I remembered it.

My years of blogging and interacting with others endowed me with an insight into what others might think and feel about similar experiences. This knowledge helped me shape my final draft of Overlay into a form I felt would appeal to others. I believe this appeal is because I spent so much time writing as personal therapy. I could craft a memoir that was straightforward and lacked pity and blame. I’d worked all the feelings, emotions, thoughts, and blame out years before in prior writing. Overlay can now exist as a powerful story that stands on its own, rather than a whispered, unsure confession of the not-yet-healed.