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Is A Memoir A Money Making Proposition?

Herb’s Blog, Herbdate 22205 – 760:

Dearly Beloved Fans, Friends, Fiends, Foes, Foundlings, Found-Under-A-Rock things, And Assorted and Diverse Followers, here’s the haps:

You know, I have said this before but I really believe it, I have some of the nicest followers on the Internet. You guys are always uplifting and encouraging me (except in the matter of tutting, but I shall have to muddle through somehow) and I really appreciate it. I enjoy comments and the way the conversation sometimes picks up a thread and life of its own.

One of these threads that caught my attention and captured my imagination was the other night when several people said I should write a memoir. I was really intrigued by the idea and just started kind of looking stuff up. The one thing that came up is that there is a big difference between an autobiography and a memoir, which I knew. The narrator said something to the effect that if you are a really famous person you would write it to chronicle the events of your life from birth (and before. Your ancestry or pedigree may be important to it as well.) until the current time including, of course, whatever it was that made you famous enough for someone to want to read all about every little detail of your life. A memoir is more about creative writing and instead of spanning an entire lifetime is usually about a certain time period or specific event or a theme.

My 14 year old grandson was on the couch in my “den” and I told him that people had mentioned that I should do a memoir and he said, “Oh no, grampa. You should just go ahead and do the autobiography right away.”

“Well, you heard the people in that last video say that an autobiography should be about a really famous person. I’m not really that famous.”

“Grampa, you’ve got it all wrong. You should write the autobiography first, then you’ll get to be famous. That’s how it works.”

Actually, considering many famous people like the Kardashians, this may not be as funny as it sounds. But I digress. The idea kind of struck my fancy. It was at this same time that GoComics announced it was dropping a favorite cartoon of mine, Just Say Uncle by Dan Pavelich. It’s about a young boy who lives with his aunt and uncle in Kenosha, WI. The uncle has a penchant for telling stories that end up in puns and I just kind of identify with that a tiny little bit. He has a Patreon page he hopes to use to keep it going. Dumbest Blogger has one and a couple of other artists I like, including Chad Carpenter of Tundra. I can’t afford large amounts of donations but I think my minuscule contributions may help something. Of course many bloggers, myself included, have some kind of donation system, Mr. Ohh’s being one of the more straightforward ones, ending each post by asking for a dollar. I have a PayPal button in the sidebar of my blog which readers using the WP Reader app won’t see.

As I got to thinking about the memoir idea and the money idea at the same time I began to wonder if anyone would be willing to support me in such an endeavor. I feel fairly certain that I would not have as great of a chance at getting published by a mere query letter and would need a good, solid manuscript or at least the first few chapters. The thing is, I know that in my audience are many people who would support my effort. Just not with money, because they’re in no better position than I am financially and many are likely worse off than I am.

But could I attract some money? Would I do better with Patreon or something like Kickstarter or GoFundMe? What would I offer for perks at different levels of giving? What if I couldn’t complete the project? Is crowdfunding even a thing I want to think about? Oh, I don’t know. I like blogging and I don’t know the experience of anyone else, but in my case, many of my readers are people I know personally or have actually met in person. Walk up to them and ask them for a handout? Not really a thing I would do. That being said, the upside of it would be the structure it would provide me. I might have to, for a possible example, put out X number of words over Y period of time. I work better under a bit of stress and deadlines.

Anyway, I don’t really know how serious I am about any of it. I do have a couple of serious writing projects that I am working on but the blog has been on my mind a lot because people come here and visit. I had an idea for one project that still sticks in my mind even though I’ve chased it away on several occasions. I have been known to recap on the pages of this blog Sunday School lessons I have taught. I have a few sitting in the drafts folder right now that I really don’t feel I have done justice to and/or have not completed. I’ve thought about compiling my telling of them and putting them in book form. Although a weekly podcast or vlog could be a lot of fun to do, especially in these times. Currently, with the newest wave of the virus, we are not having Sunday School for at least two weeks. A podcast or a vlog of this sort might be useful, even helpful. An issue with turning them into a book is that the telling out loud is different from describing it in written form. Of course, I could write them up before I made the podcast or vlog. As a perk, if you are a certain level of patron you could get a free printed copy, or get a password to hear(see?) my telling of the story?

I don’t really know what I want to do with any of it or if I want to do anything at all but I did want to write about it and clear my brain of its fog. I need to find a way to make some money to supplement hauling pallets full of stuff all over and I’d like to do it doing something I really enjoy.

Just remember, change is inevitable, except from vending machines, and don’t worry, I plan to be spontaneous tomorrow.


20 responses to “Is A Memoir A Money Making Proposition?”

  1. Petra Avatar

    I was planning to set up a Patreon, but the problem is it’s a lot of work if you want to offer different tiers and benefits etc. Most people succeed by offering private glimpses into their life or acess to them, like live talk sessions etc, but personally I really like not being a public persona in that way. I also don’t have actual products, so I’m thinking of selling some stuff and ebooks and start my podcast, then I’ll see what I decide to do.

    1. Herb Avatar

      Thanks for the input. I’ve only started thinking about it and I don’t know the exact path I want to take.

      1. Petra Avatar

        I think the easiest way to decide is to check out what other people with similar interests are doing. Some writers also do sneak peeks of their work etc

        1. Herb Avatar

          Thank you very much. I appreciate everyone’s advice.

  2. AJMcGregor Avatar

    I think that Amazon has some self-publishing routes. If you went with Amazon, then your blog followers could buy the book that way. I don’t really know all the ins and outs of that, but I know I would buy the book.

    1. Herb Avatar

      That’s very encouraging to hear, thank you. I haven’t exactly figured out what to do but I have gotten some nice comments and e-mails already.

  3. Ashlely Avatar

    Check you email. This post made my mind go wild. I am so very thankful you posted this. I believe that God is in it.

    1. Herb Avatar

      Thank you so much. I appreciated the e-mail a lot.

  4. colinmcqueen Avatar

    Your memoir, or whatever you set your mind to, will be a great success – but, realistically most writers, even many of the most popular, do not make much money from it. Do it because you want to; because you enjoy it and then anything else (and I hope it comes) will be a bonus.

    1. Herb Avatar

      Thanks Colin. I really appreciate that. You have hit on a very crucial point. I’ve got to be having fun doing it.

      1. colinmcqueen Avatar


  5. Mr. Ohh's Sideways View Avatar

    Herb All I will say is be prepared for the work. You CAN do it and make a little. But to be successful on Patreon you need to put in the time. Once you have the book you can publish on Amazon for nothing But if you want someone to find it that’s a whole nother story. My time and abilities make me happy to do what I do. I have a friend who has been quite successful but her is Hocking books every weekend.

    Go for it and have fun

    Remember to take time to laugh

    1. Herb Avatar

      Well, thank you for that advice. I really appreciate it. I do expect it to be quite a bit of work which is kind of why I was looking at the money aspect of it.

      1. Mr. Ohh's Sideways View Avatar

        Lokk at the fun not the money, I have been down that path and laughter is a lot better

        1. Herb Avatar

          I think that so far that has been the best advice I’ve been given by more than one person.

  6. dumbestblogger Avatar

    I would love to read your memoir. I would probably recommend the Amazon approach, as it seems a little more straightforward, but I’m not the smartest on these things.

    1. Herb Avatar

      Thank you so much. Well, I appreciate the input.

      1. dumbestblogger Avatar

        Sure thing.

  7. achme24gmailcom Avatar

    Awesome sauce

    1. Herb Avatar

      How do you know? I haven’t given out my secret recipe, yet.

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