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Lifelong Stories

Everyone has a story to tell, but particularly those who have lived a long life with struggles and hardship make for the most interesting stories. I recently started my new Memoir Writing service which I call, “Lifelong Stories.” By having someone to tell their stories to, older family members get to relive many wonderful and sacred memories of people they’ve loved and experiences they’ve shared. Additionally, they have a place to document the important details of their early lives, to keep alive the names of family member who have passed on and to share circumstances about family origins that no one else knows.

My grandmother at age 16, 1917

I started writing memoirs about eight years ago with the intent of preserving my own family’s history. In the process of interviewing multiple relatives, who were distant cousins of my parents, I enlarged my own awareness of my expansive family’s history in Europe pre-WWI. The process was painstaking and there were many people who wanted to contribute to the overall stories I wrote, so the process took months longer than I had expected it would. But the end result was that I met some wonderful people who I had never previously known who are a part of my bloodline. Several live on the East Coast where my family is from. And today, I’m connected with them on social media, via Skype, LinkedIn and Facebook. These are people who I had never met before and would not have known had I not taken this important journey back into my family’s past.

Apart from writing my family’s history, I’ve had the pleasure of tagging along on others’ journeys as I document their important memories. One of the memoirs I’m writing today is that of a woman who raised her family of four in California in the oil fields – a long way from the 40-acre farm in Indiana where she was born and raised. Still another is the story of the daughter of a bootlegger who went on to become a runway model to support herself and then married the man of her dreams just before the war broke out.

What I love most about the process of taking notes and interviewing my Lifelong Story clients is listening to them telling their stories. Each story involves conflict but always resolution – how they made it through hard times and the many challenges that life threw at them. Each story celebrates the lives and interactions of many different people who crossed their paths and influenced them, both positively and negatively. We all can learn from these stories that our elders have to share.

As I continue in my practice of creating colorful memoirs for the people who request them, I’m sharing in their lives, but I’m also giving them something that they can hold onto – a physical story about them and their lives that can be read and re-read by their children, grandchildren, and many generations to come. These stories say that their lives have mattered – that someone will benefit from their experiences. And sometimes, that’s the greatest gift a person can hope to leave behind.

For more information, please contact Writer For Hire® Pat Kramer at: 818 353-5699 or pat@writerpatkramer.com.

An Insider’s View of Indie Publishing Four Successful Authors Share Their Views

Last night, June 11, 2018, I attended a seminar held by the Publishers Association of Los Angeles featuring four successful authors with a chockfull of tips on online publishing. This was one of the most informative seminars I’ve attended – and I frequently attend these type of events so that I can update my knowledge to further help my writing and publicity clients.

The four authors included a bestselling children’s book author, a non-fiction book coach who’s authored a series of instructional books for educators, the author of a bestselling series of books for writers and wanna-be writers, and the author of a series of fiction novels. Each had their own style of writing and marketing and I enjoyed their willingness to share their experience in getting their books out to the public.

Since the focus was on online publishing and e-books (including Kindle), the seminar started with a discussion about the mechanics of online publishing, i.e., creating the interior design, designing the cover, how to acquire the ISBN, whether to publish on Kindle Direct Unlimited, and the use of QR codes that can take a potential buyer to a marketing video (he called it a “book trailer.”

Next, we heard about each author’s efforts toward getting publicity, including writing press releases as opposed to hiring a book publicist (like myself!) and different ways to market their books using social media. We also talked about holding ‘author events’ and building an email list to use when launching a new book. Everyone pretty much agreed it was a waste of money to purchase a mailing list and was ultimately best to build relationships first before trying to sell your product.

Getting book reviews was the next item of discussion: how to solicit these and how to find online reviewers who would be willing to do this for you. We also heard about the benefits of using a survey which could be sent to readers/purchasers of your book and how positive reviews on the survey could be repurposed on the back cover.

In conjunction with the effort involved with creating a press kit, which could be uploaded to your author website, we talked about using Amazon’s marketing series – a little pricey perhaps but which one author stood behind saying it doubled his sales. Facebook ads were also discussed as well as other forms of online advertising.

In conclusion, each author told us what they considered the best thing that came out of their being authors:

1. One author talked about converting his online advertising into revenue.

2. A second said he enjoyed giving presentations and meeting the public.

3. A third said she loved getting positive reviews of her books.

4. And the fourth said she liked being visible and developing camaraderie with her audience and vendors.

As always, I could have stayed way longer than the hour and a half this seminar took because it was so refreshing to connect with other writers and learn from those who have had success in related areas of business.

I want to thank the Publishers Association of Los Angeles (PALA) which puts on innovative and highly-formidable seminars each month for the general public. My deepest appreciation goes to moderator Robin Quinn, a fellow writer, editor and book coach, nonfiction book coach and author Carol J. Amato who is also the owner of Stargazer publishing; Christopher J. Lynch – author of the award winning “One Eyed Jack” series, Derek Doepker, author of six best-selling personal development books; and the award winning children’s book author Alva Sachs. You guys made my night and with your wise counsel, I will be better.

Pat Kramer, aka “Writer For Hire®” is a professional writing service for business professionals, providing high quality, consistently high-rated content to advertise, promote, or market companies’ services and products. Additionally, Pat Kramer provides ghostwriting and publicity services for authors and writes personal memoirs for individuals who want to have a record of their life’s experiences. For more info, please visit: https://www.writerpatkramer.com.  

 

Storytelling: The Secret Weapon That Always Works – If You Do it Right!

Marketing and promoting businesses always works best when you are able to tell a story that either impacts your readers or informs them of a problem that you can resolve. In my days as a news reporter, I always interviewed several news sources for each story I told, giving my radio listeners the pros and cons of the issue at hand. This involved anything from changes in legislation and issues affecting the environment to factors that affected the education and safety of one’s children. In each of the stories I wrote, there was always a real person who was impacted by whatever was taking place.

So how do you tell your story and what story should you tell?

For starters, the story you tell should directly address the concerns of your client base and it should always end with some sort of resolution that you or your firm can provide.

For instance, an estate, trust and probate attorney I recently worked with told me a story about how he was hired to represent the wife of a deceased man who owned property outside of the marriage that he had inherited from his parents. Because the wife was not named as a joint owner of the property, that property was set to go to probate. He further told that one of the man’s three children was addicted to methamphetamine, living on the street, and running roughshod through the family’s finances. The story then involved how he, the attorney, would represent the wife and what consequences might come out of that representation.

In another scenario, a real estate investment company asked me to write blogs for them depicting different scenarios in which they had either saved investors money or prevented a loss. The stories were right there waiting to be told and in the process of doing so, the client was able to achieve better visibility for the work they do, combining both their marketing efforts and public relations work, in one perfect story.

When you tell a story, you always want to hold the readers’ attention. This means don’t bog the story down with too much detail. In the process of describing the problem, you always want to paint as vivid a picture as possible for your readers so they can take this journey with you on an emotional as well as an intellectual level.

Finally, when you provide the solution, make sure you attribute the actions you took to reach a positive conclusion – whether or not it was a win. Sometimes things don’t turn out the way we want them to and we have no control over the outcome. By acknowledging this and explaining what you did to bring about the best possible outcome, you will substantiate your value and create credibility for yourself.

If, at any time, you need help writing your blogs or coming up with ideas to write about – please contact me, Writer For Hire® Pat Kramer, and I will walk you through the process and help you get this done in a timely manner. My company has been in business for nearly 30 years writing effective and creative marketing and PR materials for a wide variety of clients. As a memoir writer, ghostwriter, and business, marketing and PR writer, I can create better visibility and memorability for your firm.