SPS 102: How To Write A Memoir That Actually Sells Copies (Without Being Famous) with Justin & Alexis Black

Posted on Apr 21, 2021

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Written by Leo Oliveira

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Justin and Alexis are SPS graduates and have published their memoir Redefining Normal and have sold over 5000 copies in a few months. Justin and Alexis are involved in community development and changing the foster-care system. Alexis Black is a proud foster care alumni. She founded The Scholarship Expert, where she authored The Scholarship Blueprint book and workbook and an online course to assist students in graduating from college debt-free. Justin Black created the Rising Over Societal Expectations (ROSE) Empowerment Group with a vision to close the information gap for today’s generation of Black and Brown young adults after his experiences as a Black male in the foster care system.

Why Justin and Alexis Decided to Write Their Book

Justin says, “There is so much that we want to teach people so they can learn and understand the culture of poverty and generational habits and unresolved issues.” They want people to learn from their trauma and circumstances. “When it came to the memoir aspect, I feel that so many people can learn from our experiences and our stories.”

How They Packaged Their Story

“From many blogs that I’ve read and podcasts that I’ve listened to, I learned that you have to be careful when you write a memoir and not become the victim in it,” says Alexis. When you are the victor, people can learn the lessons you want them to take away.

She also recommends getting a good book editor because not everything needs to be in your book for your memoir. “It’s important to have your story buttoned up tight and really well-written so people can follow-along and relate to your story.” Justin adds the importance of being self-reflective, authentic, and intentional of your experiences in your story.

Listen in today’s episode to find out how they recorded their conversations to create content for their book, the importance of having a support system in place when writing a memoir, and why you need a third-party editor to bring your book to life.

Show Notes

  • [02:45] Why Justin and Alexis decided to write their book.
  • [04:46] Why write a memoir for their book.
  • [09:42] How to tell your story so others can relate to your experience.
  • [16:36] The challenges of co-authoring your book.
  • [19:15] The importance of bringing in a third-party editor.
  • [26:38] Connecting with influencers and change makers to promote your book.
  • [31:52] How to market and purchase your book for sale.
  • [41:09] Why you need to write your story.
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