SPS 134: The Secret To Writing A Quality Memoir That Changes Lives with Lianne Saffer

Posted on Dec 1, 2021

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Written by Leo Oliveira

Home > Blog > Podcast > SPS 134: The Secret To Writing A Quality Memoir That Changes Lives with Lianne Saffer

Lianne Saffer is here today to talk about her new book Please, Don’t Send Me Flowers: A Memoir. This book is an honest and often hilarious account of her last 15 years. She writes about her divorce, coming out, and cancer. She’s a wife, mother, writer, fitness instructor, hair stylist, and life coach with a goal to empower as many people as possible. 

How to Choose Between a Memoir or Self-Help Book

She started writing down everything that she was going through. She realized that she had a valuable story and more to tell than what she found in a lot of similar books she had read. Choosing a memoir as opposed to a self-help book kept it authentic for her. She didn’t hold back and shared what she had lived. When deciding to go the memoir or self-help route, Lianne says to trust your gut. 

How to Sell Copies of Your Memoir If You Aren’t Famous

Lianne had three columns of themes and what she learned from those. These also corresponded with what many other people were going through in their lives. This really helped with the marketing. People are interested in what they can relate to. Openly talking about everything and what can lead up to cancer has helped with the marketing. People can relate to these disruptive conversations. 

Show Highlights

  • [01:35] Lianne shares why she wrote the book. She had a rough few years and was battling breast cancer. A unanimous online poll encouraged her to write about her experience. 
  • [02:37] After starting the manuscript, a Google search led Lianne to Self Publishing School. 
  • [04:48] Writing about other people was the most challenging part of writing the memoir. She wanted to be truthful with grace. 
  • [06:24] Lianne shares how she was able to navigate relationships and talk to people who would be mentioned as she shared her story.
  • [08:48] Removing names helped protect people written about. It was the story that mattered. She also put a disclaimer in the book and consulted an attorney.
  • [10:34] Be relatable by using your voice authentically. To find your voice take some time to get in touch with who you are and discover your why.
  • [14:28] Deciding what to share. Lianne wrote everything down and then went back and pared down what wasn’t essential. 
  • [18:11] When writing a memoir, don’t overthink it.
  • [19:15] The section in the book that got the most praise was the one about what not to say to a cancer patient. She had three columns of themes and what she learned in those. 
  • [22:45] How to put three themes in one book and balance those in the marketing of the book. We can still live a joyful life in spite of these things happening. 
  • [25:20] Lianne shares her launch story. She thought it was going to be a total disaster, but things worked out better than she thought. 
  • [31:50] Be humble and ask for reviews. When people reach out with positive feedback, ask for that review. 
  • [34:44] The most helpful part of Self Publishing School for Lianne was the coach and buddy system. The steps to the home stretch and finding her editor was helpful too. 

Links and Resources

Disclosure: Some of the links above may contain affiliate partnerships, meaning, at no additional cost to you, Self-Publishing School may earn a commission if you click through to make a purchase.
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