It’s finished! Your memoir — the unique, amazing, inspirational story of your life — is complete. It’s been proofread, bound and printed. A box of copies has just arrived at your door. Once you’ve gotten over your initial excitement, you might find yourself wondering … what now?
There’s no one right answer to that question. In fact, there are many different things you can do with a completed memoir. Here are just a few of our favorite suggestions...
1. Throw a Launch Party
The completion of a book is always worth celebrating — so now it’s time to plan a launch party so you can share it with friends and family.
Launch parties can take any form you like. You could combine it with a family reunion, have a small gathering with just a few friends, or invite your entire extended family. It’s your story, and it’s your party. What you do is up to you.
Book launch parties do usually have a few things in common, though. Often there will be a reading, where the author — that’s you!— shares a favorite passage or two from the book. Other common components include a raffle, a slideshow of pictures from your memoir, and the opportunity for people to get their copy signed.
2. Give Copies as Gifts
A copy of your biography can be a great gift, especially for close friends and family. Being able to read your story gives them a window into a part of your life that they might not have understood before.
It’s an especially excellent gift if they’re featured in your book. Who wouldn’t want to receive a book in which they can read about themselves and the impact they’ve had on your life?
You may have thanked key people in your dedication or in an afterword. You can also personalize your gift by writing a note on the inside cover. Tell your recipient what they mean to you and how they’ve helped you reach this point to make the book something they treasure for years to come.
3. Hide a Time Capsule
Learning about the past can be a challenge, but you can make it significantly easier for your descendants by putting together a time capsule. You can fill it with a copy of your book, photographs, recordings and even a few important possessions.
Famous time capsules have contained notes, pennies, children’s toys, books, photographs and mementos. It’s entirely up to you what you put in there, but a memoir is always a safe bet. Whoever finds your capsule will undoubtedly want to know about the person that hid it!
There’s no rule that says you have to bury your time capsule. In fact, it’ll probably last longer if you don’t. Tuck it away in the back of a cupboard, in an attic or behind some furniture for a wonderful surprise a few years down the line. You can also hide it underneath a floorboard if you want it to last a little longer.
Pro Tip: Children and grandchildren love hiding time capsules, so make sure they’re around for the big event.
4. Speak to a Local Bookshop
Independent bookstores love books about local people and places, so consider offering them a copy or two of your memoir. They’re particularly likely to be interested if it mentions the town, city or neighborhood where they’re based.
Whether or not they’ll display copies of your memoir is very much down to the bookstore in question. Some will want to focus on other genres, but others will be thrilled to carry a book about a local personality — especially if they can get signed copies!
5. Share It With the World
Most StoryTerrace biographies are written with your friends and family in mind, but if you have a big story to tell, it’s entirely possible to aim it towards a wider audience. If that’s something you’re interested in, it’s definitely worth mentioning when you arrange an initial chat with the StoryTerrace team.
We can help you through the process of self-publishing and provide support as you send your memoir out into the big, wide world. Who knows where it might end up?
6. Read It
Finally, don’t forget to read your memoir! The story will no doubt be fresh in your mind when you first receive your box of bound books, but give it a few years and then come back to your story. You might be surprised at what you’ve forgotten in that time.
Refreshing our memories and reminiscing about the past has been shown to be a great workout for the brains. It can also be an excellent way of decluttering your past and remembering where you came from. You’re one of the most important readers of your own life story!
And, of course, life goes on even after you’ve finished writing your memoir. After a couple of years, there’s always the possibility of a sequel — or perhaps a whole series. Where will your life story take you next?
Before you start planning your launch party, you’ll need to get your story down on paper. StoryTerrace can help! Just schedule an appointment and we’ll get in touch for a quick chat about your book.
In the meantime, why not join our mailing list to learn more about researching your personal history and writing your memoir?