Lots of writers choose to write about their own lives in the form of a memoir.
Lots of people think it’s a bit easier to write a memoir than some other formats, but you’d be surprised at how difficult they can be to write, especially if you want to get them published.
But don’t worry! Once you’ve read this article, you’ll know exactly how many words you should aim for, how many pages, and some other tips that will help you in your memoir-writing journey.
How Long Should A Memoir Be?
If you’re considering writing a memoir, you’re probably wondering how long it should be. There isn’t an official length that is regarded as right for a memoir, but there are some recommended tips you should consider.
When it comes to word count and pages, we’ll get into that a little later, but for now, you just need to know the following:
It should be long enough to be able to tell your story. Regardless of how long it ends up being, you need to make sure that you are getting the full details into your memoir.
Try not to waffle on and include anything that isn’t relevant to the story you are trying to tell. But overall, you need to make sure that the full story is being told. If that means that your memoir is a bit longer, then that’s ok.
If you want to get your memoir published, it is likely you’ll have to cut the length down if it’s too long, but while you are writing it, just write! Editing is where you can cut it down a bit.
What Should The Word Count Be?
Whether you want to just write and edit later, or you want to know exactly how long a memoir should be, when it comes to the word count, the recommended number is between 60,000 to 80,000.
This is the same amount of words give or take when writing a standard novel.
If you’ve written your memoir out already and it exceeds the 60,000 to 80,000 range, you’re going to have to do some cutting down.
Some people do write more than this word count, but you’ll find that the majority of memoirs fit into this range.
You want your memoir to be engaging and gripping, and this word count range has been shown to be the best for that.
How Many Pages Should There Be In A Memoir?
In terms of page count, it really does vary depending on what word count works best for you. If you go for the 60,000-word count, your memoir is going to be a bit shorter, but if you go for 80,000 words, it’s going to be longer.
The page count is going to vary depending on a lot of factors, some of which include book layout and font size.
Though memoirs are going to vary in size and length, the recommended page count is between 250 and 400 pages. It’s in your best interest to stick to this page count range rather than going under or over.
How To Get A Memoir Published
If you want to get your memoir published, adhering to the recommended word count and page count will help you on your journey and make getting it published a whole lot easier.
Another important thing you need to know before you go about trying to get your memoir published is that most memoirs will be sold to publishers as a completed manuscript, rather than a book proposal.
As you get more experienced, book proposals are more likely to work for you, but if you’re just starting out, you’re going to need a completed manuscript.
Once you’ve got your completed manuscript (or book proposal if you’re more experienced), you can go to publishers who specialize in memoirs directly, or you can look for memoir literary agents.
In order to get more success in getting your memoir published by these literary agents or publishers, you need to appeal to them.
Finding publishers who have worked on memoirs that are similar in tone to yours will help you get your memoir read by the right audience.
Another thing you will need when you’re pitching your memoir to these publishers is a memoir query letter. These letters are used to introduce your memoir book proposal or manuscript.
In this memoir query letter, you need to outline the type of memoir you’ve written, right down to the theme. This letter is also a great way for you to show how interesting your memoir is and how interesting you are.
When it comes to selling your memoir to a publisher, you’re not just selling your story, but also yourself. Include a bio in your letter that details a bit about yourself, and this is also a great place to outline your marketing platform if you have one.
Try and appeal to your audience and your desired publisher. You want to be able to clearly identify with both parties. The more you appeal to them, the more likely you are to get published.
Getting A Memoir Editor
If you’re writing a memoir for the first time, then it might be in your best interest to hire a memoir editor.
Memoir editors are experts in their field and they know just how to edit a memoir so it will be more likely to get published. They will be able to look over your manuscript as you write it and avise you on where you need to change it or what you need to add in and cut out.
You’ll need an editor at some point during your memoir writing journey, so it’s definitely in your best interest to hire one.
Whether you’re writing a memoir for the first time or you’re just curious as to how long they should be, just know that the recommended word count is between 60,000 to 80,000.
As long as you stick to these guidelines, you should have no issues!