Category Archives: Member only telesminars

We DO Judge a Book by Its Cover—Secrets You Don’t Know About Book Cover Design

September 26, 2014
11 am PDT 12 pm MDT 1 pm CDT 2 pm EDT



Michele De Filippo and Sonia Marsh

This is a WEBINAR, not our usual member teleseminar. On this webinar, we are excited to present photos of good and not so good book designs, to teach you what works and what doesn’t in the publishing world. Please join us! This is an event that is free to all National Association of Memoir Writers Members. To learn more about membership, or to join so you can view this webinar live and ask questions, please visit

Michele De Filippo—About this Webinar
A Better Movement Before and After “Don’t judge a book by its cover” is tried and true advice passed down from one generation to the next, and for good reason. But when it comes to buying a book, the cover is EXACTLY how readers judge whether or not that book is worthy of their time and money. In fact, it takes a potential buyer only 7 seconds to judge a cover and make a decision. How can you make sure that – during those 7 seconds – the buyer decides to open your book or put it back on the metaphorical shelf?

Every element on a professionally designed book cover carries the potential for you to sway the buyer’s decision, and in this webinar you will hear from book designer and business owner Michele DeFilippo about the techniques book designers employ to create great book covers.

In this workshop you will:
• Understand the importance of a book cover in the buying decision.
• Learn how conveying the right message increases book sales.
• Explore how titles, subtitles fonts, images, and colors are designed, and the role each plays in transmitting a persuasive message to potential buyers.
Undertow Before and After• Analyze before and after images of actual book cover makeovers, understand what changes were made, why they were necessary, and how the book’s message was affected.
• Come away understanding how to work with your cover designer for success!

Michele is the owner of 1106 Design, a Phoenix-based company that provides book publishing services and expertise to authors and publishers from all over North America.

1106 Design is the product of Michele’s love of consulting with authors, publishers, business pros, legal and medical professionals, speakers, and others who want to publish a book; simply put, Michele loves talking about books and loves helping people to fulfill their dreams! Michele, her team at 1106 Design, and her extended network of partners, have assisted authors with editing, cover design, book page design and typesetting, proofreading, author websites, determining the best print options, marketing, and other services needed to craft and sell professional quality books.

Despite the multitude of tangible ways in which she and 1106 Design help authors, Michele calls “honest advice” and “hand-holding” the most important services she can provide, which are borne out through her dedication to customer service and quality book design. Michele constantly shares her knowledge (based upon her many years of experience as a designer and business owner in the publishing field) with authors through her biweekly blog, webinars, speaking engagements, and her 52 Tips & Tools e-mail newsletter. Michele is also the author of Publish Like the Pros: A Brief Guide to Quality Self-Publishing. Visit



freeways_to_flipflopsFrom Sonia Marsh:
When I decided to start my own publishing company, as an indie author, I knew this would involve wearing my “authorpreneurial” hat. I wanted to be taken seriously, as a commercial indie author, and realized I could not skimp on quality and professionalism. I also knew that in order to be proud of my books, and to make them fit the readers’ expectations of books in my genre, I had to consult with experts in the book design business. It’s not enough to say, “I like this cover.”

1106 Design was recommended to me by someone in the publishing business, and when I checked their website, I felt confident they would offer the same high standard, as traditional publishers. I am now working with 1106 Design on my 3rd cover, and have won two prestigious awards for my first two books, thanks to them, as well as my editors and the authors in the Anthology series.

My Gutsy Story® Anthology: True Stories of Love, Courage and Adventure From Around the World, has been named a 2013 Benjamin My Gutsy StoryFranklin Award Silver Honoree Winner.
My first book, a memoir, Freeways to Flip-Flops: A Family’s Year of gutsy Living on a Tropical Island won 1st Place, and a Gold Medal in the “Autobiography/Memoir” category of the 2012 E-lit Awards. It also received a Silver Medal, in the “Travel Essay” category of the E-lit Awards.

Sonia Marsh is an award-winning author who knows how to market books both online and in person. She continues to promote her own books at Costco, and other retail stores and is committed to helping authors avoid common mistakes. Sonia understands that most authors cannot afford to hire an expensive publicist, so her goal is to help authors develop their own plan to sell books.

She offers “gutsy” book coaching to authors, as well as Webinars and Workshops. Contact her at: #(949) 309-0030, or visit her website: Subscribe to her free “Gutsy” newsletter and receive two bonus prizes, including the free video on “How to Get Your Book into Costco.”


What Does Self-discovery Have to do With Memoir Writing? | August Member Teleseminar

NAMW Member Teleseminar with Jackie Swensen

August 22, 2014



Jackie small

Many memoir writers come to their stories from having journaled much of their lives, so we are pleased to offer an expert on journaling and healing to present this August member teleseminar, Jackie Swensen.

Memoir writing requires a host of narrative skills to transform a person’s memories into something that appeals to a wide audience. For example, a sharp eye for detail, a sensitivity to nuances and subtleties of expression, and the kind of empathy that can make even flawed characters sympathetic. Memoir writers also need tenacity to keep digging for truth, especially when faced with a tangled web of conflicting stories. To accomplish that feat requires a high level of self-knowledge.

Society doesn’t really encourage self-reflection and most Americans think of themselves as doers, people of action. So action often trumps reflection. But memoir writers must reflect on a subject purposefully to understand the mysteries of human behavior. In over 20 years as a psychoanalyst, I’ve found journaling to be an effective tool for reflection and self-discovery, and for gaining insights into others. Journaling has proven to be a valuable resource for many of my clients, and so I created Journal to Health™ in order to introduce it to a wider audience.

We will discuss:
• The intellectual underpinnings of self-knowledge
• Freud’s self-analysis, which he conducted by writing
• The value of journaling as seen by a psychoanalyst
• Why I developed Journal to Health™: A Site for Self-Discovery
• How a daily journaling exercise can help memoir writers tune into themselves

Jacqueline Swensen is a psychoanalyst in private practice in New York City. She is a board and faculty member of the Center for Human Development, a psychoanalytic institute. Jackie is the founder of Journal to Health: A Site for Self-Discovery, which is an online journaling website that launched on June 1. The member’s journals are password-protected and encrypted, can be organized by topic and subtopic, which makes it ideal for memoir writers. It is easy-to-use, customizable and includes a Discovery section that will spur your creativity and give you a place to rejuvenate your mind and your spirit.

We hope you can join us live for this discussion, and bring your questions with you. If you are a member of the National Association of Memoir Writers, you will be able to join the call and receive the audio. To learn more about becoming a member and receiving all the benefits of members, please visit our web site


Writing Bestselling Memoirs Without Throwing Everyone Under the Bus


July Member Teleseminar  with Linda Watanabe McFerrin

July 25, 2014

11 AM PDT  12 PM MDT   1 PM CDT  2 PM EDT


Any professional editor will tell you that the key to writing a fantastic, bestselling memoir is drama and relevance, but sometimes it hard to amp up the intensity without causing major collateral damage with family, community or friends, not to mention ex-spouses and lovers.
In this seminar you will learn how to take those quiet moments and turn them into spellbinding revelations and how to do it without throwing all of your friends and loved ones under the bus.

You’ll learn:
• How to use literary craft to create tension and drama.
• How to build suspense.
• How to make sure your story connects with a wide audience while remaining your story.
• How to build in relevance.
• How to write in a way to which agents, editors, publishers and, yes, loved ones too, will respond.
• How to use bestselling fiction techniques in real-life storytelling.

Linda Watanabe McFerrin) is the author of two poetry collections and a winner of the Katherine Anne Porter Prize for Fiction. Her novel, Namako: Sea Cucumber, was named Best Book for the Teen-Age by the New York Public Library. In addition to authoring an award-winning short story collection, The Hand of Buddha, she has co-edited several anthologies, including the Hot Flashes: sexy little stories & poems series. Her latest novel, Dead Love (Stone Bridge Press, 2009), was short-listed as a finalist in the 2007 William Faulkner-William Wisdom Creative Competition and was a Bram Stoker Award Finalist for Superior Achievement in a Novel in 2009.
Linda has judged the San Francisco Literary Awards, the Josephine Miles Award for Literary Excellence and the Kiriyama Prize. A past NEA Panelist and juror for the Marin Literary Arts Council and the founder of Left Coast Writers®, she has led workshops in many countries and has mentored a long list of accomplished writers and best-selling authors toward publication.


Secrets of Structuring a Memoir that Works!

LJM, Judy and JerryTeleseminar for NAMW Members

Judy Mandel, Linda Joy Myers, Jerry Waxler
June 20, 2014
As a memoir writer, you must transform your unstructured memories into the structure of a story. To do that, take a closer look at the way stories work, and then follow that roadmap. In this teleseminar we’ll answer the kinds of questions we typically hear from writers who are trying to find the story.

• How can I identify my most meaningful memories?
• What will my reader take away from my book?
• How do I create an interesting story?
• What techniques are the most helpful in beginning my memoir and writing a full first draft?

Three workshop leaders of the National Association of Memoir Writers are going to talk about several ways you can avoid writer’s block by understanding the role of structure, and how you can use it to help you write your memoir.

You will learn how to
1. Identify your themes and build a structure that supports it.
2. At the center of every story is a protagonist with a desire—what do you—the main character want in your story?
3. The reader has a desire too—the reader desires the protagonist to be safe, and to achieve a goal.
4. Boil down your most important memories to 10 and make a list. Put them on a timeline. Then find 10 more.
5. Create the takeaway and the narrative arc of your book—as a legacy, or a published work.
6. Free yourself from rigid rules, searching for the method that best fits your material.

Judy, Linda Joy and Jerry decided to come together to teach a workshop on structure because it’s one of the major stumbling blocks that memoir writers encounter. This workshop will address the major questions, and bring three unique approaches to developing structure.

Judy Mandel is the author of Replacement Child. In her book she created a complex and interesting weaving that makes the story read like a mystery.

Jerry Waxler, author of the Memoir Revolution, teaches classes through NAMW on how to structure a memoir. In his blog, Memory Writers Network,  he analyzes the structure of many memoirs and offers insights to help writers find their own.

Linda Joy Myers writes and teaches in a NAMW workshop, and in the intensive Write your Memoir in 6 Months. Her books The Power of Memoir and Journey of Memoir highlight the need for structure to create a publishable memoir.


Following the Yellow Brick Road of Memoir Writing |Marla Miller


Marla Miller

Member Teleseminar

Friday May 16, 2014

11 AM 12 PM   1 PM 2 PM

When you write a memoir, you’re caught up in a journey about your life, a journey that you try to capture in your book, but you can’t exactly predict the plot of this even though you know “what happened.” As you sketch out your memories, at first you think about your whole life, and can get overwhelmed with so many memories. But to write a memoir, you need to select and hone your memories, themes, and ideas and think about not only “what happened” but what the takeaway is for the reader.

The difference between memoir and autobiography can be a challenge to sort out. In memoir writing/storytelling, the theme is the ‘prize’ that writers need to keep as a focus.

What is theme? It’s the focus, the point of your story, the ‘feeling’ that propels the forward motion of your memoir. The ‘clothesline’ image is helpful:  Think of theme as a clothesline and then make sure all your scenes hang from it.

What you will learn in this teleseminar:

Autobiography vs memoir: what is the difference?

Story sequence/scenes in Autobiography: Linear story telling

Story sequence/scenes in memoir: Inciting incident

Scene in memoirs: What do you include?

Recollections that serve the memoir theme

Why “less is more” in memoir storytelling

Themes: The Heart of Memoir


Against All Odds

David vs. Goliath


Good vs. Evil

Bring your questions to this informative and important teleseminar–learn the secrets of success from an experienced editor and marketer, Marla Miller! If you are not a member  yet, check out the list of membership benefits here.


Marla Miller’s freelance writing career began 25 years ago: her talk show at KUCI ran for 8 years. Her book All American Girls, U.S Women’s National Soccer Team was published by Simon & Schuster. Since 2003, she’s been leading MarketingtheMuse Workshops at writers’ conferences. She’s co-author of the eBook, Days Gone By: Barnaby Conrad’s Santa Barbara Writers Conference, and Deadly Little Secrets. Marla works with many memoir authors. Testimonials  can be found at

Southern California Writers Conference, workshop leader-2005-present.

Santa Barbara Writers Conference: Assistant Director, 2005-2009, workshop leader, 2003-present; Writer’s Digest Conference: Pitch Witch Bootcamp, 2013

Co-host: Indie Author, a Google+ OnAir show that spotlights ‘indie authors’ works and marketing strategies, 2013-present.

Host: Launching in May, 2014, Google+OnAir show, Literary Salon: Learning Prose From the Pros. The interview format show spotlights authors – from both traditional and indie -who discuss the path to publication.. Confirmed: Jane Smiley, Suzanne Redfearn, Caitlin Rother & Janis Thomas.

Website: Google+ Marla Miller’s MarketingtheMuse

Google + Literary Salon: Learning Prose from the Pros

Twitter: @writersMAMA Facebook: Marla Miller’s MarketingtheMuse: Hooking Readers; LinkedIn: Marla Miller






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Myers makes a compelling case for the power of words as a form of healing and growth.
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James W. Pennebaker, Ph.D.
professor of psychology, The University of Texas at Austin and author, Opening Up and Writing To Heal