Memoirs are still the hottest genre in the publishing industry, according to experts, so if you're asking, "How do I tell my story?" then you're in luck.
Larry Leichman, cofounder of Arbor Books (www.arborbooks.com), a top ghostwriting firm, says that despite recent controversies, memoirs still dominate The New York Times' best sellers lists and consistently rank as top sellers at Amazon.com, a situation Mr. Leichman says is related to our fascination with the lives of others.
The sales figures for the memoir genre support that opinion, jumping from $170 million in 1999 to nearly $300 million today, according to the Bowker Industry Report.
And, in recent years, many of the top memoirs have come from outside of the top publishers, often with the help of ghostwriters.
Mr. Leichman's company, Arbor Books has added more memoirists to its roster of ghostwriters in an effort to support the genre--one that Mr. Leichman's cofounder, Joel Hochman, says is alive and well through the help of self-publishers.
"Self-publishing a memoir used to be looked down upon," says Mr. Hochman, the other cofounder of Arbor Books. "It was once called 'vanity press,' but today that term no longer applies. The big publishers aren't keeping up with people's desires to tell their stories and ghostwriting firms are supporting people who have amazing life stories but who want them professionally written and marketed."
Recent years have seen the rise of the memoir. Barack Obama's "Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance" and "The Mercy Papers: A Memoir of Three Weeks" by Robin Romm are just two examples.
"These stories are very personal, and we want to offer our clients the chance to tell their own stories with help from professional writers who know how," says Mr. Leichman.
Ghosting a memoir is a common practice for public figures, including:
* Business leaders
Elements of most memoirs include the following:
* blistering honesty
* raw, unvarnished story-telling
* a clear theme
* lots of "movie" scenes (don't tell -- show)
* interesting characters
Whether it's the commitment of time or the inability to articulate their feelings, hundreds of authors have used ghostwriters to help tell their stories. Arbor Books believes there are great stories yet to be told--ones the traditional publishers have turned away.
Arbor Books provides an array of publishing services to their clients such as ghostwriting, editing, typesetting, design, printing, marketing and distribution.
Arbor Books is the only publishing firm catering to independent authors that is 100-percent insured against defamation and plagiarism, and it is associated with one of the most prestigious publishing law firms in the United States.
Arbor Books authors have appeared on CNBC, MSNBC, CNN, ABC News and FOXNews and have become columnists for major newspapers and magazines including USA Today.
Cofounders Joel Hochman and Larry Leichman are publishing-industry veterans and are listed in Literary Market Place. Their staff is capable of handling any genre and any size book.