Memoir or Self-Help?

Clear guidance on how to choose your book category, improve your writing, and ensure you help others


Liz Green


Live on Wednesday, May 31, or watch the recording


Writers stuck between memoir and self-help


Closed captions by Otter; transcript provided with recording

You want to share your story and help others who are going through what you experienced. Maybe you want to pay it forward, help those coming up behind you, leave a legacy, or share the message of your work to a larger audience. You imagine your book will be a little bit memoir and a little self-help. But writing industry folks insist your book must sit in one category. So what gives?

Does it even matter? And if so, how do you choose?

Perhaps you know you need to connect with readers by sharing your experience, but you don’t want it to be all “me, me, me!” You’re not sure how much of your story to put in the book.

Or you know you want to share everything, but you’re worried it’ll sound self-indulgent. How do you write your life story without it being a bore? And you do want your experience to help others—you just don’t want to lecture people.

The great news is that understanding the memoir and self-help categories can help you write with confidence, connect with readers, and create a powerful, meaningful book you’re proud of. The key is to understand the expectations, so you can make an empowered choice about if and how you’ll meet them.

This 90-minute class with editor and book coach Liz Green will teach you why these categories exist and what expectations they create. You’ll learn how to meet publishing and readers’ needs without compromising on what you really want to write, and how to use your chosen category to actually make your writing more impactful.

You’ll receive a worksheet to help you apply the teaching to your book idea, and by the end of our time together, you’ll be clear about which type of book you’re writing, how you’ll meet the category’s expectations—or not, and how much of your story to include.

We’ll end with a Q&A session, so you can get answers about your specific book idea and confidently move forward writing your memoir or self-help book.

You’ll discover:

  • The real reason publishers—and readers—want you to choose a category
  • How choosing one definitive category can actually improve your book
  • A reliable technique for ensuring writing about yourself doesn’t come across as self-indulgent
  • The one key question to ask yourself, so you can determine how much of your story to include
  • The sneaky way to write exactly what you want, so you can choose a category without having to compromise

Who should take this class

  • New writers who want to share their experience and help others
  • Established writers struggling with a book idea or work-in-progress that includes elements of their own experience
  • Those who have been through a big life experience, and who now want to pay it forward by sharing what they’ve learned with others
  • Business owners, executives, coaches, and other leaders who want to share their work with a larger audience
  • People who want to leave a legacy through a book
  • Those looking to self-publish or traditionally publish. This class will apply to any publishing method, as well as to people who have no idea which path they’ll take

Who should NOT take this class

  • Fiction writers
  • Writers of short-form work (articles, essays, anything that’s not book length)

What’s included in all of Jane’s classes

How do I attend the live class?

This class uses Zoom webinar technology (see system requirements). You will join through your Internet-connected computer or mobile device. When you register, you will receive information via email on how to join the class. If you don’t receive it within 1 hour of registering, please contact us.

  • When: Wednesday, May 31, 2023
  • Time: 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Eastern / 10:00 a.m. Pacific
  • Registration fee: $25

The webinar is broadcast via the internet with live audio delivered through your computer or mobile device speakers. The visual presentation is displayed directly from the presenter’s computer to your computer screen. The Q&A is managed through a chat-style submission system with questions read and answered by the presenter for the entire class to hear.

Closed captions are provided during the live class. We use Zoom’s automated closed caption service (powered by Otter), which is about 80%+ accurate. We also use Otter AI to generate an unedited transcript, provided with the recording.

About the instructor

Liz Green is the editor and book coach behind Green Goose Writing. She helps people who feel drawn to write a book that inspires others, but are stuck trying to get the words on the page. They’re used to getting things done and are frustrated that, for some reason, their memoir, self-help, or business book isn’t coming together. She helps them finally finish their book and feel proud of sharing their words with the world.

Liz has written 16 books, taught college writing classes, and edited countless manuscripts. She’s the founder of Write Your Book, an online course teaching first-time writers how to wrangle their ideas, write like a pro, and create a manuscript they’re insanely proud of.

Take her 60-second quiz to discover if you’re really ready to write your book. You’ll also find expert writing advice and inspiration to keep you motivated, plus some classic writing jokes, like this one:

Which dinosaur is a writer’s best friend?

A thesaurus.


I took a course from a big publisher before and it was exciting at first, but ended up being a waste of time. I didn’t learn nearly as much as I have already from Liz. I’m too old to be wasting time, and this is finally helping me get on with writing.


I am no longer in fight or flight when I look at my writing. I feel like I now have a direction. Thank you so much for your support.


I couldn’t have written my book without Liz. She was so supportive, kind, knowledgeable, and professional. She made a daunting task feel doable. This was such a great experience. I’ve grown, and in part that’s thanks to Liz.


All students receive the following

  • Access to the 90-minute live class. After roughly 75 minutes, the instructor will take questions using in-class chat/text. The class will end after roughly 90 minutes. If we can’t get to all of the questions live, the instructor will answer them in writing and you’ll receive the answers with the recording.
  • A recording of the class—audio and video. This is especially helpful if you have a conflict with the class time or something comes up and you can’t make the session. Each registration comes with access to the archived version of the program and the materials for 30 days. You do not have to attend the live event to access the recordings.
  • Presentation slides. All participants receive the slide presentation in PDF form.
  • Rough transcript. We use Otter to create an automated transcript of the entire webinar, which we’ll share with you in addition to the audio and video recording.
  • Supplemental worksheet: This will help you actually apply the teaching to your book idea, so you can confidently move forward writing your memoir or self-help book.

Event Attendance & Anti-Harassment Policy

We strive to provide an environment where all present—whether attendee, presenter, or staff—can feel supported. In order to ensure a welcoming event, here is what we expect from all who participate.

  • That the presenter and the presenter’s work be treated with respect by attendees and that all attendees treat each other with respect and a generosity of spirit.
  • That attendees will refrain from harassment of any sort including (but not limited to) comments or questions of a racist, homophobic, sexist/sexual, or threatening nature. This includes actions that disrupt or interfere with anyone’s ability to participate. Offenders will be disconnected from the live event.