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Association of Personal Historians

Norcal Regional Coordinator       2008-2010
Membership Director   2010-2011
Vice President   2011-2012
Personal Memoirs

Personal Memoirs

Someone once asked me, “What is the difference between writing an autobiography and writing your memoirs?” I said, “Autobiographies aim to give a complete history of a person’s life in as much detail as possible, a complete survey of that person’s universe. Memoirs are more like skipping from one star to another, from one shining, vivid moment to another.”

Personal is the key word here. These memoirs are personal both because they focus on one person and because that person makes all the decisions about what to recount.

Personal memoirs may also focus on a defined period in a person’s life, for example, experiences in the military or in the Peace Corps. A book of memoirs may be as small as 24 pages or as large as several volumes.

Photographs, documents, maps, letters and genealogies are often included in personal memoirs.

The key point about personal memoirs is that it’s all up to you. SML Publishing exists to help you produce the book you want.


“Susan is a warm, professional person who listens to what you are saying. She is well informed about the wide variety of options available for producing a book and can give you all the personal care and attention you need in making decisions.”

Mary Cummings