At Woodley Books we publish illustrated memoirs for readers of all ages: children–teens–adults–seniors.

The memoir – a first person account of the past – is the perfect platform from which readers can become writers.

We encourage our readers to write about their own lives through workshops and demonstrations by our authors and artists in bookstores, schools and libraries.

Our books are nationally distributed and are reviewed, as only ten percent of new books are. We deliver a great publishing experience for readers and writers alike.




Tuesday, June 16, from 7 to 10 pm, eat and drink with us at Woodley Books while we read from the work of James Joyce. Call Ellen Roberts at 484-274-6841 for details.

The Irish call it La Bloom, but in America, we are happy to leave it at Bloomsday. It was the date of author James Joyce’s first outing with his wife; they walked to the Dublin suburb of Ringsend. The name is derived from Leopold Bloom, the protagonist of Joyce’s Ulysses. Join us at Woodley Books for an evening of recitation and reading to celebrate this brilliant contribution to our literature.



Without Ellen E. M. Roberts this memoir would never have been completed. She encouraged me from the start. By her lively spark, ready wit and sharp editorial eye, she helped give it shape.

W. Howard Wriggins, Bryce Professor of International Relations, Columbia University, author of Picking Up the Pieces

Ellen E. M. Roberts, my editor, painstakingly applied her amazing editing skills to help transform my experiences into a readable memoir.

Morris Zedeck, author Expert Witness in the Legal System

A "mentoring editor,” experienced, wise, and plain speaking is exactly what a writer needs. Roberts shares with us her experience and her natural enthusiasm and good sense, encouraging serious writers to aim high and helping them do it.

frequently asked questions

In May, 2016 Woodley Books will publish MEMOIR How To Write It, How To Sell It by publisher Ellen E.M. Roberts. The book includes information on writing, illustrating, formatting, manufacturing, selling and promoting a memoir.

Frequently Asked Questions Are Answered in her new book MEMOIR How to Write It, How to Sell It, Roberts tells readers how to get started on a memoir, and even more important, how to finish it. She shows how to publish—whether you want to work find an agent so that you can work with a commercial publisher, or publish yourself on a shoestring budget or as a money-making enterprise.

by Ellen E.M. Roberts

As the publisher of memoirs at Woodley Books, I am often asked “What is a memoir?” I wrote this book to answer that question. And the answer is surprising. A memoir is more than a first-person version of your life story: it is an evocation f the times and places in which you lived as well. The memoir is reassuring to read because the author has survived the experience she is writing about. The reader is comforted by the fact that the events in the book, no matter how troubling, are safely over and done. When the reader finishes a memoir, he knows the author as well as he knows the events she has described.

Memoir isn’t the summary of a life; it’s a window into a life. It may look like a casual and even random calling-up of bygone events. It’s not; it’s a deliberate construction. William Zinsser

by Ellen E.M. Roberts

The courts are clear that the memoirist is not, like the witness offering testimony, bound to a standard of objectivity. And judges are quick to catch on to the ulterior motives of the plaintiffs When The Egg and I was published in 1945, author Betty MacDonald faced a lawsuit from a couple who claimed to the models for Ma and Pa Kettle. MacDonald was able to show this same couple had promoted themselves in connection with best-selling book and film. She showed how they profited from the fame her memoir brought them. They lost the case and paid the court costs.

The Egg and I was the basis not only for a major movie but also for a television show about two supporting characters, Ma and Pa Kettle.

by Ellen E.M. Roberts

A memoir does not include everything that ever happened in your life. That would be an autobiography. It does not dwell on how you felt at the time: that’s a diary. It is your choice of incidents that were crucial in defining who you are today. Think of standing before the glorious smorgasbord that is your life. Don’t heap your plate with a little bit of every offering. Instead choose three or four things that appeal to you now and serve yourself a helping of each of them, not just a taste. That’s the way a memoir works.

This Hermes 3000 belonged to Jack Kerouac, author of On The Road. Kerouac cut sheets of tracing paper into long strips, and taped them together into a 120-foot roll he then fed into the machine. This allowed him to type continuously without the interruption of reloading pages. The resulting manuscript contained no chapter or paragraph breaks.

by Ellen E.M. Roberts

E-books are stored on a central server where they can be disseminated via email to customers who want to download a book. The report of a book’s inventory is emailed to the royalty department at the author’s E-book publisher. There the author’s share of income from the books sold is calculated—using a computer program like Excel. A royalty statement is emailed to the author and money deposited electronically in the 4author’s bank account. It can also be sent to the agent who then deducts his percentage and sends the balance—electronically—on to the author’s bank.

A Digital Rights Management wrap is used as an anti-piracy tool to protect authors, but limits access to the title. This chart shows a snapshot of the impact of DRM on E-book sales.