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  1. #21
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    20
    Quote Originally Posted by John Oberon View Post
    What it tells me is that one publisher and three agents have asked to see the complete manuscript (I'm assuming that's what he means by "in the hands of"). To me, that's encouraging. And if these are the only people to whom he's sent it so far, that's even more encouraging. I wouldn't doubt the quality of my book after only 3 or 4 tries. Maybe 30 or 40 tries...but that's just me.
    Thanks John. I've sent queries to about 30 agents, and three wanted to see more. I had an in with a publisher, who looked at it but rejected. A lot of friends have read it and loved it, reading cover to cover in one or two days. But that's friends, which is a limited audience. My story is unique, but I've read a lot of memoirs by ordinary people like myself, and each has a very unique story to tell. I don't know yet if my story is unique enough to interest a large number of people, or if my writing is of a high enough quality. At this point I'm going to follow advice here in this thread and check out the sites Lawrence mentions, and I'm also going to search for an editor who might jive with my work. I'm a self taught, no background as a writer, so it's a long shot. But the journey has been life changing and wonderful on a lot of levels, so published or not, I'm happy, and will self publish at the end of the day, just to share with people in my life.



  2. #22
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    20
    Quote Originally Posted by Lawrence Tabak View Post
    Craig -- glad that you you've received some useful information here. I think the idea that only famous people publish memoirs reflects someone who doesn't read a lot of memoirs. I'm thinking fondly of books like The Tender Bar, The Liars' Club, A Boy's Life (or from the other brother's perspective, The Duke of Deception), Girl Interrupted, Asa As I Knew Him, etc. I see notes from many agents who are actively looking for wonderful memoirs like these. I would encourage you to look for fellow memoir writers with the idea of finding a critique group or doing manuscript exchanges. Another possibility is to attend workshops -- I took a great memoir workshop at the Iowa Summer Writer's Program at the University of Iowa from Marilyn Abildskov (another unfamous writer who has published a memoir). Attending such a session is another way to connect with potential critique partners. If you haven't already done so, I would give a critique site like CritiqueCircle or Scribophile a shot. You can submit excerpts and will likely find folks who seem able to connect with your work. Finally, I would consider working on stand-alone sections of your book and submitting them to journals like Creative Nonfiction and Memoir Journal or publications that match your content. (I recently published a piece on my experience at a summer camp back in the early 60's in a journal that had an issue devoted to summer camping.) Getting such credits will go a long way to helping you jump over the many hurdles to publishing a full memoir.
    Thanks Lawrence, I appreciate your suggestions. CritiqueCircle or Scribophile look fantastic, am going to spend some time and see what might work for me there. I also connected with a friend last night who is working on publishing a novel, and we're going to read each other's work and exchange critique/advice. It remains to be seen if the work has enough substance to appeal to a wider audience, so I'm just doing my best to determine that with as much certainty as possible. If I get to the place then I'll self publish, and then move on to the next adventure.

  3. #23
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Posts
    10
    I don't know if this will help at all, but my aunt keeps raving about a proofreader she recently found. She tells me he basically edited her manuscript for the cost of proofreading it. Who knows, he may do evaluations too, can't hurt to try. His website is www.ProfessionalBookProofreading.com. Good luck, hope it helps!

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