HomeWritersLiterary AgentsEditorsPublishersResourcesDiscussion
Forum Login | Join the discussion
+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 32
  1. #1
    James Lewis
    Guest

    Query letter for Memoirs

    Hello all. It's been a loooooooong time since I posted here. Out of the mix somewhat, but considering the wide-range of talent at WritersNet, it was inevitable I'd return.
    With that said...
    I'm helping a friend with a query letter, but it's for a memoir. I'm familiar with structuring fiction and non-fiction queries, but not memoirs.
    Since memoirs are non-fiction--or "fiction" depending on the point-of-view--any of you have tips on adhering to a standard format?
    Thanks in advance!



  2. #2
    Arden Wolfe
    Guest

    Re: Query letter for Memoirs

    Query letter and project proposals are the same for memoirs as non-fiction.

    Standard format for the non-fiction proposal.

    Fair warning: According to Publisher's Lunch and CNN, the market is saturated with memoirs.

    Good luck.

    Wolfe

  3. #3
    Kate Humphrey
    Guest

    Re: Query letter for Memoirs

    I thought that a memoir letter woudl be more like a fiction proposal since you don't have all the other stuff, expertise, research etc. that goes into a nonfiction proposal, and with a memior you have already written the memoir ms. But what do I know. In any case, I agree with Wolfe that he better have a story to tell with all the memoirs coming out atm. Kate

  4. #4
    Simon Says
    Guest

    Re: Query letter for Memoirs

    Actually Kate's right - you query a memoir like a novel and agents sell it like a novel as well- off the completed manuscript.

    No proposal needed.

  5. #5
    Arden Wolfe
    Guest

    Re: Query letter for Memoirs

    I assure you, it is the same format. In fact, the credentials are even more important. This is why accredited memoirs and/or celebrity ones are easier to sell.

    Yes, it can be done from telling your experiences--but they better be extraordinary as described in the second link below. Story does trump all.

    But don't take my word for it:

    http://www.writersweekly.com/this_we..._08232006.html (This is from Patricia Fry)

    http://www.nohoartsdistrict.com/lite..._proposals.htm

    You can reference this yourself on pages 38-41 of Write the Perfect Book Proposal: 10 That Sold and Why, 2nd Edition by Jeff Herman and Deborah L. Herman. Page 40 is specific on the proposal.

    Yes, you need a non-fiction proposal. Sorry, I just don't offer something without having some knowledge on it.

    Wolfe

  6. #6
    Kitty Foyle
    Guest

    Re: Query letter for Memoirs

    Arden wrote that for a memoir proposal, "credentials are even more important." Not necessarily...not according to this bit from the second link he posted:

    Unlike other forms of nonfiction, memoirs get judged more on the quality of the writing and how compelling the story, rather than on the authorís platform.

    For a memoir, the only credibility that counts is the authorís skill in telling her story. The other big piece is the story itself, though even the best story will fall flat for lack of skill in telling it.


    <http://www.nohoartsdistrict.com/literary_arts/how_to_Q_A_proposals.htm>

    *_*

  7. #7
    Arden Wolfe
    Guest

    Re: Query letter for Memoirs

    Ah. But remember this test: Are you more likely to listen to a professional about the topic or a lay person instead who is just offering an opinion?

    Remember that celebrity is a big credential as well.

    This is a solid test for today market because agent's and editors.

    Again, remember, the market is saturated. This is one of the questions an agent and editor is going to ask.

    I know it's not something everyone wants to hear, but memoirs are a tough sale now-a-days.

    Peace.

    Wolfe

  8. #8
    Arden Wolfe
    Guest

    Re: Query letter for Memoirs

    This is a sold test for today's market because agents and editors will do the same.*

  9. #9
    Simon Says
    Guest

    Re: Query letter for Memoirs

    According to Miss Snark, you need a book proposal for all non fiction accept Memoirs. Per Miss Snark:

    "Unless you're querying memoir, you gotta have a proposal. Memoir is sold like fiction (sample chapters, and frequently finished if you're a new writer)."

    Miss Snark is anything but a layman.

    I've heard this same thing elsewhere as well. I've also seen agency submission guidelines that request a query and sample chapters for memoirs.

    My friend was querying memoir and not one agent that she queried asked for a proposal, but she did get numerous requests for a full or partial.

    I have nothing against Patricia Fry, but in that article she suggests that novelists should write proposals as well. This is clearly NOT industry standard. This is solely her opinion. And nowhere in the article does she mention the word agent or agency. She talks about submitting to publishers, but I'm assuming that the query in question is for an agent, not a publisher.

    I'm not trying to start something with you, Wolfe, but I can't just let incorrect information stand without correcting it.

  10. #10
    Kitty Foyle
    Guest

    Re: Query letter for Memoirs

    I too was going to quote Miss Snark -- you beat me to it, SS.

    *_*

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts