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Writing a book proposal for a memoir

Now came the hard part: Finding a Literary Agent Now that I had my book proposal together I had to generate a list of literary agents to query. This was a fascinating time-suck but proved to be pretty useless as far as narrowing down prospective agents to query. Next I found the free websites AgentQuery. I could also read comments from others that had queried the agent that I was going to query to get a sense of how quickly if at all an agent responded with a rejection or request for additional material.

First, I made sure to verify that they represented memoir. I Googled each agent and the agency they worked for to make sure they were reputable. I read as many interviews with each agent as I could find.

  • Give a brief summary of your memoir;
  • Now came the hard part;
  • His perspective was what set him apart.

If everything panned out I put the agent on my query list. I also found it helpful to follow the agents that I was interested in on Twitter and to read their blogs if applicable. That gave me a sense of who they were, what sort of material they were looking for and how they preferred to be queried.

Every agent is different. Some agents ask for the first 10 or 20 or 50 pages of your book and others want only a query letter.

Narrative Non-Fiction and Memoir

Make sure to follow the specific query instructions of the agent. The last thing I needed was a query letter. I found this example of a query letter that worked and used it as a guide to craft my own. Then I took a deep breath and began querying agents. The results In the span of one week I sent 37 query letters to 37 different agents.

Parts of a memoir book proposal:

Two days later another agent asked for my full proposal. This time the agent moved quickly. Two days later, after a long phone call, he offered to represent me. I swear I almost died of happiness. She then offered to represent me too. Ultimately I went with the agent who moved quickly but the other agent was very understanding and encouraging.

How I Wrote a Book Proposal and Found a Literary Agent

I just groped around in the darkness until I found my path. I sold my book!!!! It was on the shelves at Target, people.