As I research agents to query my memoir, I keep seeing the same vague comments, something like “memoirs are hard sell” or “I rarely take on memoirs” or “memoirs have to be ‘just right’ for me to consider representation.” Okay. And I know that publishing is subjective and agents (and editors) must be passionate about a project for it to have any hopes of selling. But still, what does it take to sell a memoir?
Literary agent Carly Watters breaks it down in five clear, straightforward factors. To give you a taste of her post, here’s one:
Stories of redemption, loss, love, unbelievable happenings, that tie into current events, the underdog, cultural/political conflicts, humour, sports–you’ll notice that family sagas aren’t on this list and it’s because family saga isn’t a sales point on its own, it has to be tied into another hook.