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View Full Version : Which way to go...


jennifer75
07-11-2008, 03:33 AM
Ok, here is my question in it's original form, as it was a conversation I was having with someone via chat (please disregard the poor grammar and spelling):

can I send a synopsis out to one agent with the story going one way,
and another way to another agent
and see which bites?
or is that a no no?

like for my stuff for example
send memoir synopsis out to one
and it in the fictional sense to another
so if memoir dont fly, fiction will

before I get so far into rewriting, id want to know which is gonna sell fiction or memoir and make the adjustments accordingly.
u know?
i'm gonna have to work on synopsis's

2 of them.

do you think its ever been done: memoir published, republished as fiction, with a twist.
u think people would by the fiction knowing it was based on a memoir? by the same author?

ORION
07-11-2008, 05:00 AM
You can do anything you want.
What would work? I don't know
Usually memoirs are completed before you query. What you are describing is what James Frey essentially did in reverse lol.
He first queried his project as fiction but then changed it to non-fic memoir and got picked up and sold his book...
It's not so much what people will buy as what the agents & publishers think will sell.

jennifer75
07-11-2008, 07:08 AM
Very interesting.

I guess my problem is I just don't know which would be better. And I don't want to throw all my eggs in one basket, and be told, no this memoir isn't interesting enough, and think that maybe I should have gone the fictional route. I could easily add to "my story" and make it this huge fictional novel - but I can't help but wonder and believe that people out there will enjoy my memoir.

I guess I'm at that point in writing, where I just don't know what I'm doing. I've written over 60K words, I think I know how to end my story, but I just don't know if I should make it better.

scope
07-11-2008, 07:51 AM
I think you have to decide which story you most want to write and concentrate all your subsequent efforts on it. Make it and all else (query letter, synopsis, etc.) the very best it can be. Submit when ready. You can always change perspectives if it doesn't work out, or agents/editors may suggest same to you. Very few people can pull offf a Frey "reverse."

Giant Baby
07-11-2008, 08:35 AM
Sitting in the "Agent Idol" sessions at the Grub Street conference this past April, the thing that struck me was that approximately 60% of the pages were from memoirs. That number might have been higher.

You can write fiction, and in your query you can explain why you are particularly qualified to write this story, and the story can take off where you need it to go (because it's fiction).

Generally, non-fic with a strong platform is an easier sell than fiction, but in your case I wonder if you might be better off going with fiction? There's a LOT of memoir out there, and it has to be pretty spectacular to rise above. That's also the case for fiction, but if your story is compelling, that's what I'd probably look into.

His name gets thrown around a lot, but Frey both elevated the market for memoir and slayed it. It happens.

ORION
07-11-2008, 10:59 AM
My point with Frey was that he first pitched and queried his book as fiction and when that was not successful -- changed it to memoir...

jennifer75
07-12-2008, 12:57 AM
Sitting in the "Agent Idol" sessions at the Grub Street conference this past April, the thing that struck me was that approximately 60% of the pages were from memoirs. That number might have been higher.

You can write fiction, and in your query you can explain why you are particularly qualified to write this story, and the story can take off where you need it to go (because it's fiction).

Generally, non-fic with a strong platform is an easier sell than fiction, but in your case I wonder if you might be better off going with fiction? There's a LOT of memoir out there, and it has to be pretty spectacular to rise above. That's also the case for fiction, but if your story is compelling, that's what I'd probably look into.

His name gets thrown around a lot, but Frey both elevated the market for memoir and slayed it. It happens.


I guess deep down, going with Fiction makes me think my story will be labeled as Chick Lit. And I don't want to limit my market to a small one I see as "small". I really wouldn't know how to spin it to not appear as chick lit.

jennifer75
07-12-2008, 12:59 AM
My point with Frey was that he first pitched and queried his book as fiction and when that was not successful -- changed it to memoir...

Oooooh I didn't know that!

So, in my case if I were to "change" anything it should be from a Memoir into Fiction. See, this is why I spend all day in AW....you guys rock!