nonfiction vs memoir proposal

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TrixieBelden

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Is there a difference between a nonfiction VS memoir proposal? I thought I was writing a true crime book, but have realized I have to insert myself into the story. Once I realized that, and how much background I have to give to make the reader understand why I am in the story, I figured out I am writing a memoir. I have a large part of the true crime proposal done, but was wondering if a memoir proposal had any special elements other types of proposals do not.
 

T Robinson

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Nonfiction/Memoir

Purpose/Purpose

Author's credentials/bio/reason for reader to listen/Ditto

Sample Chapters/Sample Chapters

Competition section/Competition section

Methods author can use to promote book/Ditto

Nope, sounds about the same to me.

<sample sections, not intended to be complete or absolute.>
 

Siri Kirpal

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The main difference is that you need both a completed ms and a proposal for memoir, whereas you just need the proposal and sample chapters for regular non-fic.

Other than that, it's a matter of emphasis. In non-fic, the bio is the most important part other than the premise. In memoir, the writing is the most important part (usually) other than the premise.

Best of luck.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal
 

gettingby

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It is my understanding that you don't always need a proposal for a memoir, but you do need a complete MS.
 

Siri Kirpal

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It's true that not all agents ask for one, but approximately 2/3 of the agents who have asked to see more material of mine have asked for one, and some agents require them as part of the query package, so it's advisable to have one ready.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal
 

gettingby

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I have done a proposal in the past. I put a lot into it, and it took a long time. I felt like it was a taking longer to write the proposal than the book. And, sadly, it was a book I never finished even though there was a lot of interest in my proposal. Now that I am attempting a memoir, I am strictly working on the book and telling a great story. I honestly don't want to write another proposal. I was hoping a complete MS and a good query would be enough. For now, I am just going to tell the best story I can. I don't want to end up with a great proposal again and never finish the book. I am also going to have to look for agents that will look at a memoir without a proposal when I reach that point.
 

veinglory

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I suppose I would suggest going at it one of two ways.

1) What do you think the essential nature of the book is?
2) Is there a target publisher you really want and which genre category would be easier to sell to them?
 

khobar

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I have done a proposal in the past. I put a lot into it, and it took a long time. I felt like it was a taking longer to write the proposal than the book. And, sadly, it was a book I never finished even though there was a lot of interest in my proposal. Now that I am attempting a memoir, I am strictly working on the book and telling a great story. I honestly don't want to write another proposal. I was hoping a complete MS and a good query would be enough. For now, I am just going to tell the best story I can. I don't want to end up with a great proposal again and never finish the book. I am also going to have to look for agents that will look at a memoir without a proposal when I reach that point.

Yes! Always, always research the submission guidelines for the agent. Remember, you are interviewing the agent just as much as they are interviewing you.

Check out a Writer's Market or Guide to Literary Agents, or go here: http://www.agentquery.com/search.aspx.

And when you need help with the query letter, there are folks here who can help you.

Good luck.
 

Jwriter

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I know this thread is a little old, but it caught my eye today because I'm also working on a memoir. Not my own, but I'm writing the story of a guy here, in collaboration with him, because he is blind and can't do it. Also, I'm a writer and he is not. I was kind of looking forward to doing the proposal, because I find that it helps really narrow the focus and forces me to boil down a lot of info to its most essential points. I didn't realize I had to have the whole MS written before I start querying agents, though. I'm discouraged by that.
 

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