You Should Really Write a Book
How to Write, Sell, and Market Your Memoir
by Regina Brooks and Brenda Lane Richardson


YOU SHOULD REALLY WRITE A BOOK: How to Write, Sell, and Market Your Memoir (St. Martin’s Press), explains how and why so many “relatively unknowns” have leveled the playing field and teaches aspiring writers how to strike publishing gold.


YOU SHOULD REALLY WRITE A BOOK examines the building blocks of bestsellers and describes the three key measures necessary for aspiring authors to conceptualize, sell, and market memoirs.  With references to more than 400 books and six memoir categories, it is essential reading for anyone hoping to write a commercially viable personal narrative. Written by two seasoned publishing professionals?one an award-winning literary agent, author, and publisher, the other an acclaimed author and social worker?


YOU SHOULD REALLY WRITE A BOOK was created to give aspiring writers a competitive edge. This handy guide is the first of its kind to combine insider publishing information with at-length discussions on the psychological implications of memoir writing. Readers will learn how to process the complicated emotions that surface during the creation and marketing of their work.


YOU SHOULD REALLY WRITE A BOOK also includes helpful information on:

•    behaviors that can jeopardize an author’s relationships with agents, publishers, and readers
•    working with a ghostwriter or co-author
•    the history of this fastest-growing adult genre (and why that history matters to today’s aspiring memoirists)
•    the trend of publishers’ greater reliance on authors generating their own buzz
•    how to construct a strong platform, and why it’s important in attracting editors
•    the latest social networking, marketing, and promotional trends
•    and advice on writing book proposals and query letters
Full of current examples and in-depth analysis, this guide explains what sells and why, teaches writers to think like publishers, and offers guidance on dealing with complicated emotions?all essential tools for maximizing memoir success.


How to Write, Sell, and Market Your Memoir
By Regina Brooks and Brenda Lane Richardson
ISBN-13: 978-0312609344


REGINA BROOKS is the founder and president of Serendipity Literary Agency (, a member of the AAR, author of Writing Great Books for Young Adults and Never Finished! Never Done!, and a former editor at John Wiley & Sons Inc. and McGraw-Hill Co.  Regina is a faculty member at the Harvard Writers Course, several low residency MFA programs, and an international speaker at writers’ conferences.  She lives in Brooklyn, NY.

BRENDA LANE RICHARDSON, MSW, is the author of 10 books, a recipient of the PEN Oakland literary award, a journalist, and a New York University-trained social worker. She lives in Berkley, CA, where she uses memoir writing as a therapeutic modality.




Serendipity Literary Agency, LLC.




Serendipity:  A word of varied meaning. At its heart: fortune, twists of fate, luck. Its connotations and sinuous elegance uniquely suit the name of a literary agency. Its essence is the beauty of language infused with adventurous spirit, delicately balanced at the confluence of timing and chance.

Located in Brooklyn, NY, near the heart of America’s publishing industry, Serendipity Literary Agency LLC. is a boutique literary agency representing a select list of authors and illustrators. Founded by Regina Brooks in 2000, Serendipity has established a diverse base of award-winning clients in adult and young adult fiction, non-fiction, and children’s literature. We work tirelessly to help our clients build successful careers. Our mission is one of long-term development and the
cultivation of lasting relationships with new and established authors and illustrators.

We embrace serendipity, but we never forget that hard work produces its own luck. Serendipity seeks quality queries, manuscripts, and proposals. Submission instructions and hints for writing successful queries are in our submission guidelines.

Why we’re different:  It’s all about standards and commitment. We are as diligent in adhering to highest possible business standards as in selecting the people we represent. If we offer you representation it is because we think your work is worthy of our best effort, and that is exactly what you will get if you accept.  Receiving a high level of service and support means you will never receive a form-letter response and never have your manuscript returned unread. If you’re a new author, or one with limited publishing experience, you won’t feel like you’re not important enough to get and keep our attention.

As a Serendipity client, you’ll have our personal commitment, that you and your manuscript will be shepherded through the harrowing process of getting published. That includes assuring that the right editors and the right publishers see your work, and that it is pitched to them enthusiastically and professionally. Once we’ve sold your work to a publisher, we will ensure that it is published at the best possible terms.

Creating good fortune for aspiring writers:  For months—perhaps years—you’ve invested your creative energy and passion in writing your manuscript. Now it’s complete, and you realize that what other writers have been warning you about is true. The easy part is done. It’s time for you to try to sell your book, an activity for which most writers are ill-prepared, because selling your book involves an entirely different set of skills and knowledge. The anxiety that this generates has been felt by every author who came before you.  The job of Serendipity Literary Agency is to ease you through the transition from writer to published author in the easiest way possible. We have the contacts you need, the knowledge required to market your work effectively, and the skill to negotiate the most favorable contract on your behalf.




Meet Regina Brooks, president of Serendipity Literary Agency



Check out Regina Brooks' Instagram Series, Books by the Numbers

Regina Brooks is the founder and president of Serendipity Literary Agency LLC, based in Brooklyn, New York. Her agency has represented and established a diverse base of award-winning clients in adult and young adult fiction, nonfiction, and children's literature. Writer's Digest magazine named Serendipity Literary Agency as one of the top 25 literary agencies in 2004.  Prior to opening her own agency, Ms. Brooks held senior editorial positions at John Wiley and Sons (where she was not only the youngest but also the first African-American editor in their college division) and McGraw-Hill.

She is the author of Essences Magazine’s quick pick children's book, Never Finished! Never Done! (Scholastic) and WRITING GREAT BOOKS FOR YOUNG ADULTS (Source Books) and is a well-received blogger for the Huffington Post. Brooks is also on the faculty of the Harvard University publishing program.  She has been highlighted in several national and international magazines and periodicals, including Forbes, Media Bistro, Writers and Poets, Essence Magazine; Writers Digest Magazine, The Writer, and Sister2Sister magazine.   She is also the expert agent called upon for the Michael Baisden Radio Show.

She was named 2010 Woman of the Year by The National Association of Professional Women. A New York Urban League Rising Star Award winner and a 2004 finalist for the StevieTM Award for Women Entrepreneurs, Regina Brooks is featured in books such as The Guide to Literary Agents and the NAACP nominated Down to Business 10 steps for Women Entrepreneurs.  She is also listed in International Who's Who under the categories of Professional Management, Technology, Entrepreneurs, and Engineering.

She is a regular speaker at writer’s conferences and is interested in the areas of non-fiction and literary/commercial fiction for adults, young adults and children.  She is drawn to subjects like science, politics, psychology and self-help, pop culture, health, women's issues, parenting, cooking, design crafts, alternative spirituality, business, technology, and always interested in new and emerging writers.


Serendipity Literary Agency, LLC.








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