How my memoir stands out in a crowded market

Moses, a prophet to Jews, Christians, and Muslims, likely is the world’s best-known adoptee. His lifelong journey also embodies the archetypal hero’s journey, as described by writer Joseph Campbell.

As I reach out to agents and publishers, one of the first things they want to know is where my books fits in the publishing world and if this book will sell and be worth their investment. Great questions. Here is how I reply.

When I walk into the biggest new and used bookstore in the United States, Powell’s Books in Portland, I see my memoir standing among the freshest new titles on the front shelf. It will be among other nonfiction works that are must-reads for the book-buying public who will purchase it and tell their friends to do the same.

It is at its heart an investigative memoir, which understands the importance of a good detective and mystery story to engage readers. It is a hero’s story in its purest, most archetypal form.

It combines research of biology, history, sex, taboos, and social engineering and makes sense of what appear to be unconnected fields. Like many great personal stories that tell a larger story about society, it draws from a deeply personal experience and backs it up with rock-solid research that challenges deeply held prejudices of most readers.

Lastly, it breaks form all personal narratives ever written by adoptees by rejecting the prevalent view of an adoptee’s experience and turns it into a reflection on making the most of life, the way Viktor Frankl masterfully did in his global bestseller Man’s Search for Meaning.

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