When does sticking with a project, and believing in its significance, become futile?(you haven't even started yet!)
The structure of my memoir has, as far as I can research, no comp.
Years ago, Jonathan Livingston Seagull opened up the publishing world to small books with substance. Harry Potter’s length and actual size defied publishing’s idea of what children would accept as readable. Their actual structure confronted the norm, which could have stifled publication, (tragic), if someone hadn’t taken a risk. Do publishers take risks anymore? (all the time, and they have the balance sheets to prove it)
The substance of what I have written engages, entertains and enlightens, (my opinion which I know means little at this point), but the way I have structured the story/stories opens up a new way of presenting memoir. Do I search for an agent with a couple of big ones, a publisher with vision, go it alone or give it up?
I am within days of beginning the query process and will stick with my belief that ‘different’ isn’t necessarily a dirty word. I just want to know if I should pad my head before I start banging it against the wall.
This is the kind of question that makes me beat my head against the wall. The problem is you only see the books that worked, not the books that didn't. For every Jonathan Livingston Seagull there are THOUSANDS of little books that didn't work. That book wasn't acquired in the usual agent/editor etc process either but most people now don't remember that.
Harry Potter is seen as a landmark book because it WORKED, not because of anything else. You check any publisher's catalog the year that book launched (here or in the UK) and you'll see a lot of titles that you've never heard of. In other words, books that didn't sell.
Both of these books are examples of anomalies in publishing. The experience is NOT replicable by anyone else. Every year or so there's one of these. 50 Shades of Gray was a recent example. Bridges of Madison County another. DaVinci Code another.
These books don't prove anything except that publishing has weird aberrations every few years, and some of them are more permanent than other.
When I hear someone say they've done something crazy with the structure of their book, I'll tell you honestly, I'm very leery. Most often what I find is someone who has been unwilling to revise, or edit to make the story work in a more usual fashion. It's akin to someone telling me the book is in 27 points of view cause they REALLY needed all of them.
But if you think this structure works, why would you not query? What's the worst thing that can happen? Form rejection or silence. I can tell you right now those things won't kill you. If they could, Brooklyn would be a whole lot less populated.