A few weeks ago, I spent about 20 minutes with someone I know a little bit. At the end of our time, she mentioned she had just finished writing a memoir and was looking for someone to help her edit it so it would be just perfect before any agents saw it.
I gave her contact info for my agent's husband, who is a freelance editor.
This week, I saw her again. In the meantime, she had met someone who has had a very successful memoir, and that person had offered to look at her book. Not only did this person read it, they fell in love with it, and passed it on to their agent. Who called and asked to represent the woman I know. And this weekend, the book is being read by an editor at one of the big houses.
Too bad you can't plan on being lucky like that. It just happens. But it helps to have finished your book, done your best to make it the best it can be, and to be seeking to make to make it even better. It helps to have written from the heart.
Of course, none of those things guarantee a sale, as I know from personal experience. Still, I have a gut feeling this woman is going to get an offer.