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juliatheswede
09-22-2010, 12:14 AM
I'm currently querying my contemporary YA novel entitled Fame Gamers.

I'm worried I made a huge mistake with the credits part (see below):

"My published memoir CONFESSIONS OF A SERIAL EGG DONOR has sold more than 1,500 copies, been discussed in national media and used as course material in Ivy League classrooms. In addition, I have published dozens of articles and reviews in newspapers and magazines, both locally and nationally. Last, I write health and fitness articles for Demand Studios."

My memoir is a SELF-published book, but I removed that in my new queries cuz I thought it would turn off agents. Now I realize, the way it's written, it may turn off agents as I state it's only sold "more than 1,500"--not very impressive, if it's NOT self-published. In future queries I will just remove the words about how many copies were sold and I won't have this problem.

However, I've already sent out 44 queries with this in it. Do you guys think agents will reject me because of it? Thanks for any help/input.

Jessianodel
09-22-2010, 12:33 AM
Probably not, as long as the query itself impresses them. But I would still change it for any future queries. And there are a lot of reasons a book won't catch on besides the author's writing. Okay maybe not a lot, but lack of publicity is definitely one.

juliatheswede
09-22-2010, 12:45 AM
Thanks Jessia, so a small mistake then... Anyone else wanna sound off?

suki
09-22-2010, 12:50 AM
Honestly, if they look it up and see it is self-published they may think you were trying to hide that. And trying to hide it is what may turn them off.

In future queries I'd either include that it is self-published or don't include the credit as all, especially since many agents will not consider it a credit.

But for this batch, just don't worryand move on.

~suki

juliatheswede
09-22-2010, 12:55 AM
Thanks, Suki. I appreciate your input. I WAS certainly trying to hide it...:) OK, so I will include it as self-published then, as, after all Columbia Univ. used it in a college course (other colleges too), which I think shows that has some merit...
This is what I'll put:


My self-published memoir CONFESSIONS OF A SERIAL EGG DONOR has been discussed in national media and is used as course material at various colleges, including Ivy League schools.

Danthia
09-22-2010, 02:04 AM
In the end, you're querying a YA novel, not another memoir or narrative non-fiction, so if they're hooked by the time they get to that part, it probably won't make a huge difference. If they're on the fence, it might be enough to knock them off, but what's done is done. I'd suggest leaving it off entirely in the future. A) it's self-pubbed, B) it didn't sell enough copies to be impressive to an agent trying to sell your work, and C) it isn't in the genre or market you're querying about. If you'd sold a lot more (like 10K+), then you could mention it regardless of where it was published or what it was.

suki
09-22-2010, 02:34 AM
In the end, you're querying a YA novel, not another memoir or narrative non-fiction, so if they're hooked by the time they get to that part, it probably won't make a huge difference. If they're on the fence, it might be enough to knock them off, but what's done is done. I'd suggest leaving it off entirely in the future. A) it's self-pubbed, B) it didn't sell enough copies to be impressive to an agent trying to sell your work, and C) it isn't in the genre or market you're querying about. If you'd sold a lot more (like 10K+), then you could mention it regardless of where it was published or what it was.

This is where I was heading with my earlier post, but didn't get to. Honestly, it's unlikely to help you with hooking an agent for a YA novel, but it could hurt you with some agents. So, there seems to be absolutely no upside to including it - and even being used in some classrooms doesn't really elevate it, especially because it's non-fiction.

If it were me, i wouldn't include it at all - very unlikely to help and could hurt.

~suki

juliatheswede
09-22-2010, 03:43 AM
Danthia and Suki, you have both convinced me, so will exclude it then. But I barely have any credits then. Is that fine?

Julie Worth
09-22-2010, 04:07 AM
I think it is a mistake to mention a self-published book unless you have impressive sales or awards. The rest of your bio should do, esp. if you can name some big-time magazines or newspapers. Even better if you can invent some way of tying your bio to the story you're pitching. If, for instance, Fame Gamers is somehow connected to an article you published in a national magazine.

juliatheswede
09-22-2010, 04:23 AM
No connection whatsoever. A lot of my published articles had to with egg donation. My magazine stuff is from Sweden only. Julie, all those suggestions are great, but not ones I have. My most recent credits are about 250 health and fitness articles I wrote for demandstudios.com. Neither related to my story nor particularly impressive

Wordwrestler
09-22-2010, 05:01 AM
I'd guess that the majority of YA authors who are agented had no problem getting representation with no credits whatsoever.

BrooklynLee
09-22-2010, 05:12 AM
Literary agent Nathan Bransford has blogged about this very issue:

http://blog.nathanbransford.com/2008/03/how-and-whether-to-list-your-publishing.html

juliatheswede
09-22-2010, 05:13 AM
Literary agent Nathan Bransford has blogged about this very issue:

http://blog.nathanbransford.com/2008/03/how-and-whether-to-list-your-publishing.html


Thanks!! Heading over right now to read more about this!

suki
09-22-2010, 05:28 AM
I'd guess that the majority of YA authors who are agented had no problem getting representation with no credits whatsoever.

This. I had no credits or writing bio - I had a good request rate.

No bio is better than a bio that is a stretch or a risk.

~suki

juliatheswede
09-22-2010, 05:45 AM
Thanks again, Suki. And thank you again BrooklynLee for posting that link. Reading some of his blog and then Kristin Nelson's (see link about how one new novelist with zero credits got Kristin's attention with her query)

http://pubrants.blogspot.com/2006/08/queriesan-inside-scoop-lisa-shearins.html

was all that I needed to solve my problem.