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Colossus
03-17-2012, 08:34 AM
I realize that rep is important (we are always talking about the agent's rep). My question is how our rep as an author appears to an agent...

What I mean by that... is that those of us who don't have a "best seller" tattoo on them somewhere, what would constitute a bad rep?

The reason I ask... is that in my case, my first work I published POD (which I won't do again). The second was with a very small independent publisher, with current promises to re-launch to a larger market. The third I did myself.

Is this type of background going to hurt my chances of landing a legitimate agent and going about being published the traditional way? Through honing my writing, I have two new manuscripts that I am certain the best I've completed, but so far they aren't getting any attention. Should I mention my previous works or just let sleeping dogs lie? Does the fact that the books I have under my belt weren't published traditionally count against me, or will they see it as valuable experience?

Drachen Jager
03-17-2012, 09:07 AM
It won't hurt your chances, but doesn't really help either.

Get your 50 posts and put some work up on SYW, find a beta reader to tell you what's what. Few people are capable of being an effective judge of their own work.

priceless1
03-17-2012, 06:17 PM
I'm sure it hurts not mentioning your previous books because you worked hard on them, but including this in your query letter doesn't do you any favors because those books probably didn't enjoy wide distribution or sales. Don't let that bother you. Instead, focus on your current work and make sure you write a fabulous, mouth-watering query letter that has agents jumping on their desks, screaming, "I MUST have this!" Good luck to you.

Brigid Barry
03-17-2012, 10:12 PM
I realize that rep is important (we are always talking about the agent's rep). My question is how our rep as an author appears to an agent...

What I mean by that... is that those of us who don't have a "best seller" tattoo on them somewhere, what would constitute a bad rep?

The reason I ask... is that in my case, my first work I published POD (which I won't do again). The second was with a very small independent publisher, with current promises to re-launch to a larger market. The third I did myself.

Is this type of background going to hurt my chances of landing a legitimate agent and going about being published the traditional way? Through honing my writing, I have two new manuscripts that I am certain the best I've completed, but so far they aren't getting any attention. Should I mention my previous works or just let sleeping dogs lie? Does the fact that the books I have under my belt weren't published traditionally count against me, or will they see it as valuable experience?

Agents rep new authors all the time. Everyone has to start somewhere in this industry. No one has a tattoo on their forehead that says "Best Seller".

If your self published works sold a LOT of copies (ask someone in here what "a lot" is) then mention it. If you sold 10 copies and 9 were to your mom then no, it won't help. If you self published something and did poorly with that book then I don't believe an agent would be willing to rep it.

Otherwise, your reputation is what you make it. If you get requests for work and start acting like a prima donna then you're going to get the wrong kind of rep.

MKrys
03-17-2012, 10:40 PM
I'm going to agree with Kate here. If your books didn't sell a solid amount of copies, I wouldn't mention it and instead focus on your current novel.