View Full Version : Should I include this in my query?

05-27-2013, 04:54 AM
Hi guys,

I'm about to send out a batch of queries and I wanted to get some opinions about whether to include this odd bit of info in my bio/publishing credit paragraph.

A few years ago, I had an essay published in a national newspaper that was about the same aspect of my life that my novel is based on. I'm definitely including that credit in my query, but last week the editor who published my essay told me that he's mentioning my story in his forthcoming book. Should I include this in my query? On one hand, it's not a publishing credit and I don't want to seem like I'm trying to ride this editor's coattails. On the other hand, the editor is a pretty big name and his book should sell well, so being included in it might generate interest from an editor/readers?

What do you guys think? I don't want to turn off an agent, but I don't want to sell myself short, either, if this might help.

Thanks for any feedback!

Drachen Jager
05-27-2013, 05:13 AM
Normally they only want directly relevant experience, like writing a short story that bears some similarity to your novel. Non-fiction to fiction doesn't really register.

That said, I doubt it would hurt. Agents aren't that anal. Well, most of them aren't. ;)

05-27-2013, 06:06 AM
Thanks, Drachen. Good advice. You're probably right that it doesn't matter too much either way.

Siri Kirpal
05-27-2013, 06:42 AM
Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

The essay, yes, definitely mention. The editor...the problem here is that that mention could get removed by whoever is editing him. So, unless you've seen the proofed text, I'd leave it out.


Siri Kirpal

05-27-2013, 03:36 PM
Siri, good point, I hadn't thought of that. Thanks!

05-27-2013, 05:35 PM
You're going at this from the wrong angle. You have a CONTACT! A potentially very good contact. A contact who can potentially get you into an agent without a query.

Read the above until you understand what I'm saying and why it matters. If you don't get it, ask me to explain it.

Now write a letter to the newspaper editor, saying you've written a novel and are thinking of sending it out to agents. However, you value his opinion and prior to sending it out, would he be willing to take a look at it.

He's either going to say yes or no. If the answer is no, then no harm done and you're back to regular queries. If he says yes, then you get a knowledgeable editor looking at your book. How cool is that? And for free!!!

He'll either make suggestions or he won't. But if he doesn't forward your book to an agent or editor, you can then ask him for recommendations. (Think about how you start a query with recommendations.)

Realize that the more reluctant he is to offer help, probably the more problems your book has. Understand that if you've got a good book, recommending it to an agent or editor gives him a credit with the agent or editor, to be used later.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

05-27-2013, 08:20 PM
Thanks, Jim. I did talk to the editor about my novel, and unfortunately he's way too inundated to look at it. He's been supportive, but in a "good luck with all that" kind of way. Which is fine, I don't expect anything more from an editor who's putting out a weekly column and writing his own books at the same time. It was a good suggestion, though - thanks again.