Agent won't know unless you list the title and name you plan on using in your blog or authors web site, in which case, a google search might find it...
I realize the discussion has moved on from the OP, but I couldn't really find a good place to post this question and I didn't want to give it a whole thread.
I'm currently trying to decide whether I should self publish, and I've asked myself what I want out of it. I'm confident self publishing will give me everything I'm seeking from it. What I'm not so sure about is whether there are risks I hadn't considered.
I'm okay with nothing ever really coming from the novels I choose to self publish. However, I also want to commercially publish an MG novel. If I self publish under a completely different name and don't reference my self published work in my MG commercial query, will my having self published hurt my chances to commercially publish a different work in a separate category?
I'm kind of wondering why you want it kept so separate from the rest of your work. I'd understand it if you were doing two drastically different markets (i.e. kids books and erotic romance), but you said they're both MG, so you're only keeping it seperate b/c you are worried self published works might taint your reputation?
I've been querying because that's what you do. I never gave much thought to other paths. A conversation in QLH made me come face-to-face with my assumption that I wanted to be trade published. Now I'm torn because I'm trying to decide what I want out of publishing, and I don't know what that is.
Additionally, I realize I know absolutely nothing about trade publishing as a reality. Sure, I tweet and follow a boatload of agents and have read just about every blog (including the entirety of the Query Sharkives) out there. But you can't really know how something is from the outside.
Further to that, I don't have any objective source for how good my work or premise is, and therefore, I don't have any way of knowing whether it would ever be published.
I guess that's the crux of the issue: I've seen people say over and over that one should make an informed decision based on all the realities of both kinds of publishing. For all my reading, I don't know what those realities are.
And this business breeds a lot of misinformation and predators.
How does one make a decision?
You're the only person who can work this out for you.
What's important is that you write the best books you can, and that they're published in a way you find respectful and (mostly!) stress-free.
You're right, you can't know precisely what publishing is like if you've never been involved with it. But if you find a good agent, who you get on well with and who shares your vision for your work, you'll have someone to guide you through and to advise you on how to work. Editors want their writers to be well-informed because it makes work go more smoothly, so your editor will help you too.
That's not a help at this point, I know, but I hope it's reassuring. If and when you do find yourself with a good agent and a trade deal, so long as you are polite and honest you'll be given the help you need to make it work.
Things you could try: post a section in SYW and see what people say; find a beta-reader or seven and consider their responses; pay for an editorial report on your novel; query widely, and see what agents think.
(You have put your query through QLH, haven't you? If not, get it up there today!)
But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.
Maybe this is the thing that scares me most about self-publishing. I want to have a polished book. I've read the recommendations of some of the successful self-publishers. They say you need an editor that can cost upwards of $10,000. And by the way, you need three of them.