Dear Editor,

I've been looking for an agent for my novel for years, with no luck. I just discovered that literary magazines will publish novellas, sometimes up to 20,000 words long. Since the best part of my story is the end, I thought it might be effective to get a novella version of the story printed in a magazine in hopes that it will entice agents to represent me.

My concern is publishing rights. I know that I can print excerpts of a novel, but if the excerpt is 20,000 words, will the book count as being published? And if it has technically been published, will editors want to pick it up anyway for a reprinting because it was published in a major magazine?

I appreciate your help. I can see how this might be a great thing for me, but I also don't want to unintentionally ruin my chances!