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Previously published work - include or omit?


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#1 DisgruntledWriter

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 01:20 PM

I'm currently polishing my query to send out and am running into contradicting information about including prior publishing experience.  I've had two short stories published in magazines, one which offered payment and one that did not.  I read somewhere that agents aren't interested in publishing experience in an un-paying field, where as other people say to include anything and everything you can.  

Should I even bother to include this, or do the agents even care at this point? I'd rather keep my query short and to the point, and don't know if this would help or hurt.



#2 NCruz

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 05:49 PM

I've never heard about agents not being interested in unpaid publications.
 
I would include both publications in a sentence like "My short stories have been published in so-and-so and so-and-so."
 
If the magazines are popular, it'll likely help. If they're not popular, I think they're still worth mentioning. :)


#3 DisgruntledWriter

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 06:00 PM

Thank you :) Maybe I just dreamt that agents don't want to hear about unpaid publications, ahaha.  I wouldn't put it past me at this point :P



#4 mwsinclair

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Posted 08 February 2018 - 12:50 PM

Yeah, I'd certainly use them.



#5 smithgirl

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Posted 29 March 2018 - 02:57 PM

OK, I'm a bit late to the party, but I also heard somewhere that published stories don't "count" if you didn't receive payment. But I don't believe that can be true because, at least among literary magazines, there is almost never payment -- even from the very prestigious ones. I include all story publications -- so far all unpaid.


I really like your username, by the way. I tend to feel very disgruntled, especially re my efforts at queries/publishing.



#6 NCruz

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Posted 29 March 2018 - 05:21 PM

If anybody comes across "publications don't count unless you're paid" from a reputable source, please link it. I've been in the querying community for over two years and I've never ever heard that.


#7 DisgruntledWriter

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Posted 29 March 2018 - 05:55 PM

I really like your username, by the way. I tend to feel very disgruntled, especially re my efforts at queries/publishing.

 

I had this name as a joke at first, and the closer I get to trying to query my novel, the more accurate it becomes...

 

If anybody comes across "comps don't count unless you're paid" from a reputable source, please link it. I've been in the querying community for over two years and I've never ever heard that.

 

I swear to god I read it somewhere too.  Perhaps we are victims of the Mandala Effect.



#8 smithgirl

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Posted 02 April 2018 - 12:14 PM

I don't recall where I saw the unpaid doesn't count thing -- just one of countless publishing-related sites I've come across over the years. However, as I said, I don't put any stock in it ( I didn't then either). The Internet abounds with both good information and bad. If I happen to come across it again, I will post. But I continue (and recommend others do the same), using my unpaid publications as part of my author bio.



#9 RosieSkye

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 01:58 PM

Unpaid not counting is only a factor when it comes to self-published books.  If you've given away ten thousand copies of a self-published work for free, agents don't care about that because it's not an indication that people are willing to pay for your work.  But as far as being published in literary magazines or whatnot, it's all good - paid or unpaid.



#10 NCruz

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 07:38 PM

You still need to mention that you're self-published because that takes away your shiny debut status.



#11 Springfield

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Posted 04 April 2018 - 09:56 AM

Well, to a point -- there are certainly good literary mags that don't pay, and that's fine, but people often want to include as writing credits stuff they shouldn't, like blogs or ezines no one but the founders have ever heard of or such. You should list pro or pro-level/prestigious stuff, not just anything that was published no matter what when or where, as that can look unprofessional.






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