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Publishing Chapters in Literary Magazines

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#1 lnloft



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Posted 29 April 2019 - 04:35 PM

(This is a post on behalf of "Paul Lamb", who can't sign up for the site.)


My novel has 23 chapters. I have had ten of these chapters published as stand-alone stories in various literary magazines. Does this help or hurt my chances to find representation for the novel? Should I continue to submit individual chapters for publication? Or is there a certain maximum percentage of the manuscript that should appear in print before the entire novel becomes no longer viable for agent representation? What is an agent's perspective on this? Is there a standard or a conventional wisdom about it?

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#2 mwsinclair


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Posted 30 April 2019 - 06:22 AM

That's an interesting question.


First, I'd say "bravo!" for getting so many chapters published as stories; that's not easy.


Personally, I would use that in the query. If the "stories" have been published in multiple publications, I think that says something, too. But I'd say "several of the chapters have been published as standalone stories in modified form."


It's not unheard of at all for large chunks of novel to be published separately. I know the Antarctica section of Michael Chabon's Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay was separately published, but he had a book deal already. I believe John Irving had large chunks of story published too.


I'd be interested to hear what others think on this topic.

#3 KitCampbell


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Posted 01 May 2019 - 12:04 PM

I've often wondered about this myself, whether it's worth it to try and publish standalone chapters or stories related to an unpublished novel, so I'm also curious. I've never tried, however, so I'm afraid I don't have an experience.

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