Tuesday, May 30, 2006
Q & A 25 Credits Worth Mentioning
Is "I have been active in a critique group" really worth mentioning in your query letter? My critique group has been very helpful, but I guess I thought that mentioning it in the letter might seem a trifle desperate--especially as I have no publication credits to tack it onto the end of.
If you list credits at the end of your letter, chances are the editor or agent has made a decision before getting to them.
If that decision is Yes, then you don't need any credits.
If that decision is Maybe, then impressive credits could be helpful. Your critique group isn't impressive, but if you have only one or two credits to mention, they're going to look lonely in a paragraph by themselves, so there's nothing wrong with padding that paragraph with your contest honorable mention, your membership in The Missouri Writers Network, or your critique group participation (choose one--all three might seem a trifle desperate, as you said). Just make sure you've devoted as much space as necessary to your book before you consider padding anything.
If that decision is No, then the only credits that might have an effect are, My previous book sold 100,000 copies, or My article, "How to Murder People Who Disappoint You, and Get Away With It," appeared in last month's Soldier of Fortune.