Monday, May 08, 2006

Q & A 9 First novel?

Is it a good idea to point out that something is your first novel?

If you were applying for a position as a chef at Longhorn Steakhouse, would you stress during your interview that you're a staunch vegetarian?

That has nothing to do with what you asked, of course; Evil Editor merely wondered. Getting to your question, Evil Editor much prefers, This is my first novel, to the more cumbersome, Like John Grisham, Stephen King, and Nora Roberts before me, I have written my first novel.

The editor knows it's your first novel. And not because he Googled your name. He knows, because he knows that if you'd had another novel published, it would be there in your credits, in bold red letters three font sizes bigger than the rest of your query, along with review quotes and a color image of the cover. That is not to say that you should strive to avoid mentioning the fact. It's something to say that will fill some space if your page looks too empty, or if a "credits" paragraph would read better with another sentence. And while it's not impressive in itself to say This is my first novel, if you can follow up with, but my biography of William Howard Taft has sold 8 million copies . . .


none said...

Probably should refrain from the full truth, "This is the first novel I'm prepared to show to anyone."

Emmy Ellis said...

The thing is, if it wasn't for these agent/editor blogs, most people wouldn't know what on earth to send as a query.

The Internet has opened up the publishing world to writers. I remember the good old days (oh shut up, I'm only 33) when nothing was available to help a writer get anywhere so a DIY bodge up was most definitely on the cards.

Now, what with Snarkdom, Kristen and Evil Ed (I'm also an Ed but keep my evil thoughts to myself!)we know what to do and how to do it. The publishing world seemed such a closed society twelve years ago when I took the plunge and submitted my work via snail mail.

Keep up the good work!