Odd "credentials"..waste of space?

Dear Miss Snark,

A question about information to include in query letters. While I don't believe you deal with my genre - romance - perhaps the question and your answer will help not only myself, but others in different genres.

In romance, it's basically a rule of thumb to include not only any past publishing credits, but any romance related groups you belong to, such as Romance Writers of America. For some reason it makes you seem more dedicated to your writing, and hence, gives a tad more weight to your query.

Now my question is -and you'll have to generalize on this - what impact would it make for a writer to include in the experience section of the query to list that h/she also performs interviews for numerous authors in the same genre? Say for online websites, online mags, etc. etc. You couldn't actually call it a publishing credit.

I'm wondering about this because I've been doing interviews for authors in my genre since long before I became published. In doing so, my pen name (which I picked early on) is becoming more and more recognized by people in my target market, author and reader alike. Would a small mention in the query letter be appropriate, or just a waste of typing space?

These are not publishing credits of course but it is enticing info and should be mentioned. Why? Cause when you get published, those authors will be approachable for blurbs and promo muscle. Big fat juicy rolodexes of contacts are nice things to have.

You don't need to mention tons of details but if you can say "I've interviewed more than two dozen of the top names in romance including Miss Dewey, Miss Cheatham and Miss Howe for the Shyster Gazette" it will certainly be useful info.


quanty p biederman said...

Similarly, I have an odd writing credential. I write historical romance now, but in the early 80's I had several (mostly humorous) articles published in a book by one of the major houses. However, my name is not on the cover. This was a compilation of articles supposedly written by women from all over the country on topics of relevence to women. In reality, 3 friends of mine (the ones with their names on the cover) asked me to help them write the stinkin' thing, since they had almost zero response from women all over the country and a looming deadline.

I wrote articles like "How to flirt" and "How to do a strip tease", most of them pseudonymously. Is this something worth mentioning in an agent query? Like "I had several articles published in (name of book, name of publisher)"? Or does this just seem like grasping at credentials?

Happy Thanksgiving, all.

Anonymous said...

When quering, should you list groups you've belonged to that might not be your current genre? I use to be a member of RWA but am now writing urban fantasy.