Empress of All that is Snark,
For several years, I wrote an advice column parody that was published only on the Web. By Web standards, it was quite successful. I have toyed with the idea of pitching a book based on this concept but haven't done anything about it yet.
Within the next few weeks, several of my satirical articles (not the advice column) will be included in an anthology being published through a (very) small press. Go ahead and rap my knuckles with a swizzle stick: I just accepted the contract as given and did not seek an agent's representation on that deal.
I've recently received another invitation to submit satire for a different anthology. I plan to do this. Even after a half-dozen dry martinis, I can see it would be a wise career move to publish as much as possible in this genre before I pitch my own book.
However, after gazing at length into my Cristal-filled punchbowl, I cannot divine an answer to this question: would it be a good or bad idea to try to place some of my advice columns in this new anthology? Will it help or hinder my chances of subsequently pitching my own book if I've already had some of the work published? And if any of my columns are accepted for this anthology, should I seek an agent's representation?
Yes and yes.
It looks like your work is getting interest from people and that's a good sign.
I have a client who just sold his first major book after being collected in every anthology under the sun. The editor who bought his book ran across his work in one of those collections and called me.
Get your work out there.
And yes, look for an agent. At the VERY least get a lawyer to look at the contracts so you're not surrendering all rights forever. That was the value I provided my client when he was getting picked for those anthologies..I made sure his contracts were ok.
Online advice column...hmmmm....Miss Snark hopes you have a raging success and editors start trolling around for something like it..only about ..maybe..publishing!!