Clue Gun on Aisle three please

Dear Miss Snark,

A literary magazine has accepted an excerpt from my yet-to-be-completed novel. While I'm very excited about this, now my partner is concerned it might actually hinder my chances of getting the entire novel published once it is finished.

So I put it to you: Let's say you receive my query letter. Reads well, you love the premise. My last paragraph touts that the first two chapters are already in print.

Does that put you off, strike you as a plus or it doesn't matter either way?
Finally, if it is a plus, would it be wise to include the tearsheets from the magazine or does that come off as arrogant? (Oh, god I think I just answered my own question)

Thank you O, Great and Wise One.

Oh dear dog, have you forgotten everything I've been yapping about for a solid year?
Put DOWN the coffee cup, go over to your trusty Writers Market, look up the phrase "first serial rights".

That is what you sold.
It's so NOT a negative I'm almost laughing.

This is a GOOD thing. Feature it (unless the mag you sold it to is the AuthorHouse inhouse newsletter).

What makes this good is that right off the bat I know some one other than Mom likes your work enough to buy it. This is persuasive. Do not include tear sheets. It is worse than pretentious and you only need to tell me the name of the mag. If I want proof, I'll send KY down to the library for a copy.

There are lots of posts about "writing credentials" in the snarkives. That's what this is.
Use it well.

Now, back to the coffee.


Anonymous said...

You have my sympathy, Miss Snark.

On the hopefully soon-to-return AW site I replied to a writer wondering about her entry in a writing contest.

IF she won and was put into print she worried that winning the contest would mean the publisher might not market her book as well as could be expected.

In so many words I pointed out, "Screw that, you'll be freaking PUBLISHED!!!"


Anonymous said...

Well, if the contest was through the International Society of Poets, she might have reason to be concerned. :-)

Barry Wood said...


Michele said...


I'm the dork who needed the clue gun.

The concern was (and I didn't clarify it properly) was that the contract states the magazine must be credited with original publication. I'm guessing that info would be located on that first page of the novel (if it gets published, that is) with all the copyright mumbo jumbo. "This story originally appeared in X Magazine"

We began imagining that some publisher might be put off by certain magazines (NO! it's not Author House) I hadn't really caught the answer to this in previous posts but I'm off to check the snarkives.

Sounds like its a non-issue anyway.

Thank you Miss Snark.

And Barry, if that congrats was for me, here's a big THANKS to you too.


Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little said...

Example: Carrie Vaughn's Kitty and the Midnight Hour. Several of its chapters saw print first as short stories in Weird Tales; the novel simply lists those first-published-in attributions right up on the copyright page alongside lyrics and poems being credited, if any.

The sequel, Kitty Goes To Washington, is following the same route. I had the pleasure of reading "Kitty and the Mosh Pit of the Damned" in Weird Tales a couple months ago (it rocked. no pun! really), and I look forward to seeing it in context of the whole novel this summer.

PS. "sshchqz". I can't do a thing with it.