I'm shopping a novel (historical fiction). I have one previous publication, which is a college-text in an unrelated field. Should I mention the book in my query letter?
Sometimes seeing an example is helpful.
Dear Miss Snark:
I am writing about my novel Killer Yapp Meets Joan of Bark. My previous publication is a text on the Fiscal Implications of the Flat Tax.
I haven't seen many text books that pack a narrative wallop. Wallops of course are what I'm looking for in historical fiction. A well turned wallop.
The idea of listing publishing credentials is that I gain confidence someone other than Mom and Aunt Fanny think your writing doesn't suck. By "your writing" I don't mean letters, grocery lists, text books or love poems. I mean, generally speaking, the kind of writing you're trying to pitch me. Writing intended for the general trade market.
People pitch chick lit and tell me they have published science research papers. In my misspent youth, I read some of that there scientific journal stuff and I'm here to tell you it's got the narrative punch of stale ginger ale. E may equal mc squared but give me MC Hammer anyday of the week instead.