I find myself sitting on several finished novels. None of them are published, but I'm close to finishing my third, and I feel confidant in my ability to retrofit the other two with... shall we say, publishability.
I digress. When I am querying my third novel, should I mention the other two? I know that many people are of the opinion that one is not ready to be published until one has several manuscripts lording over the dust of the third sock-drawer to the left.
While it seems silly to me to mention efforts that went unpublished, I don't want the people I query to think I've never written fiction before.
One of the most reliable predictors of crap is a cover letter that tells me how well edited the book is or how many novels are under the bed.
Have you ever noticed the people who feel compelled to tell you how honest they are, aren't?
How handsome and how much the girls admire them, aren't?
How important and powerful they are, aren't?
People who are honest, courteous, smart and witty don't need to tell you. You know it by looking at them, listening to them, and reading their pages.
Show, don't tell, starts at "Dear Miss Snark" not "page one".
Don't tell me about the hours you sweated in the gym. Show me the beefcake.