Dear Miss Snark,
I have a question I hope you might consider. I sold a short novel to a small, royalty-paying print publisher. Naturally the sale became a credit in my query letters thereafter, although the book hadn’t been published yet. The book is presently still listed as ‘to be released’ on Amazon… but the publisher has folded.
I’m thinking it is safest to revert to using short story sales as credits. Yes, an editor read my work and liked it… but perhaps her opinion isn’t going to be too highly respected now. Also, once the book disappears off Amazon, there will be no accessibly evidence that this sale ever happened.
I would of course mention the episode if I reached a stage of discussion with an agent – and I mean discussion about new projects, not trying to resell the old book.
Have I truly and forever lost this credit?
No. You can mention it exactly as you did to me. "I sold novel Kiss of Death to Pestilence House of Publishing which promptly folded before the book reached the retail market."
It's not exactly a pub credit, and it will help a LOT if there's trade news about the publisher folding, but if it's the only or best "pub credit" you have, ok. The thing to do is get cracking on filling up your quiver with slings and arrows of publication fortune so you don't NEED this one anymore.
And if you think this is the first time any of us have heard this tale of woe, you'd be wrongo.