Pub credits-the topic that will not die

Dear Miss Snark,

My biggest accomplishment so far as a writer is having a very well respected children's book publisher (Arthur A. Levine) request my full ms. at a conference. I am currently revising the story using the suggestions he and his editorial assistant were kind enough to provide. While I realize this is not in any way a publishing credit, I wonder if it wouldn't be worth mentioning in an agent query. Is it something you would wish to know?

Not only is this not a publishing credit, it's a rejection.
You want to lead with your strengths.


bebe said...

It's not clear to me that this person's ms has been rejected yet. It sounds possible it's an on-spec revision.

Of course, it could be a rejection that the author instead took as an opportunity for an on-spec revision, which happens too.

JJ said...

Oh, Miss S, when will the message "Let the work speak for itself" get through? Is that today's theme? You must be going nuts with some of these questions...

bebe said...

It's not obvious to me whether this is actually a rejection, an on-spec revision, or the former mistaken for the latter.

Surely a prospective agent would want to know you're currently revising a ms on spec for Arthur Levine? (Though perhaps not until you're talking about signing on)? Or, alternately, maybe the middle of an on-spec revision is not the best time to be looking for an agent at all?

bebe said...

Oops! Something weird happened on my computer and I wasn't sure what happened to the first comment. Oh well. Sorry.

Kit Whitfield said...

Assuming it was a rejection, make the best of it. There's something very positive here - someone whose judgement you respect took the time to make some suggestions to help you improve your work.

Rather than using his name, just let the mystical power of his judgement do its magical work on your manuscript. If he's given you good advice, and you follow it, it could be the tipping point between an almost-but-not-quite publishable manuscript and a publishable one. In which case, it'll stand on its own merits without needing any names dropped.

Good luck with it.

Anonymous said...

The lesson here -- listen to Miss S. She said it all.

It's a conference. They often will say sure, send it to me, because it's easier than turning someone down who has already not gotten the hint with all the fixes Arthur and his assistant have given.

If he really wanted it, the writer would know because editors love to snatch up great unrepped manuscripts.