When I review proposals, one element often missing is publishing history. How do I know this?
I own a computer. With a Keyboard. And a Search Engine.
Guess What? So do All The Editors.
Granted, not every proposal piques my interest enough for me to do a search. But when I get that far, I must search your name to see your publishing history whether you have offered it or not. Because believe me, if I don’t perform due diligence, the editor will.
1) But Tamela, I wrote my book on dogs in 2012 and this book is about Mars.
Yes, but we still need to know.
2) But Tamela, I wasn’t writing for the Christian reader when I wrote “that” book.
That’s okay. You are now. Besides, I can name several authors who once wrote for the general market and are now writing for the Christian market. Just let us know.
3) But Tamela, I wrote that other book under a different name. No one will ever find out.
Until they do.
4) But Tamela, my book sold only five copies. My mother bought four and Grandma bought the other one.
We still need to know. A poor selling book can be overcome, but it is harder to overcome if we don’t know about it.
In other words, no matter why you think you don’t need to tell us about your past publishing history, you do. It isn’t a good idea to keep secrets. When we decide to work together, we can decide how to present your history to editors. If, as your agent, I proceed without knowing, then an editor asks me later, I’m left surprised and somewhat ambushed. Then I’m scrambling to form a response out of the blue for you. Don’t do this to a team member. Let’s work together for your success.
Are you worried about your past publishing history? Why?
Do you know of or know any Christian authors who once wrote for the general market? What are your favorite books by them?