The importance of Publishing Credits

Considering that nobody exactly wanted to comment on my last post, I’ll just throw a new topic out here.  Are publishing credits vitally imperative to landing that contract?  I would assume that they would certainly help, but one would hope that a publisher or agent didn’t go by that information alone.  The content of your story, the quality of writing, and the fact that your novel is something new and fresh should be enough right?

You’d like to think that.  Most people submit queries that never even get looked at.  The infamous slush pile is larger than the agented one.  My perspective is that unless your credits include something outstanding, such as  “I wrote the script for the last two James Cameron films,” or “Hi, my name is Brian Herbert,” then it isn’t all that impressive.  There’s certainly no harm in putting what you can in there, right?  Magazines, newspapers, websites.  I’m sure that they would help, but they won’t be the determining factor.  What do you think?

9 thoughts on “The importance of Publishing Credits

  1. As depressing as it sounds, a good Editor likes to know that you have had something in print before.

    It is a (cheats) way of making sure that you do actually have a good style and they are more likely to read your short story than your 290 page manuscript that you sent through.

    In NZ, unless you have been published before, you have a very very (very very very) slim chance of getting the novel published.

    1. I couldn’t agree more. I have quite a number of publishing credits, and publishers wouldn’t give me the time of day if I didn’t. Alot of people think that they don’t have to have any credits at all. One could only wish that they went by the quality of the material alone! Thanks for the comment, Karen!

  2. From the anecdotal evidence, it doesn’t matter. I’ve read a number of agency posts saying that the only writing credit they bother looking at is a pro mag. But they also say that the query stands alone, and there are plenty of novelists who have been published with no prior credit.

    In the long run, I consider it one of the not-worth-fretting-about aspects of publishing. I just write.

    1. Hrmm… Interesting. Two different opinions here. I would say that perhaps it is up to the publisher. It’s their own prerogative, you know? What do you think about a professional proposal for a fiction novel? I mean, portfolio and all. A friend of mine did that recently, and I don’t think he’ll hear back. :/

  3. It is a long and winding road to publication, huh? I’ve been lost more than once, but have begun to find my way. I wrote up part of my journey on my blog today.

    Dr. B

  4. I don’t really know either way, but am currently sitting in the ‘it certainly can’t hurt’ boat.
    Due to personal time constraints this year, my main focus is on short stories anyways, which gives me the opportunity to get some publishing credits to my name for when I have time to launch back into novels in the…. near/distant/sometime future. Eventually, anyway.

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