I've recently sold a short story. Yay! Trouble is, it hasn't been published yet. I don't even know when it will be published, and given that publishing makes professional snail racing look brisk, the answer is probably Not Soon.
When it comes to the writing credentials portion of a query, what's a writer in this situation to do? I can say "my short fiction has been accepted for future publication by Cool Electronic Market and Established Magazine," but if an agent goes googling, there's no evidence out there to back it up. Should I say it anyway and hope they take my word for it? Or leave it out and hope (or not) that I'll still be querying when there is proof?
You don't need proof, not really. Trust me, we know about the glacial pace of publishing. Here's how you do it:
My short story "Janet Reid's Shark Sox" is forthcoming from Mad Hatter Press (accepted for publication date/year)
The things I google in a query are:
1. My book (title) was published in (year): I google the publisher because this is often how self-pubbed authors mention previous work.
2. I was nominated for an Edgar (or any other big award): I google the award because it generally means the author was submitted for consideration, not short listed or made a finalist.
3. My agent died/fled the country: I google the agent because very often they are alive and well. And kicking difficult writers to the curb.
4. So and so recommended you: I google so and so because it's almost 100% certain I've never heard of them.