I know fanfiction isn't a "publication credit," but how do you feel about it in a query letter? I started writing it about a year ago just for some stress relief, and now I've got a few thousand subscribers (people who signed up to get an email every time I post something) and I'm closing in on 1.5 million reads. Several of those readers have specifically said they'd love to read my books if I ever publish something. I know a lot of people look down on fanfiction (for various reasons), but those kind of numbers sound to me like they could translate into a good readership! The book I'm gearing up to start querying soon is erotic romance and is original, not a rework of anything fan-related, but I'm really hoping some of my fanfic readers would be interested.
I don't really have anything else to count as publication credit - I'm in RWA and that's about it - so it would be nice to include this if it would be seen as a positive. I'm worried about agents seeing the word "fanfiction" and immediately writing me off as a crackpot, though. What do you think?
The problem here is that people read fan fiction because they're already fans of the thing you're writing about: Star Trek/Star Wars/Shark Filled Query Queues. Will they follow you OUT of that world? No one really knows. We do know that huge numbers of blog readers does not always translate to huge number of book sales. What people read for free, and what people are willing to part with $25 or $12.99 for are VERY different numbers.
Having several thousand people wanting to read your work though, that's gotta be a good thing. Even if only a few teleport over to your new work, that's better than none.
I also don't think agents and editors think of fan fiction writers as crackpots either. Some of the writing on fan fic sites is to the left of gruesomely terribly bad, but that's not you of course.
As far as I know I have but one client who wrote/writes fan fiction. S/he does it under a pseudonym and we did NOT mention it in the pitch for the novel.
But, since it's not a pub credit, and it's not an awesome number of people who want to buy your book (you said several) I'm going to vote for leaving it out only so that if I'm wrong about the crackpot thing, you won't find out the hard way.