I'm getting ready to send out query letters and I want to be as transparent as possible with potential agents. When I was 17 I wrote a ridiculous teen fiction book, and e-published it on Amazon for my friends. Only 15 people in total bought it, and then I took it off of Amazon. My current manuscript is not related at all to my past manuscript, they're not even in the same genre, but I'm worried about being technically previously published.Yes.
Does my silly teenage fanfiction mean I'm previously published, and do I have to mention that in my query letters? I feel like this is probably a stupid question, but I want to make sure I'm not doing something inadvertently wrong. Thanks for your help!
Now, let's elaborate.
First, yes, you've been published. Putting something on Amazon, and letting friends buy it is indeed "published."
You really don't need to mention that youthful peccadillo at this stage. When you are published, and your novel is being considered for awards however, you are going to have to come clean. That's when you mention to your AGENT (and no one else) that you had this teen novel, and together you can decide what to do from there.
This is NOT a silly or stupid question. This is a question that gets asked a lot these days cause all those folks at Amazon want your money and don't think they need to advise you of any pitfalls.
And sadly, this is the day and age of forever. Back in my youth (when The Divine Comedy was taught as Contemporary Literature) a wordslinger could move to the next city-state, change her nom de plume and have no one the wiser. Now, not so much.
This won't kill you. It probably won't hurt you. Just don't do it again if you get frustrated with querying and figure "oh hell, I'll just self-publish and see what happens."