including other credentials in a query?

Submission protocol, query etiquette, and strategies that work
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including other credentials in a query?

Post by LurkingVirologist » August 5th, 2012, 5:23 pm

I'm looking for some advice on including academic credentials in a query letter. I'm querying an adult urban fantasy novel, and I don't have any fiction publications so I figured on just leaving that part out. I subsequently read a "why this query got picked" for a fiction piece and the agent mentioned they were impressed by the authors technical writing experience, since (I'm paraphrasing) it suggested a broad skill set.

So. I have a PhD in Systems Biology and have published in the peer-reviewed scientific literature. Do you folks think this is worth ancillary mention in a fiction query? Does it help to create a sense of well-rounded professionalism, or seem like a slightly desperate attempt to burnish otherwise minimal credentials? I know it's not going to be the deciding factor either way, but with the Olympics in full swing I'm reminded how big a difference 1/10th of a second can be :D .
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Sommer Leigh
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Re: including other credentials in a query?

Post by Sommer Leigh » August 30th, 2012, 11:31 am

I think this question has been raised in one form or another in the Ask Nathan thread, you might want to try looking there.

In my non-professional opinion, however, based on answers to this question from other agents and industry professionals, you don't need to add these kinds of credentials unless they have some impact on the story you've written. For example, if you're writing a novel about a zombie virus outbreak, mentioning your systems biology PhD and your publications with that might actually be beneficial. If you're writing historical romance, probably best not to mention it.

If you're writing non-fiction and your credentials back up your skill set and expertise, yes yes yes yes and more yes.
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