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Pre-published author website - writing samples

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Hi, all -

I have a question I wanted to throw out there to people with expertise.  ;D

I write YA and picture books, and I am putting together a website to support my querying. Recently, I was at a conference, and a picture book author said that when she queried her current agent, she included one manuscript in her query along with a link to several others. This sounded like a good idea to me, but now I am trying to figure out how best to include the writing samples on my website. I know I want to include an excerpt from the YA ms I am currently sending out, but I'm not sure what to do about the picture books. Should I include the full manuscripts or only portions? If I include the full manuscripts, should it be available to anyone who visits the site, or should I have a "hidden" page that can only be accessed by people with the direct link? Is there some other great idea that has not occurred to me yet?

Any and all input is welcome. Thanks!
#1 - October 10, 2017, 07:50 PM
Middle school librarian. Dr. Pepper drinker. All-around geek.

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If you include the full manuscripts and have them available to everyone, the work will be considered published. This is a no-no.

Excerpts might be okay. A hidden page where you give an agent or editor a password might also. I don't know that either is truly necessary.
#2 - October 10, 2017, 09:28 PM

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I've also read similar, Debbie.
One question: would assembling a web page really be that wise? Your work is published in that format for all to see. Also, if you are sending out multiple submissions of work I think you have to declare that on each submission letter.

Then again, I could be wrong.
#3 - October 11, 2017, 05:39 AM

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Alison,

Normally if an agent reads your query and wants to see more material, they ask for it. They'll either request the full (for the YA) or 2 to 3 more picture book manuscripts.

As the others have indicated, it's inadvisable to post material publicly on your Web site. Also, bear in mind that agents will be reluctant to click on an external link for fear of getting viruses, etc., just as most of us wouldn't click on external links in emails from people we don't know.

Hope this helps!

Kirsten
#4 - October 11, 2017, 05:56 AM
Kirsten W. Larson

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