Tag Archives: Author Status

Pre-published vs. Unpublished

Recently, I’ve been running across more and more debates over the merits of saying, “I’m pre-published,” vs. “I’m unpublished.” In all honesty, I’d never even heard the term pre-published until not too long ago. But it stuck with me- in two very different ways.

My first reaction was thinking, wow what a cool way to sound confident even though you haven’t been published yet. Because, really, when others find out you’re an author, the inevitable follow-up question is always whether or not you’re published, and saying you’re unpublished tends to have a more negative undertone, instantly causing their eyes to glaze over. And who really needs salt rubbed in the wound? So it would seem this term would be the equivalent of proudly stating to all, that while you may not be published yet, you’re completely committed to it and that it’s just a matter of time before it happens. Sounds confident and precocious. Win-win, right?

So I agreed, until I really began to think about it. The other side of the coin {and now the most prominent side argued, I’ve seen} is that saying you’re pre-published has a completely negative connotation to it- as if you’re unflatteringly presumptuous, sounding further arrogant in presuming you’re even going to be published at all. I have seen numerous editors, authors, and the like, beg for writers not to use the term pre-published as it drives them crazy. But in all fairness, I have seen agencies that actually use the phrase pre-published, as well. Personally, I can definitely see how it could put off others, and make you sound arrogant and without charm. {Though, couldn’t it be proper when using it in hindsight? “Back in my pre-published days, I…”}

I suppose it’s up to your own discretion whether or not to use pre-published or unpublished. In my opinion, while unpublished tends to feel more glass-half-empty, I think I’d rather run the risk of sounding negative rather than presumptuous. I’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions on this!

 

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