Should you mention a self-published book in a query?

I read an article recently where literary agent Janet Reid basically said that self-published books are not writing credit so they shouldn’t be mentioned in a query when looking for a publisher for another book.

I am not a literary agent, so you don’t have to listen to me, but I strongly disagree with her sentiment.

19ej83q0qip1ejpgWhether a self-published book is mentioned in a query should be determined by the outcome of that book. There are many authors out there who make a very good living selling self-published books. If you self-publish a book, but it is #1 in it’s category, shouldn’t you mention it? If you self-publish a book, but you’ve sold hundreds of copies, shouldn’t you mention it? If you self-published a book and you had 3,000 people sign up for your mailing list, shouldn’t you mention it?

Sure, there are many, many (far too many) self-published authors out there who have written and published crappy books. If you self-published a book but haven’t sold many copies or the reviews are bad, you probably shouldn’t mention it. In fact, you should probably remove it from Amazon because you might actually be hurting yourself.

However, if you wrote a good book and have gotten good results, why hide it? Publishers and agents are always talking about the importance of having a platform before you publish. Self-publishing is a great way to help you build that platform and isn’t anything to be ashamed of.

What do you think? Should you mention your self-published book in a query letter? Let me know in the comments!