1. g1ng3rsnap9ed
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    g1ng3rsnap9ed Contributing Member

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    Age-Limit to Publishing?

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by g1ng3rsnap9ed, Mar 15, 2009.

    Hey all. To make a not-so-long story even shorter, I'm fifteen and was wondering how old one would have to be to have their fiction published. As of right now I only have one short-story that is written good enough for me to even consider putting out on the market, but out of curiosity if I ever editted any of my other stories well enough that I would find them publishable I wanted to know.

    All feedback would be mucho appreciated. :)
     
  2. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    Look up these names, Gordon Korman and Amelia Atwater-Rhodes.

    If you can convince a publisher that your work is good enough and can be marketted, the only issue I'm aware of is that when you publish a book, there are contracts involved and you have to be a certain age (varies in every country, and each American state) to sign a contract without your parents being involved.
     
  3. g1ng3rsnap9ed
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    g1ng3rsnap9ed Contributing Member

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    Well, as it just so happens the only story of mine that I find good enough to publish is about a priest who molests his adopted daughter and her (possibly) demonic lover that saves her from him. (The story makes a lot more sense when you're reading it.) So I doubt that any magazine would ever publish that anyhow. Like I said, I'm just curious as of right now. Thanks for the response! :)
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    The only issue is whether or not you can enter into a legal contract in your jurisdiction. When you review the contract with an attorney before signing it (DON'T skip this step!) you will also find out the ins and outs of tat question.

    A publishing agreement is a legal contract. Make sure you consult with an attorney of your own before signing. Do NOT simply take the assurances of the publisher's lawyers - their job is to serve the publisher's best interests, not yours!
     
  5. g1ng3rsnap9ed
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    g1ng3rsnap9ed Contributing Member

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    Thx for the warning, Cogito. You're awesome. :)
     
  6. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    There is one other thing I've noticed with teen authors. If you are just publishing short stories, it's no big deal. You don't get famous off a short story. When you are fortunate enough to publish a novel as a teen, it can work to your disadvantage in some ways. Some teen authors did not deserve their success so early on, e.g. Paolini. One who did was Kenneth Oppel. He wrote his short published book when he was about fifteen. I haven't found it, but I think it was some silly adventure about video games. Nothing special, but fun for kids to read. In his next book, you could still see a hint of his imaturity as a writer, but a heck of a lot of raw talent. More than ten years after than first book was published, he was still being promoted as "the guy who was published at fifteen." It seems cool as a teenager, but as an adult, it can get annoying. You want to be famous for your best work, not for something you did as a teenager. He was only able to shake that reputaion once he won Canada's top award for children's lit.
     
  7. g1ng3rsnap9ed
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    g1ng3rsnap9ed Contributing Member

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    I was thinking about that today. I don't want to be published for a story that is able to be publishable, but a story that I feel I want to put out for an audience to read. If I'm going to try and get one of my stories published, I want it to deliver on every level that it possibly can.
     
  8. Blaidd Drwg
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    Blaidd Drwg Member

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    I'm sorry, was this an intentional Hard Candy quote? Or do I just love that movie too much?
     
  9. Phelan
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    Phelan Member

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    The biggest barrier with regard to age is that often stories written by the young read like stories written by the young, and so don't appeal to the book-purchasing masses. As writers develop, they mature and grow, predominantly because of life experience. I know of a few publishers that shy away from anyone below 30 because they're not sure if they will have longevity.

    That said, if you're good enough, you will get published anyhow.
     
  10. Atari
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    Atari Active Member

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    To add to what Rei said; if you write a book that the mass majority likes, but a few bandwagon posers on the internet dislike, then that means you didn't 'deserve' your success.

    Obviously, well-advertised books are going to sell millions by the sheer willpower of the people doing the marketing, without regard to the quality of your work.
     
  11. g1ng3rsnap9ed
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    g1ng3rsnap9ed Contributing Member

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    Trust me:there's no way that I could be mainstream popular, I'm an acquired taste. ;)

    Love Hard Candy too much? Impossible! :D I actually started saying mucho before I saw that film, (learned it off Arrow In the Head,) but that is an awesome movie.
     
  12. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    No, I mean they should not have been published because their abilities as a writer had not developed to a professional level yet. This has nothing to do with the kind of people who hate Harry Potter for the sake of hating it. People seem to think it's more impressive that it is because they have a hard time believing that a normal teenager can write a novel. We know better, but publishers think that they can use it as a marketing ploy. Besides, I see them do that all the time, with good and bad books by teens, and it's so hard to break from the reputation of being "the guy who got published at fifteen."

    It's fun while it's happening. But once you've written many books that you know are better, but haven't sold quite well enough to be best-sellers or haven't won major awards, that reputation is going to stick. I've seen it happen.
     
  13. g1ng3rsnap9ed
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    g1ng3rsnap9ed Contributing Member

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    Just decided to let everybody here know that I've been mucho busy typing up/editing my novel these last few weeks (Hence: I haven't been able to get on here nearly as much...or do much of anything!). I would certainly like to send it out for publication, but first I'm more concerned about honing it the best I can until I am 100% satisfied and ready to be judged by it. Like I said I don't just want to be published as some marketing ploy, but because I have a story that I would like to share with the world. I've been passing the story around for other people to read and they all agree that it may be publishable at some point (though I'm trying to disregard most of the positive comments such as "4/4!" or "the best book I've ever read!" [Yes, somebody has said that to me, to which I responded "You need to read more."]). I do believe thought that if I put enough effort into it this may actually happen...:)

    One more question btw: Would any publishers refrain from publishing very err...taboo material written by teenagers?
     
  14. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well, let's look at a book like The Outsiders. It's a bit of an old example, but it can put things in perspective. It's kids killing kids, kids smoking, quiting school, gang violence. Not exactly taboo, depending on who you talk to, but could set of a bunch of cencorship raidars. Hinton was in high school when she wrote it, and it published in the 1960's. Though I haven't read a lot, most of the children's/youth material of the time that I know is much more innocent or at least any violence is not presented in such a realistic, honest way, unless there was a black and white good guy/bad guy thing going on.

    When it comes to taboo subjects, regardless of the age of the author, it really depends on what the publisher thinks will sell, and what they are willing to publish.
     
  15. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    first of all, agents and publishers don't want to know how old you are until/unless they get to the contract stage... the only exception would be if you're querying a publisher that specifies an upper age limit for a teen writers-only magazine...

    it makes no sense to mention your age in a query... the potential for harming your chances by telling your age is much greater than for helping them... the work must speak for itself... if it's good enough to be published, no one will care how old you are, other than in re what cog had to say about contracts...
     
  16. marina
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    marina Contributing Member Contributor

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    Although I'll bet sometimes it could be a good thing to let them know your young age--they might see a marketing angle because of it and be more interested in publishing your novel. There's a book, Truancy, written by a 15-year-old guy. It reads pretty poorly, but the story itself is great. But the bigger story every time I've read an article or review is about how young he was when he wrote it.
     
  17. Hunter B.
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    Hunter B. Member

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    in my opinion, i think its very hard for a youn teen to accomplish writing a well written book. I may be wrong though, Im a young teen and my writing is no where near good enough to get published.
     
  18. g1ng3rsnap9ed
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    g1ng3rsnap9ed Contributing Member

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    Yeah, but at least you try. Most teens that I know can hardly string a proper sentence together. (Not saying that my writing is the greatest in the world or anything...but you get my point.)
     
  19. fantasy girl
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    fantasy girl Contributing Member

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    i agree with Hunter B, i am 13 and i wouldn't even think of putting my writing in for publication at its current standered. it is no where near good enough
     
  20. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    a silly reason to severely limit your chances, since the vast majority of agents and publishers will not take a writer that young seriously and you'll lose them with the query, so they'll never know if the book could be good enough to sell well...
     
  21. marina
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    marina Contributing Member Contributor

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    Just for clarity, I was just posing a thought about why some publisher or agent might be interested in a teenager's book (I'm talking young teen). Just trying to see the business end of the whole deal of publishing.
     
  22. g1ng3rsnap9ed
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    g1ng3rsnap9ed Contributing Member

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    Yeah, I'm aware that my story needs a lot of work, but I do believe that if polished enough it may be publishable some day. But it has to live up to my own standards before I'll even put it out there.
     

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