1. daiisydukes
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    daiisydukes Member

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    Traditional Young authors?

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by daiisydukes, Mar 1, 2013.

    I'm still pretty young (in my teens) and I'm currently working on a novel. I imagine that with my fast paced writing, I can be finished a novel, self-edited within a year. With edits from other sources, possibly a year and a half.
    I know that the whole publishing process takes much longer than that, which is why I was asking how possible it would be for me to get published?
    On top of that, how would I go about getting published?

    P.S.
    I'm not interested in being told that it's probably "not going to happen", and that I "should stop being delusional" because I'm just asking a question, I'm not interested in getting life advice.
     
  2. Mot
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    Mot Member

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    There was a blog post on Terrible Minds about this (I tried to find it, but couldn't). The guy's response to the 'how do I get published?' question was pretty much: "Finish the [expletive] book first".

    Now, this isn't life advice, just a simple observation of my past self. I wrote as a teenager, and I thought I was pretty good. However, the five or so novels I wrote in that time period were utter rubbish, and it took me a long time to accept the fact that I wasn't going to be a particularly good writer until I had practised for a couple of years further (they say the golden age is thirty, though a couple of writers were churning out their magnum opi from around 26).

    If I could say anything to my teenage self, it would be this: Allow yourself to be discouraged from publishing, but do not let anyone discourage you from writing.
     
  3. Sam M
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    Sam M Member

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    I'm not a expert in publishing, but you may come across legal/contract issues if you are under 18 - which means your agent/publisher would need to know your age. And, from what I've heard, agents/publishers don't like putting their trust in someone who they are unsure about.
    So, with limited experience that most teenagers have, you'd be hard-pressed to find someone mainstream (ish) who is willing to take a chance on you. But, if your writing is good enough, then it is certainly possible.

    And, listen to what Cogito says below. He's right.
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    It takes time, persistence, and a willingness to study, study, and study, leaving your ego behind.

    It takes as long as it takes.
     
  5. daiisydukes
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    daiisydukes Member

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    I completely understand. My current goal is to get something finished.
    But of course, after that, I think the experience in trying to get a book published would be very helpful, and interesting at the least.
     
  6. lauramaidah
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    lauramaidah Banned

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    "It takes as long as it takes"-Competition depresses people sometimes; the stress slow you down, hence the 'laggin' it'. There is no current finish time for me. There is a modern goal of stuff to get done.

    Studying is humbling. You have to find what is fun about it sometimes. Works for me sometimes.
     
  7. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yes, the legal age thing will be an issue, depending on the laws where you live. Minors generally cannot sign binding contracts, so your parent/guardian would have to be willing to do so. But the whole publishing thing is, as others have noted, putting the cart before the horse. Get the book written, edited, revised, polished - and then worry about the publishing bit. It's not an impossibility - but there's a whole lot of writers out there, of many ages and experiences, trying to do the same thing, and facing the same odds. Your age is not going to be the biggest hurdle.
     
  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    per sam:
    dd...
    first of all, you would not be disclosing your age when querying agents or publishers to see if anyone would be willing to read your ms... nor would you do so when sending them sample chapters or the full ms... so your age will only become an issue when/if an agent offers a representation agreement, or a publisher offers a contract... at that point, if you are not of legal age, you will have to disclose your age and have a parent or guardian sign for you...

    so, if the story/characters are highly marketable and the ms is well written, no agent or publisher is going to be concerned about how young you are, or how limited in life experience you may be...

    as for the time it can take, after you have a polished ms to offer [btw, paying an editor to 'fix' it up will cost a bundle that you will have little to no chance of ever recouping], it can take a year or more of querying agents before you snag one, if you are ever lucky enough to do so... the reason being that agents typically take months to respond to your query and then more months to respond and either accept or reject it, after requesting the ms... and while one agent is reading the submitted ms, you won't be able to send it to any others, since most insist on exclusive submissions...

    then, supposing you have acquired an agent, it can take many months before the agent can find an interested publisher for the book... if that ever happens [the odds are heavily against that, for a first novel from an unknown writer of any age]...

    but if you are good enough, persistent enough and lucky enough to get to that stage, from the date of signing the publishing contract, to the day your book will appear on bookstore shelves, the average time elapsed is 18 months to 2 years...

    now, does that answer all of your questions?... if not, keep asking and i'll keep answering...

    love and hugs, maia
     
  9. lauramaidah
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    lauramaidah Banned

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    then, supposing you have acquired an agent, it can take many months before the agent can find an interested publisher for the book... if that ever happens [the odds are heavily against that, for a first novel from an unknown writer of any age]...

    but if you are good enough, persistent enough and lucky enough..then that next stage will then come around the corner


    "That stage will happen sooner if you are expecting it." But "That stage will come to you when you are least expecting it."

    Mine: "That stage will come faster than it sounds."
     
  10. Keitsumah
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    Keitsumah The Dream-Walker Contributor

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    Big tip: do not expect it to be done within a certain time frame. I started on a novel two years ago and im still working on the first draft. But then your book could be a considerable amount shorter than what i assume mine will become (beginning to think epic fantasy). Sometimes the plot will drag you in on its own and you will end up putting in events that you initially never through of. Believe me, i know that from personal experience.
     
  11. lauramaidah
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    lauramaidah Banned

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    Wisdom from experience+example. Ahh. swell.
     
  12. jwideman
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    jwideman Senior Member

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    To add to Mammamaia's advice, I can't say I've heard of a publisher or agent that changed their minds once they found out how young the writer was. Writing is entirely a merit-based endeavor. The only ones to my knowledge that don't want submissions from children don't want unsolicited submissions from anyone.
     
  13. lauramaidah
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    lauramaidah Banned

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    That shia lebeouf story comes to mind. Someone google it and post a synops. Synopsis. summary

    edit: Ok basically they LOOOVE it if you're young. How much could they have gotten outta me if I were still 16?
     
  14. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    I was about 19? when I sent my book to Scholastic - many, many, years ago. ( their rules have changed on accepting manuscripts - they won't even look at one without an agent. ) Just do what you feel - everyone's basically given good advice. My advice is never look at the odds - they're a joy-killer
    just do what feels best for you. Finish the book, polish it - and then go to the library or your local bookstore and start looking up
    Writers markets. Find a publishing company that suits your story - investigate it on the internet. Write up a query or look into
    an agent - maybe someone in your school could help you. And go for it! - S.E. Hinton was 19 when she published The Outsiders.
     
  15. Revenant
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    Revenant Member

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    The good news is, by the time anyone gets round to making you sign anything, you won't have to worry about being too young anymore! :p

    But seriously, last year a girl at my highschool got her book published, after writing it in a month! And this is in a tiny country like NZ, where we barely have a publishing industry. I don't know where in the world you're at, but either way, there's a chance. The way I see it, no harm, no foul. Go ahead and try, as long as you're not the type who is easily discouraged.
     
  16. Snookered
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    Snookered New Member

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    My advice:

    Shoot for the moon and even if you miss, you'll land among the stars. :)
     

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