1. Skibbs

    Skibbs Member

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    What is the LEGAL Publishing Age?

    Discussion in 'Publisher Discussion' started by Skibbs, Oct 22, 2017.

    I am co-writing a novel, and I was wondering whether a novel written by a minor (under eighteen years of age) could actually publish a novel - or any form of writing. One of the reasons I was debating this is that money is a rather large factor when it comes to publishing something - as if it reaches the shelf people are going to start paying for that; and I'm pretty sure under eighteens can't actually receive money from published works. However, I may be wrong.

    It also occurs to me that the publishing age differs from country to country - so to add a bit of information, what would the publishing age be in the UK? Any and all feedback is appreciated, thanks!
     
  2. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

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    Publishing isn't any different from other businesses in this regard - if you're not of age in your country, you can't sign a contract. So you can publish, but a parent/guardian will have to sign the contract for you.

    That said, I can't recall ever having been asked my age by anyone I've worked with in publishing, so as long as you didn't advertise it you probably wouldn't have a problem.
     
  3. G. Anderson

    G. Anderson Active Member

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    I think it must differ from country to country but I've read published books by underage authors. There was one very successful fantasy novel from a young french woman (around 16 at publishing age, I think) only I cannot remember its title. It's been published around 2002/2003, I think.

    But my point is: I think it most countries this is not a problem. Only how you handle your earnings could be complicated. I guess it similarly handled to child actors and other young creatives working :)
     
  4. X Equestris

    X Equestris Contributor Contributor

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    As far as I know, Bayview has the right of it: if a minor's work is accepted for publication, their parent/guardian has to sign the contract on their behalf.
     
  5. Achoo42

    Achoo42 Member

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    Of course, there is a simple way to get around this dilemma- have your parents own a publishing company!

    *cough*cough*Christopher Paolini*cough*cough*
     
  6. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    I wanted to address this, because everything else has been addressed thoroughly. Kids can certainly earn money. Controlling their money may be a different matter.
     
  7. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    In the Uk there are also limits on what hours a child can work, which are : not under the age of 13 (child actors are exempt but require a special licence), not before 7am or after 7pm, during school hours, and not for more than 2 hours on school days (various other minor specifics), where work is 'self employed' the parents are responsible for enforcing these rules.

    children over 13 can earn money and are liable for tax over their personal allowance (about 10k) they do not pay NI
     
  8. The Dapper Hooligan

    The Dapper Hooligan (V) ( ;,,;) (v) Contributor

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    I would think it would be more of a problem if there were copyright issues. Like two publishers claim to have rights to the book. One's all, "but we have a contract," and the other one's all, "but it wasn't signed by a guardian! We win." That would be pretty optimistic for someone still in school, though not impossible.
     
  9. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    People under the age of majority (18 in the Uk) need a guardian to sign to form a contract at all - even where they are working and their behaviour is bound by the contract they still need a parent or guardian to sign the contract initially
     
  10. Skibbs

    Skibbs Member

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    That's what I imagined would be the rules - as under eighteens are still irresponsible (by law) for themselves - so surely the parent/guardian would control anything like that.
    That's interesting, I've never actually known/heard of a minor earning money - though I do see where you're coming from. To be frank, I supposed the guardian would have to receive the money and/or it would be placed in a private bank account that the minor could not open or use until they were over the age of eighteen.
     
  11. The Dapper Hooligan

    The Dapper Hooligan (V) ( ;,,;) (v) Contributor

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    Do students in the UK not get summer jobs? When I was in high school I worked washing windows for a while, as well as being a nozzle jockey for a gas station for a bit. Most of what I did as a minor was under the table, though, so I never really thought of any of the legal problems that might arise.
     
  12. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    Paper rounds and Saturday jobs etc are normal for teenage years - they don't normally pay much but it adds up when you don't have to pay for living exes out of it
     
  13. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    In the UK you can't work for a petrol station until you are 16 ... also we don't really have nozzle jockeys , all our pumps are self service
     
  14. Skibbs

    Skibbs Member

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    No, the closest thing to a summer job is a paper round. I am quite old-fashioned nonetheless (my house has very little modern... well, anything), and I honestly wish that they could bring back summer jobs. I remember my mum telling me that a minor used to be able to work in a supermarket back in the '70s - at least in the product stocking anyway, but that all seems to have changed for children/teenagers now.
     

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