Friday, July 29, 2011

Want to be published? Ask me anything!

This is your shot to ask questions about getting published. Whatever you're dreaming about--a book deal, writing for your school newspaper, publishing in magazines--leave a comment and ask your question.

I'm not answering questions about HOW to write, but rather how to get published. I won't be answering the questions in the comments section, however, they'll be answered in a different (soon to be revealed!) way. :)

You've got until I close the comments (probably two weeks) to leave yours. You can ask more than one, so go for it! Feel free, if you like, to leave your first name and age. I'm interested to know how old you are in consideration with your question.

I'm excited to read your questions! :)


Anonymous said...

About how many pages do you think a book that is sent in should be?

Connie said...

I know I can't get things published at my age-10-but do you know any place where young writers can get their work published?

Shannon said...

I have a bunch of questions so you can pick and choose or not answer them at all! But an answer would, of course, be nice. My name is Shannon and I'm 16.

How do you find places to freelance write with as a minor? I think you said you were a free lance writer in high school.

Once you have a manuscript, how do you know where to send it and who would be looking for, say a young adult horse book?

and these aren't really about publishing but...

How did you balance writing into your life before it was your full time thing?

When do you like to write and how do you finish novels!?


Caroline said...

I've already got a book I'm working on called Lost. I can tell it's going to be 250-300 pages at least. I've had the majority of it edited, and I post it on a safe writing website for girls, where you still have all ownership rights, and you can delete a whole book whenever. (In case you publish it for real.)

I had some people on critque it also, and some really talented writers said things like 'This is too mature for a thirteen year old to be writing! Amazing! The imagery and description are perfect, and the flow is flawless. I couldn't find any faults.' People my age seem to really like it, and it was chosen to be on the home page of the website on the 'featured' list.

I feel that once I finish, I should try to get it published; but how do I contact/select a publisher? Would you suggest self-publishing? How much would it cost either way?

I don't want to end up with a box of books in my garage. :) I'm 13, btw. And sorry, you don't have to answer all of my questions! I'm not trying to brag or anything above, just trying to let you know how confident I am that it would sell at all :)

Rachel said...

Hi! I'm 12 and I love writing...just wondering how you would get an editor or just get a book published in general.


EmmaTheAuthor said...

Hey Jess:
I have a LOT of book ideas, but I only start a few chapters before I want to work on another thing. How can I sort of keep my attentions on one line and should I drop any ideas but my favorite?

Also, I want to get published in a magazine, but I don't know of many who do kids writing. Can you recommend some publications?

Thanks a lot!!!

Anonymous said...

I have always loved writing novels, and now, I'm at the point where I'd like to try and publish one before I graduate high school, to see if it something I can do later in life. I have no idea where to start, but I'm ready to start trying.
My favorite novel is 270 pages (Word, TimesNew Roman 12, 1 inch margins) and teen fiction.
Also, I've heard not to major in Creative Writing if you really love to write. Why, first, and do you think this is true?
Thank you so much for giving us a place to ask our questions!

Anonymous said...

I pretty much have the same questions as other people and Caroline what website are you using
Age 11

Anonymous said...

Do you believe in mermaids

Anonymous said...

I'm already writing a book, but where could you find and editor and publisher for someone who's my age to publish a book?
~~Suz, 12

Krissie said...

I've heard that some editors only take certain genres. I'm writing a historical fiction book, so how would I find someone to publish it?

Anonymous said...

Hi Jess,
my name is Emily and I'm 11. I've had some good ideas to write books, but I've never been able to finish them.ideas? and I really would like someone to edit my story for me, because I wouldn't be up to it. thanks

Anonymous said...

this is emily again. do you have any ideas besides this blog site? i'm to young for this one. thanks

horse_crazy said...

I have many questions, but here's one: If your book is about a subject that a lot of books are about, are your chances to have your book published lower?

Thank you for the answers!

Christy said...

I will be turning 15 next month. When I was thirteen I wrote a book over the span of six months, and after my mom read it she suggested that we send it to my aunt Debbie to read because my aunt is very good at editing. Well, to make a long story short we've been editing the book off and on for about a year and a half and we're doing the final read-through. Last year, I started looking for a publisher, but always ended up with a rejection or a no response. After reading more into the publishing business, I decided it would be best to look for an agent. My aunt had never dealt with that department though, and so I was pretty much on my own. Basically, my question is, I know that it is extremely hard to get an agent, but do you know exactly how hard it is? And is it easier if you know someone who can refer you to an agent? Apart from that, do you have any advice about getting an agent, or what experiences you have had with yours?

Anonymous said...

How do you like find an editor? and um this is not really a publishing question but um I'm writing a book and I want it to be around 250 pages. But I've been working on it for about 3 months and I'm only on page 20. Plus, when I was thinking of ideas for the book, I thought of a big idea, but I don't want that to happen till at least the 150th page! I feel like my little things that are happening in the book are boring and if I ever get it published it will not be a good book. Any suggestions for making my small moment bigger and last more than a few sentences?

Anonymous said...

Can i email you my story?It was for my school's young author contest.If I can please give me your honest opinion.

Your biggest fan ever


Gabi said...

I am currently writing a book, Dawning Thunder, and I am only on chapter 5. Once finished, I want to have someone edit it so I can work on getting it published since my friends who have read it said it is an amazing book so far. I am clueless on what to do. I am 13,14 November 30, 2011. I use Microsoft Word and it says im on page 32. Any tips on how I can find a good editor for when I am finished? Same with how I can find a good publisher. If you have any answers to my questions, please email me at Thanks!

Maddie (13) said...

I wrote a book, so now what? Besides the endless hours of editing, what can I do about publishing? Are there companies that still take book submissions without an agent? What am I supposed to say in a query letter? How much do agents cost?
I have the same problem as another girl with my attention span. It's hard for me to stay focused, and I'm not sure if this crosses into a writing question or not, but what do you do to stay focused?

Anonymous said...

Hi Jess! I'm Lucia and I'm 15. First off, thanks a TON for doing this! I have a few questions that hopefully can be answered. I have several book ideas, a few single books and a possible series, but right now I'm just seriously outling/writing one book, and very basically outlining the rest just to get my creative juices flowing.

-- I have a Kindle and my dad thinks that I should publish my works on Kindle-- I want to do Nook later on as well-- and I agree with him. I was wondering, after I self publish on Kindle, could I still query for an agent to "book publish" my novels or would that be rude/inappropriate? Like "hey I have a book published already but could you look into it" kinda thing.

-- Do you have tips on writing query letters?

-- And, a couple of books are what I call "the real life genere", meaning nothing supernatural, do you think they would have a shot at selling because right now the teen/YA market is all about dark, supe, paranormal stuff? Also, my series idea is about centaurs, do you think that would sell?

Thanks! And I love the T-shirts!

Anonymous said...

This is basically the same question as all the other girls- where can I find a publisher for my book at a young age(I'm 12)? I've already written a few that I"m going back to and edit and such, and I would really like to get them published before I lose them over the years! Oh, and what would bethe word count for a nice, long book?

Kara said...

My name's Kara and I'm 13. Do publishers ever take people as young as me, seriously or do they just say forget it?

Emerson said...

I wrote a novella last year that's about horses, but when I gave it to my friends to read, they said it sounded too much like "The Saddle Club" and "Canterwood Crest." Have any ideas how I can make it a little more creative or different?

Anonymous said...

Is it possible to publish a book as a e-book only?

Anonymous said...

Hey Jess! I'm Alice and I'm almost 13. I appreciate you for doing this, it has bothered me for a long time. I'm an aspiring writer who has been learning new techiques and has been working on my novella for a year now.
"Where do I start? How much do writers get paid average? Will they take me, a middle-school student seriously? And how long does it take to wrap up your first book?"
Thanks again.


Anonymous said...

I'm writing a book and I really want it to get published, but I don't know if editors will like it because it sounds too much like the Saddle Club, like Emerson's question. Will editors reject it if it sounds too similar to another book that's well known?
Also, I want to publish a book of poetry, but i don't know if agents will find that interesting.
Thanks for answering all these questions, Jess.

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