Tips for Younger Writers

Getting Published:Tips For Young Writers
by: Simone Mary

The task of getting published is one of the daunting aspects of writing. This can be difficult, if you want to get published by a traditional publishing house. It’s not as difficult if you want to self-publish. In this article I will share with you the steps involved in getting your work published either traditionally or through self-publishing.

Mainstream publishers are often reluctant to accept work from young writers as anyone under 18 cannot sign a contract on their own and will require parental involvement. That is not to say you cannot submit to them but make sure your work is of high quality as you will be competing with adult writers. There are also several publishers that cater specifically to young writers, for a list of these, check out the book THE YOUNG WRITER’S GUIDE TO GETTING PUBLISHED. There are also several sites on the web that accept work from young writers such as http://stonesoup.com and Merlyn’s pen. Make sure you edit your work thoroughly and follow the submission guidelines for publishers carefully. Some publishers prefer that you send a query letter only at first describing your project. The query letter should be only one page long. If it is longer than that a busy editor will likely just throw it to one side. Think of the back cover summary you see on most books you buy, try to summarize what your book is about in a few words. This can be difficult but it must be done and done in a way that grabs an editor’s attention. Some publishers will allow you to submit a query letter and a few chapters of your work or your entire book. It is important that you use the correct font, you can’t go wrong with courier new 12 pt and a double spaced manuscript. The query letter can use the same font but there is no need to double space it.

Let’s now take a look at self publishing. Self publishing has become quite easy with the advent of self publishers like Lulu. At http://lulu.com you can publish your work for free. However lulu does take a small commission of anything you sell. Lulu also sells ISBN‘s for around $100 U.S. dollars. An ISBN will make your book available for international sale. It will become available to places like http://Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble and hundreds of other distributors worldwide. When you self publish you set your own price and your age never becomes a factor as it will be with some traditional publishers. If you decide to self publish everything falls into your hands, from editing to formatting. Lulu provides several services for these publishing details, however the costs can add up for young writers. The good news is that with patience and determination you can do it yourself. Lulu provides !
templates for formatting your book. If you can find a teacher, friend or parent to help you with editing you are well on your way without breaking the bank. Lulu makes making your book cover as easy as possible although you are responsible for finding your own image if you do not wish to use their images.

Finally, there is nothing like seeing your work in print and the opportunities for young writers are greater than ever.

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