The Complete Idiots Guide to Writing For Young Adults
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Writing Young Adult Fiction For Dummies gives you tricks of the trade and proven tips on all the steps to write a YA book, from developing an idea to publication. With the help of this step-by-step guide, you'll have all the skills to write an inspiring and marketable young adult novel. Deborah Halverson founded the writer's advice website DearEditor.
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Read an Excerpt Click to read or download. See All Customer Reviews. Shop Books. Read an excerpt of this book! Add to Wishlist. USD Sign in to Purchase Instantly. Overview Your hands-on, friendly guide to writing young adult fiction With young adult book sales rising, and bestselling authors like J. Are you interested in writing a young adult novel, but aren't sure how to fit the style that appeals to young readers' Writing Young Adult Fiction For Dummies gives you tricks of the trade and proven tips on all the steps to write a YA book, from developing an idea to publication.
The pudgy kid -- kid, hell, he must be at least 22, that's how old you were when you sold your first story, and when did you get so old , anyway? Right, you were introduced to him earlier that day, at the Asimov's signing. Nice kid. He's got potential. Most book-deals work on a royalty basis: you get paid a small sum for every copy sold. Traditionally, a publisher will pay you an advance against your royalties when you sign the contract, based on the expected sales of the book. You experience a moment of panic as you realize that you've lost your cummerbund, but you quickly locate it, worn around the head of your editor, who is launching into his trademark rendition of "Teen Angel," accompanied by a motley chorus of besotted, extra-large bestselling authors.
Tom is hovering at your elbow with eyes like saucers. I can't afford any real pros. Ah, the short fiction market. When Hugo Gernsback founded Amazing Stories in , he paid a penny a word for amateur fiction in a new genre he called "Scientifiction.
It's been years since you've finished a short story, though you're continually tickled by ideas. Back in your hotel room, you make ready to dump your tux on the floor and climb into bed -- you've got a 10 am panel on Mars Exploration, after all -- but your laptop catches your eye. Ending 16 isn't going to work out at all, you know that now. But it might make a great little stand-alone short story, a kind-of alternate universe for your characters. It wouldn't take any work at all, really. And before you know it, the maid is knocking at the door, the sun is streaming through the window, and you've just put the finishing touches on the last chapter and the short story.
It's been years since you pulled an all-nighter, and the room has a surreal, sleep-deprived tinge. You fire up your fax software and fax the work down to the hotel desk, one story for Tom, one chapter for your agent. You've got just enough time to get showered before your panel, and boy, do you need it. The all-nighter will have you drag-assing for the next couple of days, but you'll be in OK shape for the office on Tuesday. I grew up on used books, mouldering sci-fi paperbacks with lurid s covers and horrible titles that had been plastered on over howls of protest from their poor authors.
Best of all were the introductions to the short-story collections. They captured the heyday of the Golden Age of Science Fiction perfectly. A gang of writers would meet for an enormous potluck spaghetti dinner. Over cheap wine and swing records, they'd bat around crazy story ideas, until one was so inspired that she rushed back to her typewriter. After thumping away at the second-hand manual for a few hours, the writer would be in possession of a brand-new story, with a carbon copy for backup.
She'd hike over to the offices of one of the dozens of science fiction magazines of the day and hurl the story over the transom, so the editor would see it as soon as he got to work. The editor, of course, had eagerly devoured the manuscript as soon as he got in. If said editor was one of the legendary greats, say John W. Campbell, he'd have a nice long chat with the writer, suggesting revisions that would improve the story.
So the writer would take the marked-up manuscript back to her miniscule apartment and hammer away at the typewriter for a couple more hours, then slip it into an envelope and drop it into the mail in time for same-day crosstown delivery. The next morning, she'd be back in the editor's office, signing a contract and collecting a check for enough money to cover a month's rent. As for the novelists of the day, well, life was sweet. Any decent novel could be sold twice: once in paperback to a trade publisher, and once in serial format to a magazine like Galaxy or Analog.
The pool of science fiction readers was small but eager, and the idea of an obscure novel was ridiculous: few enough titles were published every year that everyone who had an interest in the genre would be familiar with every title.
And even though there were fewer booksellers willing to stock science fiction, the stores kept the books on the shelves for a good, long while. The publishers helped this along by keeping a healthy supply of their books in the warehouse for speedy delivery. An author with a large bibliography could eke out a living on the small but regular royalty checks her backlist generated. As if that weren't enough, there were the wackos in Hollywood, who were like fairy godmothers.
Every so often, a writer would get a call from a fast-talking Californian with a sizable bankroll, looking to option their work for film. No one was really clear on this mysterious option business, except that once you'd sold an option on a work, you couldn't sell it again until it expired.
Best of all were the fans, who held conventions around the country. A decent writer could garner all-expense-paid trips to exotic locales in exchange for appearing as Guest of Honour at a convention. The fans and writers vociferously debated the merits of every writer with near-religious fervor, and while they could be harsh, being criticised beat being ignored by a country mile.
Today the typical magazine editor receives upwards of 1, manuscripts a month, from established pros and rank amateurs. The typical science fiction magazine publishes about 12 stories per month. The typical response time is on the order of nine weeks. Magazines jostle for shelf-space in an increasingly competitive marketplace, and newsvendors are reluctant to order in any title that fails to sell several copies.
Response times of two years are not unheard-of. Many gifted, talented editors work in the field, but as their duties have expanded to fill every available moment, they find themselves unable to spare time to really develop all but the most promising writers. Instead, they look for ready-to-publish works in their slushpiles.
Writers who are almost there still find themselves facing uninformative and anonymous rejection slips. The returns system -- whereby a bookseller can tear off the cover of a book that hasn't sold after a certain period and return it for a refund -- is out of control.
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Publishing Children's Books
Megachains pay their bills by stripping books and returning them, and reorder the same titles simultaneously. Speciality imprints like Women's Press Science Fiction are incapable of surviving in this marketplace, and have folded in droves. On airport newsstands and in other high-traffic locations, unsold books are stripped within days of appearing on the shelves. The Hollywood option -- formerly a common enough occurrence that writers realistically hoped to sell sufficient options to support themselves through lean times -- has all but vanished.
Studio accountants grew anxious at the number of unexercised options in inventory, and mandated that producers option screenplays instead, which require far less money to develop.
Now, it's a rarity for anyone but a bestselling writer to be offered an option deal. It's hard out there. A mania for mergers and acquisitions has gripped New York publishing over the last decade. New multinational parent companies demand a level of profitability never seen in publishing. Publishers have responded by slashing backlists and editorial staff.
Many modestly selling established writers, formerly able to survive on their backlist sales are finding themselves out of print.
Writing Children's Books For Dummies Cheat Sheet - dummies
National chain bookstores have squeezed out small independent stores. These chains often rely on a single distribution center, the economics of which dictate that only books that sell in volume are worth keeping on the shelves. More and more, chain-store buyers are dictating what publishers publish, so that established writers whose latest books sell poorly find it difficult or impossible to sell another novel, since their publisher knows that the buyers won't take any more titles by that writer.
But there are glimmers of hope. Despite everything, more science fiction titles are being published now than ever before. Hardcover publications -- which are far more lucrative for writers -- are on the rise. On-demand publishing, a technology that makes it possible for publishers to print and bind books to order, promises to revive the backlist. Science fiction, once perceived as a genre for adolescents and nerds, has gained widespread acceptance in the mainstream. There's more science fiction on TV and in the movie-houses than ever before, and the demographics of media SF include both the monied, older set; and the young, who will grow up to be the next generation of science fiction consumers.
The world of electronic publishing, while still in its infancy, looms on the horizon. Already, Internet booksellers such as Amazon. Further down the road, "publication" to handheld electronic books opens a multitude of possibilities for speciality presses, author-driven publications and instant, accurate royalty reporting.
We've been writing science fiction for over a decade, but it is only recently that we've encountered real success: book deals, major magazine sales, critical acclaim and awards. Laurie Rozakis will encourage you to pick up the pen while getting some genuine laughs out of you in the process; what's there not to love?
Wonderfully inspiring and motivating read! Oct 30, Shannon rated it liked it. Nice quick, but very basic primer in all the creative writing genres. Learned a few things I didn't know before. Apr 10, Sherry rated it liked it Recommends it for: aspiring authors. Shelves: writing , own-it. This book is a very basic overview of creative writing. I enjoyed that it was organized very clearly and provided a quick refresher of everything one learns in school about good writing.
I found the author's enthusiasm was motivating, but in some instances was disingenuous. She insists throughout the book that every person has untapped writing talent and that with dedication, "anyone" can become a successful writer. Well, as "anyone" knows, that just isn't true.
I'm sure "anyone" can improve the This book is a very basic overview of creative writing. I'm sure "anyone" can improve their current level of writing skill by using this book, but you simply can't teach talent. In her defense, however, she does state that in order to get writing published, it has to sell I did appreciate her honesty on the subject of getting published, consdiering how many other books on creative writing claim a one-way ticket to publication for the aspiring author.
She pulls no punches, and provides plenty of statistics on just how unlikely it is for a brand new author to ever have his or her manuscript read. Sobering, really. All in all, a useful reference for literary terms, the publication process, and different kinds of contracts used in book deals. Mar 29, Ana rated it really liked it.
So far this book is good. I like that the book begins on a very basic level. It really is an "idiot's guide", but I'm not insulted May 21, Judith Ann Kohnen rated it it was amazing. I love Idiot Books. Easy to read, loaded with information. This book covers the fundamentals of writing novels, short stories, poetry, biographies, textbooks, reference books, magazine articles, plays, and screenplays.
It also has tips on getting published, finding and dealing with an agent, and the legal issues involved. This is a great reference guide for everyone who wants to explore their creative writing for writing novels.
It's a must read. I want to get the second edition too. Shelves: non-fiction , writing. It's a good but simple introduction to the many types of writing you can do, e. Mar 26, Kresna Luginawati marked it as to-read.