I decided a while ago that I would take on a project for Adolescent Literature in which I would find out more about how to be a published YA writer. Thomas Christiansen’s website rightreading.com is marvelous and you all should absolutely check it out. Below is a list of some of the best information I found on his post “How to Get a Book Published in 10 Not-So-Easy Steps”.
“You’re not going to be a good writer without doing some serious reading.”
“Write honestly, even if you don’t like what it reveals about yourself.”
See what the market needs (is it ‘been there, done that’?) See what’s popular (are mystery books a hot commodity?).
Write your book. If you only have an idea or a few chapters, you have nothing. Unless you’re a well-known author, no publisher will take you seriously.
The beginning and very end of book writing are often fun and exciting and go by fast. In the middle of writing a book you will experience writer’s block and want to stop altogether. Push through. “The most common cause of failure in writing is dropping out.”
Be prepared to revise, revise, revise.
“Remember that your first couple of pages are make or break. If you don’t capture the editor’s attention on those you never will.”
“See which agents and editors the authors of similar or competing books thank in their acknowledgments.”
“Then go to the reference desk of your library and consult the LMP (Literary Marketplace). Forget all the hokey Writer’s Market-type publications. The LMP will give you the names, addresses, and phone numbers you want.”
“A good agent will certainly help, mainly because the agent knows the market better than you do.”
“Be natural. Don’t follow rules. Be honest. Be real.”
“If you’re serious about writing the main thing is not to give up. Remember, most people drop out after a while. So just by keeping at it you’re getting ahead.”