Today I have LM Preston doing a guest post about writing YA. She's the author of Explorer X: Alpha, a 2010 release.
WRITING FOR THE YA MARKET
YA, what is that? It’s the young adult market which ranges from ages 12yrs to 18yrs. If you write for ages 12yrs to 13yrs realize that parents may be heavily involved in their child’s reading selections, so in most cases if you want to promote your book to this age group – keep it a bit clean. Ages 14yrs and up, will usually mix it up a bit between reading YA focused books and adult books. You can use all of the taboos that you can’t for the younger age group with kids 14yrs and up. There are also many sub-genre to consider when writing YA. Those include:adventure, romance, humor, mystery, historical, contemporary, fantasy, sci-fi, and so on.
PREPARE TO WRITE YA
Take time to observe the group you are writing about. When writing for teenagers realize that they are very picky about sounding old or goofy. This is easy for me because I have four kids, and two of which are within the age group in which I write for. They are the best resources of information on language, what’s interesting, what not to say, how far to push it and so on. Not to mention, I also observe their interaction with their friends, siblings and adults. It is enlightening and it has given me great material.
USE KIDS TO BETA YOUR WORK
The best feedback I have ever gotten for my work came from my kids’ friends. I allowed many of them to beta for me. I even bribed some with free movie tickets in order to get them to do it. Getting feedback from this group is invaluable. I gave them a checklist to fill out, and a facebook page to update with question or comments, and also invited them to give me feedback on my cover. The results were outstanding.
ASK KIDS WHERE THEY BUY BOOKS, OR IF THEY WILL HELP YOU MARKET YOUR PRODUCT
Several of my teenage betas loved my book so much that they offered to start an email chain about my book. They also posted it on their facebook and myspace accounts. I was floored, because I didn’t even ask for this. They offered it.
Remember, if you are writing for young people, the best judge of how your book will do in the market comes from your market group. Also, when acquiring an agent or publisher you can refer to the large amount of young betas that had reviewed your work. So grab your nieces, nephews, kids, cousins, or anyone who has kids and write that YA novel.
LM is awesome and donated a copy of Explorer X: Alpha + a posterto one lucky winner!
For most kids, a trip to space camp is a trip of a lifetime, for Aadi it was life altering. After receiving a camp immunization needed for travel to Mars, Aadi finds that the immunization is the catalyst of an insidious experiment. Lucky for him, he was engineered to survive, thrive, and dominate. Without realizing he is being trained to conquer worlds, and manipulated under the guise of a camp, he unfolds the plot too late for a change of fate.
Authors/Publishers: I would love to review your book! I pretty much read anything in the young adult category. I'll also hold contests, interviews, etc. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info! See my full policy here.
Let me know if you want me to add your blog to my list or link to your contests.
Fellow bloggers, I'd love to swap books with you. Especially if you have any from my wish list! E mail me if you're interested!
If you want any book suggestions feel free to email me and I'll get back to you as soon as I can.
Also, any YA authors who are coming to New Jersey or New York City please let me know, I'd love to attend!