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 most 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.
SOME OTHER TIPS FROM MY BETA-READERS
- Don't bore them. Keep the story moving.
- Don't write for them as if they are idiots.
- Don't write characters that they don't identify with.
- Lastly, don't bore them (I was told this was something I did well with my writing by my YA)
- Don't assume that they all curse, use drugs, swear, or have sex on the brain all the time.
These tips were given to me by many of my Beta - Readers of whom I asked for a big list of No-No's in books that they didn't like.
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.
by: LM Preston, author of EXPLORER X - Alpha (coming out 2/2010) http://www.lmpreston.com/
Keep an eye on the blog for my review of EXPLORER X - Alpha. Big thanks to LM Preston for visiting with us today. :) It's a great post.
Thanks again to all of my lovely readers for stopping by. Without you, this blog would have no meaning.