Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Teen? Writer? Looking to Get Published?

Deborah Reber, author of Chill (S&S), emailed me asking to post about this opportunity for teen writers to get published.

From the site:

- Do you love to journal or blog?

- Is writing your passion?

- Do you have an important real-life story to tell?

- Do you dream of being a published author?

- Are you a girl between 13 - 19 years old?

If I just described you, then read on! This new project is about giving a voice to young writers with important things to say. It's for teens who are interested in writing a memoir (yes, that’s right…a whole book) about your true-life story.

From Deborah Reber's email to me:

The series is being created by HCI Books (Health Communications, Inc.), who publishes all the Chicken Soup books, etc. They hired me as the editorial director, so my job is finding the writers and working with them to create and edit their book. The first three books will be coming out in Fall 2009, with additional titles coming out every six months.

The specifics of the contract are confidential, and will be detailed when an official offer is made to a potential author. I can say that it is a flat-rate fee for the book.

With regards to the market, we've received a lot of interest from booksellers, and are especially excited because this will be the first-ever memoir series written by teens. We're have great hopes and expectations for the success of the series (or we wouldn't be creating it!). As the developer and editor of the series, I can say that this is the perfect opportunity for someone who is a very talented writer, has been journaling for some time, has a story to tell, and dreams of being published.


Anonymous said...

I'm concerned about the lack of specifics on the link you've provided, Steph. No author has the ability to "get someone published." Those decisions are made by agents, editors, and publishing houses. You can't will it into truth.

What publishing house is going to accept the book? ARE they going to accept the book? Under what terms, royalty split, and with what type of advance? Will this be a self-published book?

I mention these things because it is very, very hard to get a book published even for a writer that has been writing for years and years. Memoirs have an added burden because, let's face it, most poeoples' lives are simply not that interesting.

There is an astonishing lack of information on the blog link -- be careful.

Steph said...

Anon - that's actually a really valid objection. I didn't really think it over, I suppose. :S I'll see if Deborah can tell me anything else on the project. In the meantime, I'm adding a little *notice* to the post because what you're saying is very true.

Steph said...

Oh wait, she sent me an attachment with more info... I'm not sure if I can post the thing verbatim because it says "confidential" at the bottom... Hmm, okay, I'm taking this down till I have further info I suppose.

Amee said...

I think it's fine. I don't see why an actual author who understands the trials of publishing would attempt to scam someone. Shouldn't jump to conclusions. I say leave it up. If someone wants the chance, why deny it? I'm sure once they submit their application, they'll get the finer details and can decide for themselves if it's something they think is fair and want to pursue.

Anonymous said...

But Amee -- "An actual author who understands the trials of publishing," should know she cannot promise a teen a publishing contract. I'm an agented YA author, my AGENT cannot even promise me a publishing contract, for a finished, proofed, revised book. And I'm previously published.

Steph said...

Actually it's a contest - only one teen will get a contract. And she just got back to me - it's a flat fee thing (can't tell me how much), which I think makes royalties a no-go? I'm not sure about the legalities of this as I'm not well versed in publishing law. >.<

But I see what you're saying, Anon - she's working with HCI publishers and she already has the go-ahead on it. I'll be reposting the thing in a bit (soon as I finish what I'm currently doing) including her full email to me (the stuff she can disclose).


Amee said...

Just because you're a published author it doesn't mean you know everything about publishing, like a possible guaranteed deal (flat rate or not, royalties or not, it's still a deal). As I said, Deborah would not scam or lead astray any potential authors, especially as an author herself who is aware of false deals.

Anonymous said...

Amee -- you seem to know Deborah, and if you hold her as someone who is honest then that is fine. I wasn't calling her a liar. I was only saying to be careful. And no, I do not proclaim to know everything there is about publishing.

But, from my perspective, having teens flock to a website where virtually no information about the authenticity of the contest (or whatever it is) was available seemed to be a bad idea. Obviously, this is not my blog, so please accept my apology if I've offended you at the place you frequent.

By the way, scams are rampant in publishing. There is an entire site called Preditors and Editors that lists "not recommended" agents, etc. People can quite easily get "taken" in this industry. So-called agents will direct you to "book doctors" that charge you hundreds of dollars to "edit" your book. Scam agents will charge money for all kinds of things and never even submit your book. I was just saying be careful. That's all.

Anonymous said...

I now see Steph has provided additional information for the contest. Ahh. All better now!

Post a Comment

Hey! For some reason, this embedded comment form makes most people click twice before the comment is processed and published. It's not you - it's just that it's a new Blogger feature with kinks and all that. (But I adore it and don't wanna get rid of it!) I removed Captcha to make the process easier. You don't have to rewrite the comments twice; just click on SUBMIT twice and it should work. If not, email me. Thanks! -Steph