A few more comments on publishing YA:
- Several of you have posted that you buy lots of YA books and so do your kids. Of course you do! And so do I. I probably buy upwards of 50 YA titles a year—and I don’t have any YA readers at home anymore. The reason? We’re writers—and readers, and so are our children. The people who read this blog are not a true representation of the book buying habits of the average American family.
- Scholastic is a great place to buy YA books at reasonable prices. However in most families, once the youngest child in a family moves beyond middle school into the upper grades, the true YA age group, they no longer have easy access to Scholastic book sales. You can still order them online, or watch for the posters at the local elementary school, but it takes an extra effort and most people do not make that effort.
- In my opinion, one of the reasons LDS writers are doing well in the national YA market is because their books are cleaner. So many national YA titles contain graphic violence and sexuality, encouraging teens to participate in pre-marital sex and other inappropriate behaviors. As LDS writers, most of us do not include that in our books. Sometimes there is pressure to do so, but we can stand up to that. There is a whole host of non-LDS parents and readers who want well-written YA without the trash. So yes, if you’re writing YA and the LDS publishers are saying, “Great story, we just can’t publish it right now…” go national. Or skip us small potatoes and go national in the first place.
3 thoughts on “Publishing YA”
If we look toward the national market, do you recommend we de-LDS the story (keep it clean and have morals, but no overt “Mormon-ness”)or do you think the national market would be open to LDS stories with LDS characters? Maybe it would help demystify our religion (some are still convinced we practice polygamy, etc.).
I wonder if Scholastic book sales end up causing some of the YA issues in the LDS market. My kids are always begging for certain things from their catilogues (usually NOT books) and it’s really the only advertising they see. They don’t often read my DB and Seagull catilogues, they don’t buy books so don’t go online looking up lists and reviews. I don’t go to many brick and morter stores, and when I do they’re tapping their feet wanting to get back home for “That’s so Raven”–but they see the catilogues, and those are the only books that exist for them.
Anyway, just and observation.
My experience has been that religion is the last taboo in publishing. Editors don’t want your characters to have any religion, and if they do have one it should be generic. You can get away with non-practicing Catholic and Jewish characters, perhaps because the world sees these more as cultures than religions.
Still, that doesn’t mean that you can’t try to put religion in. Your book might be the exception that teaches the nation that no, we’re really not polygamists, nor do we marry off our daughters at 14.
Comments are closed.