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.