U.K. submissions to the U.S.(Young Adult)

Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Moss, Feb 9, 2009.

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    Moss

    Moss New Member

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    It seems to me - though I could easily be wrong about this - that Young Adult writing is more seriously categorised in the U.S. than it is in the U.K., leading me to consider submitting my recently finished Young Adult fantasy novel in the U.S. Is this a worthwhile endeavour? Is the U.S. more serious about Young Adult? If so, why? Are there any special rules and protocols for overseas submissions? Should I look for agents rather than directly approaching publishers? Would a U.K. agent look for publishers in the U.S.?
    A lifetime's interest coming together in three years of intense work: there are some scary decisions to be made. Anyone got any advice for me?
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    Mary Hoffman

    Mary Hoffman Writer

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    I'm not an expert, Moss, but I would say that all the problems surrounding the publication of "serious Young Adult fantasy" in the Uk are duplicated more or less exactly in the US. The only difference I can see is that potential volume of sales being greater in a larger population means that they will still publish some titles in hardback which in the UK would be paperback originals (this happened with my 4th Stravaganza title - paperback original in the Uk, hardback in the US, both Bloomsbury).

    Otherwise the same conditions apply and it's tough out there, not just for those getting started. So, yes, get an agent first.

    It's true there is more reviewing in the US but these are issues that affect the far end when you HAVE been published, not this end when you are looking for someone to have faith in your writing.

    I'm sure someone else will have more detailed advice but there is no reason not to publish in the UK if you are UK-based. Any decent publisher would get you a co-edition in the States anyway, where you can benefit from the "far-end superiority" of YA coverage - magazines awards etc.

    That's my advice anyway.And I am published on both sides of the pond.

    Mary
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    iansales

    iansales New Member

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    Check out Colleen Lindsay's blog - she's a US agent and handles YA genre fiction, among others.
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    Tirellan

    Tirellan Member

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    The most obvious question is whether young novel will work in the US market. Have you read anything recently published in the US that has similarities?
    Agent first is certainly the best route. Many US publishers will not look at unagented submissions, and those that do take a geological era to reply.
    I like agentquery.com as a reliable resource for US agents (beware there are many scam agents in the US, particularly one called the Children's Literary Agency)
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    Moss

    Moss New Member

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    I wrote my novel as an adult book, the first of a series, epic fantasy in style, but at 85000 words, purposefully uncluttered, lyrical, and with a strong single line of narrative, and was interested to find that it fits very well into the definition of Young Adult fiction on this site. It seems that no UK agent is likely to be interested in an adult fantasy novel of this length, and few UK agents appear interested in Young Adult fantasy, whereas a number of US agents actively seek such novels, suggesting there is a market there.
    Many thanks, all, for taking the trouble and time to offer valuable advice. Completely new to this process, I do not trust my assessments, and need all the help I can get. My next stage will be a great deal of research, refinement of query letters, and persistence.
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    BookStop

    BookStop If you see a stranger...

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    Is the protagonist young? I believe that a young protag is a must for a book to be considered for YA publication. I could be wrong on that point of course, but it's worth checking into if you originally wrote your novel for adults featuring adults.
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    Moss

    Moss New Member

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    The main character is a 16/17 years old, and the story contains coming-of-age and first romance elements. It really does fit the description of Young Adult fiction on this site's YA forum, yet is adult enough to please those adults I have tested it on. I suppose the character is similar to Jed in the second half of A Wizard of Earthsea.
    I have found US publishers Leucrota Press and agents Fineprint Literary Management who have interests which seem to encompass my book. Should I worry that they are not listed in Writers' and Artists' Yearbook?
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    BookStop

    BookStop If you see a stranger...

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    Fineprint is highly recommended in preditors and editors, but I don't see Leucrota Press.

    P&E: Literary Agents
  9.  
    Tirellan

    Tirellan Member

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  10.  
    Moss

    Moss New Member

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    I will keep saying this: this forum is a delightful place. There are folk here who will even join in with your research. Each link and each piece of advice is developing my understanding of the publishing process to the point where I will soon have enough to make a submission. Many, many thanks.
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