Okay, so I recently got an email from a reader asking me a lot of questions about writing and publishing etc., so I thought I’d do a blog entry posting some of my answers to questions I get a lot for the general benefit of everyone! I love doing this sort of thing, so if anyone has any other questions they want to ask, just comment and I’ll try to answer it as soon as possible!
Q: How long does a book have to be to get published?
A: Well, it really depends on what genre you’re writing. My book is YA Fiction, so editors suggested I make it anywhere from 50,000 to 75,000 words. With adult fiction, it’s usually 75,000 and up.
Q: How did you find your agent?
A: Well, it was pretty much all God! No, seriously! I went about things the blind way….Googling “Christian Literary Agents” online and sending it to half the people on the list. I think it was thirteen overall. Only two emailed back and were even interested–all the others either flat out rejected me or ignored me! Bill was just the nicest, greatest guy ever, though. He was very kind about my writing, but was critical when he needed to be. I couldn’t ask for a better agent. 🙂
Q: What are your thoughts on self-publishing?
A: It’s obviously a very widely used and accepted type of publishing. I think it’s great for someone who doesn’t want to deal with all the work that normal publishing can include. I know several homeschoolers who have self-published and just rave about it. My only negative thoughts on it, I think, would be the money factor. Self publishing usually costs money. I’ve heard people say they wouldn’t want to be published by a big company because of the cost but–really–I didn’t have to pay anything at all! In fact, I get money for my book rather than paying it. So I think, in the end, self-publishing is great for getting your feet wet, but I don’t think I will ever dabble in it. Personal preference.
Q: What is this whole process like for you, since you’re underage?
A: Well, my parents are obviously very involved in everything that goes on. The contract is actually in their names, and I can’t have full control of my royalties until I’m eighteen. My mom also sits in on all my phone calls and sometimes gives her feedback. She has a good relationship with my agent, so he makes sure he asks her opinions about things a lot. Overall, my parents are both really supportive and do a lot of praying for me, while offering their wisdom and advice.
Q: How often do you write? Every day? For how many hours?
A: Not that much, actually. I think the whole process of writing a first draft of a book only takes me about 3 months usually. In that time, I write maybe 3-4 times a week. Usually it’s in the evening, after everyone else has gone to bed. I’ll lock myself away in my room (well, not really, but it feels that way!) around 7 PM, and write until nearly midnight. Then my eyes start bleeding and I have to push down my eyelids and fall asleep like a dead person. The next morning’s pretty rough, but it’s worth it. 😉
When I’m doing editing, planning, etc. I’m way more sporadic. Sometimes I’ll go days, even weeks without writing. And you know what? I don’t feel bad about it! The people I work with probably get frustrated, but I think it’s good for me to step back sometimes and take a breather. Then when I return to the work at hand, I can look at it with a fresh point of view.
Q: Are you working on something now? 😉
A: Um, yes. Not telling you anything about it, though…. Yet.
Like I said, if you have any more questions, shoot away! I have a couple more I’m thinking about posting sometime as well…