I'm 16 years old and I've wrote about 4 to 5 different books. I have two that I think would be good enough for the public to read. I've been writing stories since I was 10. I want to be published but can I this young? What publisher would publish my book? Please help me.
Can you be a writer? You bet you can. Do I know what publisher would publish your book? Not a chance. Buy a Writer's Market and comb through it to find publishers who publish work similar to yours.
In terms of a life of publishing (or trying to publish), there are a couple things you can do to prepare yourself. Publishing is exciting and frustrating, so don't be hard on yourself if it doesn't happen right away (or ever). It sounds like you're doing it for the pleasure of writing, which is a great place to be.
Some tips on the road to publishing:
- Join a writing critique group. Jump into Meetup.com and find a local critique group. You'll have a chance to hear your work read aloud and get feedback from other writers. Remember, feedback is different from an evaluation. People won't tell you they like your work (or dislike it), but will give considered responses to your work, all with the aim of steadily improving your output.
- Submit, Submit, Submit. The more you submit, the less painful it will (or should) become. And when you get that first publishing credit, it feels really good. Many book publishers and agents want to see that you've published before, since in some ways other editors are vouching for you and your work. Your age should never be an issue, and in fact might even work in your favor.
- Make a plan. This can be as generic as "Write 1000 words a day, submit twice a week" to as specific as "Contact an agent, develop a relationship, prepare synopses, and complete editing 3 books by the time I'm 18." With a plan in place, you can set milestones for yourself and have some good personal data regarding time, productivity, and levels of success.
Also, try to stay positive. You're doing this for love, and probably also money and fame, but mostly for love. It can be frustrating and exhilarating, with many ups and downs, but I've personally found few things as rewarding as writing itself.
Your age isn't a barrier, but it's very difficult for any author of any age to be published by a conventional publisher.
Typically there are two methods: Either you send query letters to publishers, and those who are interested request to read your manuscript, or you find an agent, and the agent finds the publisher.
Before you do either, your book would not only need to be excellent, but also formatted and edited impeccably (no spelling or grammar mistakes, etcetera).
- Publishers focus on marketable content. The rules of this game are same - only the intensity of it varies based on your target readers, geographical location, publishing mode and of course your content language
- But that does not lower the quality requirements. Unless you have content quality that meets general expectations of the target audience, publishers will have no interest
- Identify target publishers
- Write on lot of topics online and get noticed by key people in your target publishers. Talk to local nearby publishers and see if they can help with networking
- Trust your skills. There are way too many people in world to discourage others.
First: gosh that's gorgeous, well done!
Second: join a critique group. I use Reddit and ACFW. There are others. They will critique your work, help you improve, and crucially, help you deal with rejection. Your friends and family cannot effectively critique your work because they want to be nice to you, you need random internet strangers.
Third: practice practice practice. I sometimes use Reddit writing prompts for this. There are online writing courses you can take which will teach you about POV and how to drive a story. I carry a tiny cheap Chromebook with me and write any chance I get.
Fourth: once you are ready, read the submission guidelines for several publishers carefully, format your work exactly as they ask, then send it in.
Remember most writers will not get rich. This is something you do because you love it, because not doing it would be sad.
So to answer your question, what publisher would publish your book: probably none unless it's amazing and you get lucky. Most books will never be published by traditional publishing houses, just like most songs will never be played on the radio.
If you want to go down the self publishing route though this can be rewarding. Amazon, Kobo, iBooks.
The downside of this is that you won't receive the services of a professional publishing house, cover art, connections with bookstores, editing, proofreading, etc, and you won't have a gatekeeper telling you if your book is OK or not.
Getting involved in a critique group, online or otherwise would be your first step.
Best of luck!
Make a plan. If you don't know where you are going, you won't know how to get there.
Identify the problems you need to solve - then solve them one by one.
Make sure your writing is as tight as it can be. Anything which does not add to your story and make it move along needs to be taken out.
Check your spellings, tenses, grammar and syntax. Where you are at all unsure, check that what you have written is correct. No excuses for not doing this. Simple example of something which will turn off your potential readers? I'm 16 years old and I've wrote about 4 to 5 different books.
Who says you have to have an agent or a traditional publisher? Many successful writers are going down the self-published route. The two main secrets to their success? Lots of books, free content and an excellent mailing list. There are tons of resources on the internet to help you develop all three key components. A good starting point is http://www.thecreativepenn.com/ but there are many more. Read, learn, plan. When you have done that, try, fail, reflect and do it all over again!
Consider self-publishing as an option to jump-start a potential writing career. An exemplary example of both the practice of self-publishing and the craft of writing itself is found in Dave Sim and his life's work, "Cerebus."
His 300-issue epic is serialized in "phone books," ~25-issue compendiums wherein the likes of Oscar Wilde, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Woody Allen are researched, fictionalized, depicted, annotated and discussed AT LENGTH.
Research on ANY of the above authors will give you an idea of how they got started, why they chose to write and how their lives (& careers) unfolded. These five guys cover a wide gamut of personality-types and writing styles.
Sim started self-publishing in the 70s, back then it was a monumental task. It still is if you want to create & distribute 1000s of printed editions. Self-publishing today (via the 'net) keeps getting cheaper and easier. Now is a great time to get started via content-management-systems and Web-hosting-services.
Not wanting to sound like an advert for any particular CMS or host so I won't recommend one. Better to suggest you look up "CMS" and "web hosting." and decide which one is right for you - should you decide to go that route.
You could begin by serializing one of your books into blog posts. If the content is interesting and original...it will get noticed. That's what will ultimately get you third-party published.
Use your age to advantage - your school probably has some form of newspaper or newsletter - write for it. If they offer AP English or College-Prep Creative Writing - take those classes. Write casually in a journal. Write with a purpose - create something informative, entertaining or humorous and "pass it around," Write for its own sake -- if you get in trouble passing notes in class then you are probably on the right track.