Specifically, with some kind of psychological subject, and some theories and philosophies. The book will have subjects people generally refer to as from people experienced in life, who have been through a lot.

So, when someone who is say 50 years old, I assume people (and specifically publishers) would give it a fair shot and make a judgement on whats in it. This is my assumption, so please correct me if I am wrong.

But what if someone who is say 20 years old, wants to publish a book filled with "life experience" and advice you would suspect from someone older. How would publishers react to this? Would they give it a fair shot, or reject it because of the age of the author? And would they also publish it like that, or would they prefer a 'older' pseudonym?

So to summarize my question: Do publishers select manuscripts based on age? And if yes, how, why and with what criteria?

2 Answers 2


For non-fiction, publishers basically want two things. They want you to prove that you are qualified to write the book, and they want you to have a platform -- a bunch of people who already follow you or know about you would would be likely to buy the book and recommend it to others.

I have never heard of a publisher rejecting an author based on age alone, and in today's youth-obsessed culture it does not seem likely. Age discrimination today is mostly directed to the old by the young, rather than the other way round.

However, a young person may have more trouble demonstrating that they are qualified to write a book, simply because they may not be as qualified. There is an obvious benefit in a book about life experience to have had more life experience. On the other hand, if Taylor Swift pitches a publisher a book about life experience they are going to take it because Taylor Swift has a platform.

Mere age does not qualify anybody to write about psychology or philosophy. A publisher will be looking for actual credentials -- education and/or practical work experience. But a platform trumps everything. If you can build a huge audience blogging about your ideas on psychology and philosophy, even if they are completely half baked, someone will publish your book.

Basically, publishers are asking two questions (like most other businesses): Will it sell? And will it damage my brand? If they think it will sell and not damage their brand, they will sell it.


Young people have a lot of unique experiences and insights into aspects of underground culture. Youth-oriented topics always have potential to sell. On the other hand, younger writers write flabbier prose and require more hand-holding.

Publishing companies would definitely take a chance on a book by a younger writer, but they have to factor into it the fact that the author's writing skills may not be fully developed and require editing.

On the other hand, some younger writers have been blogging for several years already and have enough writing practice to write clearly and succinctly.

Speaking for myself, things I wrote in my youthful days were less organized, less focused.

Finally, nowadays publishers are not publishing as many unknowns these days unless the author can demonstrate an ability to publish multiple works for a series. You may need to sell the series concept more than the book itself.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.