. What publishing houses would you suggest that pay special attention to young teenage authors? And what can you say about them if you'd had any direct interaction?

. Also, if there's a guide for this kind of situation to teach approaching publishers and deciding on their viability. And on the specifics of the legal parts of it.

It could be a focused publisher or a traditional mega-publisher that has an initiative (a campaign, a sub-division, a satellite company, a focused media channel as in a magazine, a worldwide competition, etc...).

I can't go with self publishing for numerous reasons not the worst of which is the time it would require from me in school times or my financial state.

On one hand, I do believe that my writings are, to me, astounding; while relative strangers backed this up with generally favorable reviews. So, once my works are there, they'll do every thing starting from captivating hearts up to enchanting imaginations passing everything in between.

On the other hand, following this idealized scenario, suggest publishers that would deal favorably with young writers and give them (somewhat) an edge. Include any other information you think is important for young authors trying to get published.

It should be a company reputable enough with good markets in its target language. I only need English but include whatever you know.

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    Interesting question. I'd recommend that, analogous to how SE sites handle shopping questions, people focus on how to find such publishers rather than only providing suggestions for individual publishers that accept such MS's (since that can change over time). Jun 30, 2012 at 18:40
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    While organizations exist to encourage young writers, I suspect you'll find very few publishers using young age as a positive selection criteria. Quite simply, there are very few readers who are specially looking for material written by young authors; so such a publisher wouldn't have much of an intended audience.
    – Standback
    Jun 30, 2012 at 18:52
  • @NeilFein, Agreed, but I don't see any way to specifically look for such publishers unless one's in this line of work which again gets us specific answers he/she knows at the time, not a generic way to find the answer whenever wanted.
    – Mussri
    Jun 30, 2012 at 20:02
  • @standback, Well, the material's not 'young' per-se but I know of some success stories (more or less) that were encouraged by the writers showing talent at a young age (a la Eragon) so it's more like one more line in the resume than anything else. The reader doesn't need to know about it unless the company is making competition (or something close) to specifically promote young authors; my question is vague on this because I don't mind either type.
    – Mussri
    Jun 30, 2012 at 20:06
  • Eragon was published and promoted by the author's parents. It was ultimately purchased by Knopf, which doesn't exactly express a preference for teenaged writers. That's a case of promoting the hell out of a book despite massive prejudice to the contrary.
    – Standback
    Jun 30, 2012 at 21:09

3 Answers 3


Every publisher does—if the manuscript is good enough.

It seems to me, that you haven't understood some fundamental concepts in the publishing industry.

It could be a focused publisher or a traditional mega-publisher that has an initiative (a campaign, a sub-division, a satellite company, a focused media channel as in a magazine, a worldwide competition, etc...).

Well, the main focus of a publisher is making money. Every initiative is supporting this goal. If they figure out that it does not make money, they cancel the initiative.

Nothing else whatsoever is really that important.

As found in Version 1 sans edits

Maybe for you. But for the publisher money is important. A publisher has no use for a "I just want to be published" writer. If your manuscript is promising enough to make money, they will take it. Otherwise not.

The contract lets me keep copyright after it's over.

As found in Version 1 sans edits

It's over when it is not longer available in "print". In the age of epublishing this means never. Like everything else, that's negotiable, but you should have someone (like a lawyer) who is good at it. Even then, the odds for an unpublished newcomer are not the best.

Talking about epublishing: Why don't you do it? If you believe in what you write, why do you want to wait for the permission of a publisher? Welcome to the 3rd Millennium; publish it yourself.

Edit: Answering to the edited question

I can't go with self publishing for numerous reasons not the worst of which is the time it would require from me in school times or my financial state.

This still shows a fundamental misconception. I advise you to read the posts here about publishing, self-publishing and query letters.

If you had mentioned your legal state, I may have understood that. Maybe you need the help of your parents to self-publish, because you have not attained full age yet. I don't know something about that. But financial state isn't an issue nowadays, because you do not need (and shouldn't) pay someone upfront to publish your book. That would be vanity publishing. Also look for that keyword.

If you epublish e.g. on Amazon, they take a percentage of every sold book. But you can upload it for free.

Time is always an issue, but if you think you can save time by querying a traditional publisher, I have to disappoint you. Maybe you are lucky and the first one will take your book, but it's unlikely.

So you have to write a lot of query letters. Some editors look first on your manuscript, so the query is not as important, but some look first at the query letter, so that should be better good. And they do not want to read a letter you have written once and send to dozens of publisher. You need time to learn how to write a query letter.

Then you need patience, because it takes weeks or even months till you get an answer, if you get an answer. I don't know what you want to do in your free time during these months, but I have two brilliant suggestions (and they are brilliant, trust me):

  • Write your next book
  • Learn how to self-publish

And again, because it looks like you still do not understand it: There are no publishers who deal favorably with young writers. There are only publishers who deal favorably with writers who make them money no matter how old these writers are.

  • "Nothing else whatsoever...": By that I meant: No other criteria. As for e-publishing, I don't think I can handle that much 'diversity' in work as I am new to the whole publishing thing as you've noted.
    – Mussri
    Jun 30, 2012 at 19:58
  • "It could be an initiative...": By that I meant a publisher that has a subdivision or a satellite company that does what I said; ie. it's not the main publisher's focus.
    – Mussri
    Jun 30, 2012 at 19:59
  • Re: financial issues - Beg pardon, but self-publishing can still run into a tidy sum. Even an MS poised to capture hearts, enchant imaginations, etc., will greatly benefit from a good (paid) editor, a good (paid) cover designer, and whatever publicity initiatives one can muster.
    – Standback
    Jul 2, 2012 at 8:53
  • @Standback, "will benefit" does not mean "have to have". Besides that, there are sites where you can get decent covers for free or a low price. Editors can be found in the family or among friends if expenses must be kept low. Nothing is perfect. Jul 2, 2012 at 11:05
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    You get what you pay for. There are no free lunches.
    – Standback
    Jul 2, 2012 at 12:11

I think that there are a couple of big misunderstandings in your post, which I'll address individually.

First, to the best of my knowledge there is no publishing company which prefers or even has a distinct policy for teen-written work. However, any publishing company would be happy to publish such a work if the book is good enough. And that's a big if. The reason that so few teenage novels are published is because almost all of them are rubbish, and it has nothing with an explicit or implicit bias against young authors. If anything, a teenage author presents an interesting marketing opportunity, so given a high-quality manuscript, I expect that most publishers would be pleasantly surprised that it was from a teenage author.

If you're going to approach publishing houses, though, some things to keep in mind. First, read up on industry standards for query letters and other submission guidelines. Don't mention your age in your queries --- adult writers don't do that, and you want to be treated like an adult. Many publishing houses don't accept unagented manuscripts, so you may be better off querying agents rather than publishers at the start.

Finally, you seem to have a fundamental misunderstanding of the way that copyright and contracts work. Rather than explain it here, I recommend this guide, which covers the main points, including the question of who "owns" the copyright to your book and how long contact terms last.

  • Can you recommend any more thorough guides? Particularly ones that focus a bit more on the terminology and common legal practices used in publishing with publishing companies?
    – Mussri
    Jul 2, 2012 at 5:38

If you're still in high school, you could enter the Scholastic Novel Contest. They'll take up to 50 pages of your manuscript and an outline. If you're chosen, you'll be given mentoring to finish the book, and it will be published by Scholastic.

  • Alas; not international :/
    – Mussri
    Jul 3, 2012 at 14:40

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