My bags are unpacked, my hangover has been beaten into submission, and I’ve finally gotten some hard-core shut eye; sounds like a good time to dish out what I learned at the nation’s very first YA writing conference. Below are notes taken from this conference, where a panel of top literary agents, editors, and publicists spoke about the YA landscape.
1) A good book on writing for the YA market: Writing Great Books for Young Adults
2) The YA market is considered by agents/pub houses to generally serve kids 12-18
3) There’s a hole in the market for YA books for boys
4) There’s a new contraption called Vook on the market. Check it out!
5) KitLit.com will be coming out with cell phone apps shortly
6) When blogging, don’t blog about your life. You need to give readers value-added content (contests, giveaways, writing tips, etc.). Not everyone needs to blog. If you can’t dedicate the time and create good material, then don’t do it.
7) Create a business page for yourself on Facebook, NOT a personal page. This means people will “Like” your page versus “Friending” you. Also, personal pages max out at 5,000 friends.
8) If you’re posting samples online, don’t post more than a few pages of your manuscript (Chapter 1 at most). Note: If you post more than 10% of your MS online, you can’t sell it; it’s already been “published.”
9) When promoting your blog, here are the 3 most important things: great design, guest posting, and utilizing Twitter.
10) YA market is selling better than MG market
11) E-reader /E-book numbers are growing like crazy!
12) YA nonfiction doesn’t sell as well as YA fiction
13) Paranormal is still hot in YA
14) When looking for agents, check out AAR and check Editors & Predators
15) Most e-books are read on computers, not e-readers
16) The average self-published author only sells about 150 copies, but make 4x as much money per book (in their pocket) than traditionally published authors.
17) Self-publishing/E-publishing one book won’t hurt your chances of traditionally publishing the next
Be sure to check out next year’s YA conference. If it’s as good as this year was, it’s sure to be a killer!