cryptogirl: (Cavan)
[personal profile] cryptogirl
So. That book, eh? I might have gone quiet in blogland, but that doesn’t mean I’ve not been busting my ass getting it in shape for the Grimly Long Publisher Hunt. Yeah, I can juggle a freelance career, being a tortured writer *and* the demands of brazen housewifery- I’m that awesome.

I need some input though, from you LOVELY POTENTIAL PEOPLE WHO MIGHT BUY MY BOOK.

The 'easy' stuff’s been done. I’ve stopped tweaking the actual content; the manuscript has been formatted according to what seems like a convention (Times New Roman 12 pt, double-spaced)*; the synopsis is *mostly* written. The things I’m dithering over are tiny, but annoying: footnotes, and genre angst.

Footnotes. As I said a while back, it’s hard not to need references when you’re dealing with mythical creatures, the history of a faraway country and two bilingual characters. Now, some of these things can be amalgamated into the main text; actually, all of them could, in theory. And I suppose footnotes pull the reader out if they have to look at the bottom of the page or back of the book. Maybe some things don’t need explained, or readers will be curious enough to hit up Wikipedia?

With footnotes for other languages, I’ve now read two of Anthony Horowitz’s Power of Five series; he deals with a non-English speaker by either having someone nearby who can conveniently translate, or just by shoving the translation next to it, thusly:

Mi aerodeslizador está lleno de anguilas,’ said Pedro. My hovercraft is full of eels.

I don’t know if this looks clunky or not. Does it?

The other bugbear is classifying the thing. Now, it falls squarely into that trendy catch-all of urban fantasy, but my angst is whether it’s that other dreaded trendy catch-all, Young Adult. Thanks to a friend, I’m lucky enough to be sitting with a direct email address of an editor at an independent publishers who deal in Young Adult sci-fi and fantasy. Their definition of YA is:

- Protagonist isn’t an adult
- No adult themes, situations or language

Wikipedia’s definition is a bit woollier, quite apart from whether the bits about the age bracket being 16-25 and the percentage of actual adult readers are right:

- Nearly always has a child or adolescent as a protagonist
- Often deals with a wide array of themes adolescents can identify with (identity, sexuality, depression, suicide, familial struggles, bullying etc)
- Contains words and stuff

Yeah OK, I’m simplifying a bit, but really the gist seems to be ‘it features a young adult and has young adulty problems in it’. That would be two ticks for my novel, then. Without spoilering, mine has:

- A teenage protagonist
- Young Adult Issuestm like mental health, familial d00m, kicking the shit out of people, trying to figure out the opposite sex, identity &c &c
- Words and stuff.

So, given that and also that the editor’s site says she only deals with agents and I have none, do I send a polite enquiry explaining I know her friend and is this suitable on the off-chance?


This would be where I rail against the parents that get YA books banned from curricula or if you’re slapping warnings on YA books you want to have a fucking long hard look at yourself, you utter dipshit.*** But another time, maybe.

* Although every publisher I look at is pedantic about different things. No em-dashes! No indentation, not even for speech! Must be at least 100,000 words! Must be printed, sacrificing forests, and posted in the actual mail!

** Yes, it’s officially a Book 2. It’s sitting at 33,820 words at the moment. I’m clearly mental.

*** Have I mentioned there’s 145 swear words in mine? Not counting ‘mild others’ because REALLY WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK
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