E-Publishing Part 2: The Way of My Future?

I’ve had to sit on this news for a while until it was official, but now it is I can declare it (and you don’t know how hard it’s been not to tell anyone!).

The e-publisher I sent the horror novel, SUFFER THE CHILDREN to early in August came back to me to say they really liked it and offered a contract. However, the proviso was I had to make major revisions because at present it’s a young adult novel and they only publish adult novels.

The protagonist of the novel is a 14-year-old girl. In spite of this, I never saw it as a young adult novel. It’s a horror novel in which the main character happens to be a teenager. It has been suggested before (many times, if the truth be known) that if I want it published, one of two things has to happen to it. One, it’s marketed as a YA book. Two, it’s rewritten to make the characters older.

My argument has always been that there are plenty of books out there with teenage protagonists. Many of Stephen King’s books (and he has always inspired my horror writing) have teenage protagonists. However, it seems the world has changed. When Stephen King started writing, in the 1970s, ‘young adult’ was not a category – you had adult books and you had children’s books. But I am not Stephen King, and it seems that nowadays an unknown writer is not in a position to dictate what market her books should go to – she has to conform to existing prerequisites.

I have been thinking long and hard about this since I got the offer from Lyrical Press. Ultimately I had two choices. Accept the offer and rewrite the book with the characters all 18 or over, or turn it down and continue to market the book, but as a YA novel.

I don’t really want to be a YA writer – I have no further ideas for YA books and can’t follow this one with any more, for starters. And although I was once a teenager myself, that was a long time ago and the world is a very different place now. I don’t pretend I can understand today’s teenagers, and am not sure if I really want to put myself in their world. It’s more a case of, yes, been there, done that, grown out of it, glad it’s over, thank you very much.

Which means that I have to accept that this novel needs to be reborn in a new incarnation – adult horror. There are a few major logic points I will have to change to make the plot work with an 18-year-old instead of a 14-year-old, but I have been thinking about this and I have some ideas.

So, I am happy to be able to say I have signed the contract, and am doing the rewrites, and my book will be available as a e-book from Lyrical Press in the next 18 months or so – hopefully. Exciting news indeed!

So it would seem that the future for SUFFER THE CHILDREN is as an e-book. I am happy to accept this. The only disappointing thing is that with e-books there are no signing sessions, so the frequent fantasy I entertain of fans lining up to get my autograph on the title page of my novel will have to remain a fantasy for just a bit longer.

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5 comments so far

  1. ralfast on

    Congratulations on getting the contract and good luck on your rewrite.

  2. Cat Hellisen on

    YA is about age, yes, but it’s also about tone – I figure if it’s an easy rewrite to make the character 4 years older, then tonally the book probably wasn’t very YA.

    Enjoy the revision process, and congrats on the sale.

    • sayssara on

      I agree, Cat, and it’s why I never thought it was YA. I just had a lot of people tell me contrary over the years.

      In any case, I will get on with the rewrite!

  3. sputnitsa on

    Congratulations!!!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ You must be so excited. ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

    • sayssara on

      Yes! Yes!! Yes!!!


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