Writing book proposals can seem intimidating. Writing the book was hard enough, and now you have to get other people to like it too. The number of resources for writing query letters is infinite, with published authors, agents, and publishers all weighing in on what makes a good query letter. But what about the next step—the proposal package?
Research is an important aspect of writing, often prompting authors to reach out to experts in the topics they are writing about. But things start to get complicated when we talk about fiction.
Today, there is an entire world of social media enabling authors to engage with fans, which helps them learn about marketability, understand the reception of their work, and see their audience in a whole new way. We see this popping up particularly among YA authors, who generally have a great appreciation for the loyalty and passion of their young readers. More importantly, it has opened the door for authors to adopt the additional role of a social media influencer, and the results of this new development are delightful and heartwarming, particularly in the YA community.
The Bad Sex in Fiction Award teaches us several things: first, many novels contain profoundly cringeworthy sex scenes; second, even great writers often flounder when they try to write about sex; and finally, there are plenty of editors who (perhaps begrudgingly, or perhaps because they too are at a loss for how to approach this subject) are letting these giggle-inducing scenes sneak through to publication. This state of affairs might lead us to wonder, Why is it so hard to write about sex? And, more importantly, what can editors do to help?
We all know books are categorized into different genres. There is an official committee that essentially helps publishers categorize their titles. It’s called the Book Industry Study Group, and it creates, activates, and deactivates the current BISAC (Book Industry Standards and Communications) codes. These are exactly what they say they are: codes that define industry standards.
Growing up around this library program and watching it flourish over the years inspired me to take a deeper look at young adult programs in libraries for my thesis. How have they developed over the years? What makes them “successful,” and what defines success? How are librarians identifying and then meeting their communities’ needs?