I’ve been thinking and have decided that I will write a young adult book and will become a millionaire author. I’m going to just write something like Twilight. I’ll publish it on Amazon and watch the $$$-bills stack themselves *chi-ching* How hard can it be? A bunch of people are doing it, so why can’t I?
I swear I can almost hear these thoughts telepathically pouring out of many aspiring and new authors. Of course, most don’t go as far as expressing it in so many words, but under their dismissive, offhand comments, the essence of the message is there. Though I have, on a few occasions, actually heard a couple of them speak these thoughts out loud. Really?! For Pete’s sake!
There is no denying that a few talented authors have seen the type of results that can make even the most seasoned financier go weak at the knees. There are a few stories of authors who have achieved overnight success with their YA books. We’ve heard the tales. We’ve seen the book deals, movies, merchandise, fame and fortune that some of them have reached. The staggering accounts sound like fairy tales, don’t they? Enough to make anyone wish it happened to them.
But . . . these things don’t just “happen.” More talent and work than people realize go into the creation of a book. Many bestsellers take years to write, take battalions of people to get in perfect form for publication, take more than just a whim to generate the millions these authors dream of.
Oh and, news flash, they also take respect for the genre and its dedicated, passionate readers.
Because when YA fans see someone approaching the genre dismissively and assuming things about them as an audience, they will band together and will make a consorted effort to inform you about the error of your ways, while, at the same time, pointedly avoiding your book like the plague. I have seen it happen to several authors who have come into the YA genre with dollar signs in their eyes and contempt for its readers.
Writing YA has to be about passion and love for the genre. The author must enjoy reading and writing stories of hope, adventure, and discovery. Only then, lovers of the genre will accept these authors, knowing that their books truly embody the essence of YA.
If you write young adult fiction, you have to do it because there’s nothing else you’d rather do. Any other reason is bogus.