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YA (Not Young and Restless)

May 17, 2021– Happy Monday, Friends! I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend and that you got a chance to join us for our Cake for Snakes party. It was so much fun, and I’d like to thank everyone who made it happen. We’re excited to offer new sizes, formats, stories, and ideas for our readers to enjoy.

Today as we continue our theme of Writing Children’s Books, we’re going to talk about Young Adult Books and what makes them uniquely set apart from Middle-Grade Novels.

Young adult novels have the following elements:

  1. Word count-YA novels typically run between 50,000-80,000 words. YA fantasy can run as much as 100,000 words based on back story and world-building.
  2. Subject matter-Friendship, first love, and relationships are often central subjects when writing YA novels.
  3. Covers-The bottom line in ALL covers is that readers should be able to look at the book and know what type of genre it is; fantasy, dystopian, romantic, whatever it is, the cover should reflect that. Also, the cover is what intrigues the reader to pick up your book and learn more about it!
  4. Themes-Peer pressure, drug use, divorce, family conflicts, identity and finding out who they are and where they fit in the world, sexuality, transitioning from childhood to adulthood, racism, suicide, pregnancy are often themes throughout these types of novels.
  5. Age range-The age range for this reader group is 12-18 years old; however, most YA novels are read by adults ages 20-35.

YA fiction was originally introduced to shorten the gap between kid’s books and adult literature. First-person narrative with a teenage protagonist and issues that are age-appropriate make up young adult novels.  Parents should have little involvement as characters in the story when it comes to solving problems; the most important thing is that the main character is the problem solver and always comes out as the hero.

Some wonderful YA novels that I have personally enjoyed are The Hunger Games, The Maze Runner, The Book Thief, One of Us is Lying, and of course one of my most favourite books of all time, The Outsiders.

We’re always working on new projects and will be bringing you some brand new YA novels soon! Stay tuned for details, but in the meantime, check out our novel writing course here: Novel Writing Course – Pandamonium Publishing House

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Descriptions Matter

January 28, 2021- What’s the first thing we do when we pick up a book? We flip it over to read the back cover. Why do we do this? Because we want to know what’s inside! Hopefully the description of the story  intrigues us and helps us make a buying decision. How you write your book description can make or break your best selling author status! Think of your book description as a teaser for a movie. Here’s how to write a great description that can entice people to buy your book:

  1. Ask a question-Asking a question to your reader on the back cover, immediately engages your audience. For example, for my book Obsessed with Her, I posed the question, What would you do if your child was missing? How far would you go to find out what happened to her? The reader will personally and internally answer these questions on the spot! If my child was missing, I would go out of my mind, I would be beside myself. I would do whatever it takes to find her. What happened to the child? What if they never find her? I need to know and I need to read this book! See how that worked? A question posed will never go unanswered.  Obsessed with Her: Colling, L. L.: Books
  2. Leave them hanging-Give your potential reader a tiny taste of what’s in the book. My biggest pet peeve is when movie trailers give up all their best parts in the trailer; it’s so disappointing when we’ve already seen the ‘meat’ of the movie this way. Don’t make the same mistake with your book description, give your audience just enough to leave them wanting more. Here’s a great example from the book Machinia-Cybersecurity officer Damon Maxwell wakes from cryogenic sleep expecting to be ten years into his future but instead finds himself in the robot ruled empire of Machinia, 2156! Welcomed by Machinia’s omnipotent leader, the Universal, Damon learns that his extraordinary journey is part of a complex plan by the Universal to bait Machinia’s deadly enemy, the Underground into action. But the Universal’s brilliant robot aide, Nepcar, fears his leader’s dangerous scheme and pairs Damon with the beautiful and mysterious Cynthia Lhan hoping their union can prevent a catastrophe. Yet, even as the Universal’s plans fall into place an enigmatic figure appears in Damon’s life that even the mighty Universal is powerless to control. Will Damon ultimately be the destroyer of the robot race or its saviour? Machinia: Moscarella, Paul A., Goubar, Alex: Books
  3. Brief Synopsis– Could you imagine reading a book with no description? That would certainly be an odd experience! A brief synopsis of the book let’s your reader decide if they are interested enough about what’s inside to buy the book. Here’s my book Becoming James Cass as an example: It’s business as usual for James Cass, who is a doctor, a father, a husband, and a murderer. With a penchant for prostitutes and an appetite for alcohol, his life spirals out of control, one terrifying event at a time. Will he ever be able to atone for his sins? Or will his demons drag him to his grave? Becoming James Cass: Colling, L.L., Goubar, Alex: Books

The methods above work for every genre from kids books to thrillers and everything in between. When describing you book ensure that it’s intriguing to you too; always read the description from your reader’s perspective-you’ll instantly know if it works or not. We’re wrapping up Best-Seller Bootcamp January 4th-31st – Pandamonium Publishing House tomorrow, thanks to everyone who joined us during this exciting course, we hope you enjoyed it!