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Can I publish a Short Story or Novel at my age(14)? And can I make some money off of it?

I like to write short stories and I am now writing a book. Is it possible to produce and make money off of it? And can I even publish it at my age(14)?

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Kim’s Answer

Yes, absolutely. If you love writing short stories (I do as well), use the Inkspired or Daily prompt app. Inkspired gives you multiple formats to choose from and is a great way to start getting both your audience and your name out there. No time crunch, it’s at your own pace and has a membership one time fee if you’d like more options. Daily Prompt is good for practicing and getting your ideas flowing. It gives you a prompt, as described in the title, and you then have twenty four hours to complete and publish it. It helps keeps your ideas from going stale. Wordpress is also a great tool as well. You can write as much or as little as you want at your pace and gain a following audience. As for publishing to make money, you can use Amazon Kindle Publishing and set the price. The key is to have someone edit and proofread your work so you have a fresh set of eyes. This may mean that you have to pay, so do some research and ask around. Just be careful not to spend too much on someone who claims to be a professional. The internet is full of sharks, so be cautious. Find what you can afford and budget that in and have someone you trust help finalize it. Once you have your final draft, Amazon can help tweak it and make a cover, or you can make your own cover with different apps or sites that do this. Other sites will cost more money, Amazon is free. When you’re ready, set a price, hit publish, and wait. It’s that easy.
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Hakeem Ola’s Answer

Yes, you can absolutely publish a short story or novel at the age of 14, and it is possible to make money from it. Here are the steps and considerations for publishing your work:
Steps to Publish Your Short Story or Novel
1. Write and Edit:
- Complete your manuscript and ensure it is well-edited. You may want to seek feedback from teachers, friends, or family members who can provide constructive criticism.
2. Choose Your Publishing Route:
- Traditional Publishing: Submit your manuscript to literary agents or publishers who accept submissions from young authors. This route can be competitive and time-consuming but offers professional editing, marketing, and distribution.
- Self-Publishing: Use platforms like Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), Smashwords, or other self-publishing services. This route gives you control over the process and allows you to publish more quickly.
3. Create a Cover and Format Your Book:
- For self-publishing, you will need a professional cover design and proper formatting for both print and eBook versions. There are many online resources and freelancers who can help with this.
4. Publish and Market:
- Once your book is ready, publish it on your chosen platform. Use social media, book clubs, and local events to market your book. Engage with potential readers and build an audience.
Legal and Financial Considerations
- Parental or Guardian Involvement: As a minor, you may need a parent or guardian to help with legal aspects such as signing contracts and managing finances.
- Earnings: You can make money from book sales, both in print and digital formats. Royalties from traditional publishers or self-publishing platforms can provide income, although the amount varies widely.
Examples of Young Authors
Many young authors have successfully published and made money from their work. For example:
- Christopher Paolini wrote "Eragon" when he was 15, and it became a bestseller.
- Nancy Yi Fan published "Swordbird" at the age of 12, and it was also successful.
Final Tips
- Write Regularly: Keep honing your writing skills by writing regularly.
- Read Widely: Reading a variety of genres and styles can improve your writing.
- Stay Persistent: The publishing process can be challenging, but persistence is key to success.

Publishing at a young age is entirely possible and can be a rewarding experience both personally and financially. Good luck with your writing journey!
Thank you comment icon Thanks for your encouragement! Joshua
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Elisa’s Answer

Congrats on doing the hard part -- actually writing! I would suggest entering contests for your age group, if you place in some of them, this will help you to get published later on. Here's a link on possible places to start: https://www.nshss.org/resources/blog/blog-posts/11-writing-contests-for-high-school-students-with-cash-awards/
You can self-publish on Amazon, but at this point, I would start with the contests and see how that goes. Also, find out if your school enters in the Scholastic Writing Awards, that is a very prestigious contest. I started writing short stories and a novella at your age, and later on became a screenwriter and have been writing professionally for 25 years. Good luck.
Thank you comment icon This was super helpful, thank you! Joshua
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Tom’s Answer

Yes, you can. The advice given by the others who chimed in is smart and something to follow. My only other bit of advice is this: don't expect a miracle. There are a lot of writers out there, and many of them, including myself, have been trying for years to get a great deal. If you're going to look into publishing, go in expecting to work at it and work harder than you ever have in your life. Be ready for disappointment but if you're fortunate, appreciate every success.

It's uplifting to see someone your age wanting to get into writing, and I wish you all the success you can possibly find. Another thing though, don't take criticism and reviews personally, they're designed to help you and to build your skill. As far as any negative criticism, take it in stride and keep moving forward.
And, as I always say:

Just write.
Thank you comment icon Thank you for sharing your perspective. Joshua
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Jennifer’s Answer

Hi Joshua,

It's absolutely feasible to write and publish a short story or novel at the age of 14. While it may pose some challenges, it's entirely possible to pursue this endeavor at your age. Here are some considerations for writing, publishing, and potentially earning income from your work:

1. Writing: Continue honing your craft and working on your book. Your dedication and passion for writing are invaluable, regardless of your age.

2. Publishing: There are various avenues to consider for publishing your work. You can explore self-publishing platforms and e-book options, which can allow you to share your writing with a wide audience, even if traditional publishing routes may be more challenging due to age restrictions and requirements for legal contracts.

3. Copyright and Legal Considerations: Given your age, it's important to involve a trusted adult, such as a parent or legal guardian, in discussions about copyright, contracts, and other legalities related to publishing and potentially earning income from your writing.

4. Parental Involvement: Due to legal and financial considerations, it's advisable to involve your parents or guardians in any decision-making related to publishing and earning income from your writing.

5. Potential Income: While it's possible to earn income from published work, the amount can vary widely, especially with self-publishing. Additionally, factors such as marketing, distribution, and audience reach can influence the potential for generating income from your writing.

6. Building a Portfolio: Regardless of immediate financial gains, publishing your work can serve as a valuable addition to your writing portfolio and can be a stepping stone for future opportunities in the writing and publishing industry.

Your passion and dedication to storytelling at a young age are commendable, and pursuing your writing goals can be an enriching and fulfilling experience. While there may be some logistical and legal considerations to address due to your age, your commitment to writing and desire to share your work are important first steps towards realizing your aspirations as a writer.

Best of Luck!
Jennifer
Thank you comment icon I appreciate your support, Jennifer Joshua
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Holly’s Answer

You absolutely can! The most important thing to remember though is that submitting stories to magazines is a grind. A majority of your submissions may get rejected. Remember, it's nothing personal, and it doesn't mean your story is bad. You are probably competing with hundreds of of other people, and only one or two of them may be accepted. You just have to keep searching for the perfect audience for your story! Keep submitting and don't give up.
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