My best advice on how to encourage and support a child writer in the age of self-publishing…
THE OLYMPIC APPROACH
A friend asked me this morning about hiring a promo company for her friend’s Middle Grade book (h/t to JA Belfield for looking out for her friend). After dispensing my normal advice about MG being a For Love Only field of publishing for indies, she mentioned that the author was really her friend’s child. At which point, ALL MY ADVICE CHANGED. Because raising a writer and encouraging them in the age of self-publishing doesn’t necessarily mean throwing them into the Amazon waters as soon as they put a book together.
***My best advice is to let children remain Amateur (in the Olympic sense of pursuing World Class Excellence without pay) until they are adults and old enough to decide if they want to go Professional and make this writing gig into a business.***
Below are details of that conversation to illuminate why I chose this path for my own son and how it’s worked out spectacularly well – better even than I could have hoped (spoiler alert: he’s a Pro Writer now and also going to college in the fall in Aerospace Engineering).
With Julie’s permission, I’m including the whole conversation. (Mostly because I need to go write my own book today!)