Publishing a Novel in 2009

A few weeks ago, I strolled into the Young Adult section of my local Borders bookseller, curious to find the ends to a few favorite series and a new book or two.  I unknowingly waltzed into a kiosk full of Twilight conversation hearts, bookmarks, and umbrellas.  This kiosk flanked two long shelves stocked only with the Twilight saga.  Intrigued, I took a spin around the nearby shelves.  Vampires.  Vampires.  And, you guessed it, more vampires. 

As an aspiring author, I thought, by gum! this could be the key to selling that first novel.  But others needed to know this information too.  So, after a few hours of perusal, I compiled this penetrating guide into the 2009 book market.  Fear not, writers!  Just follow these agonizingly easy steps and you will soon be smothered by a mob of girls throwing wads of cash at you in exchange for the fruits of your pen. 

1.  Write a vampire romance.  Yes, you guessed it.  With Stephenie Meyer taking an indefinite break from Midnight Sun, the next installment in the Twilight saga, vampire fan girls must unearth their seductive night-bound heroes in other places.  Fortunately for the fang-frenzied, one stop in the Young Adult section of a major bookseller will satisfy their cravings.  With Meyer’s saga raking in millions in print, film, and merchandise, dozens of new vampire romances have squeezed their way onto shelves. 

2.  Create your characters.  So, now that you have your genre, you need a leading lad and lady.  They must be or at least look like teenagers.  The girl can vary.  She is just a placeholder for the female reader to fill.  Make her a vampire or a strong-willed human, as long as she can fulfill the fantasy.  Your hero, however, should be darkly handsome, with chiseled features described in minute detail and eyes for your reader to drown in.  Add an aloof personality, a tortured past, and inner turmoil, and you will have every reader writing Mrs. Vampire on her notebooks.  Do not dwell on names.  Pick something mysterious, unusual, or mystical sounding.  Cassandra?  Yes.  Jennifer?  Not so much. 

3.  Craft a plot.  The plotline can vary widely, as long as you stick to a few key elements.  First of all, you need to introduce your vampire!  Either your hero or heroine should be a new student, or maybe your hero is a familiar student with a mysterious reputation.  They can traipse on whatever adventures you like as long as you include a healthy dose of loving gazes, passionate proclamations, and sizzling make-out scenes. 

4.  Pick a title.  This will hook your reader and alert them to your genre, so choose wisely for both your book and series (of course you will be writing more than one!).  You can pick something punny (Frostbite), sexual (Untamed, Shadow Kiss), cryptic (Hunted, Marked, Wicked, Huntress), dark (Night World, City of Night), or blatant (Vampire Academy, Royal Blood, Vampire Kisses), as long as it clearly reads vampire! 

5.  Design a cover.  You may not need this until later, but keep it in mind.  Either a half-naked guy and girl half turned from the viewer or a cryptic, Egyptian or Celtic object or symbol will do, as long as the style is black and Victorian. 

6.  Sell!  Yes, it is easy as that.  Send off your completed manuscript and wait for the critical acclaim to roll in. 

So, aspiring authors, you have the tools you need.  Good luck on your enterprise!  May the powers of the vampires inspire you. 

Disclaimer:  This article is not intended to be a factual or comprehensive to the real publishing market, nor is it intended to derogate the works mentioned.  It is an overgeneralization intended for the purposes of humor only. 

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