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age discrimination and getting published (1 Viewer)

PenCat

Senior Member
Is there age discrimination for first-time authors who aren't 28, or 32, or 21, or whatever the magic age is?

Any suggestions how to deal with whatever there is?

thank you!
 

TKent

Retired Chief Media Manager
Have you experienced it? Or just wondering? I've only submitted to magazines but can't remember any of them asking my age.
 

Blade

Creative Area Specialist (Fiction)
WF Veterans
As far as I know there is no 'age of majority' for getting published although the older you are the more likely it is that you can produce a manuscript that is worthy of publication. Standards also differ widely from one publisher to another and some may have an age barrier of sorts.:icon_shaking2:

Possibly someone who considers themselves in the 'too young' bracket could weigh in on this.:encouragement:
 

PenCat

Senior Member
my concern is that somebody might say/think: "Oh, this person is too old for us to even think about publishing their work, or looking at the submission."

Hasn't happened to me yet; I've not even submitted, but we're all familiar with age discrimination in the work place and that is why I'm asking my question about it here.

Thank you!
 

Terry D

Retired Supervisor
How would they even know your age? Publishers don't care about anything except if the book looks like it will sell. Bestselling author Lee Child was in his fifties when he was first published.
 

PenCat

Senior Member
if they don't care, then cool... I'm not an expert but my understanding is that lots of information can be gotten about you online in just a few minutes, so that could be how they'd know or learn it..

the...vector of their gnosis, so to speak..
 

TJ1985

Senior Member
Harper Lee is 89 and she found a publisher. I'm with Terry: age is not what the publishers care about. They may feel a bit nervous about having a 90 year old out doing signings for a YA novel, but I think they'd budge if the YA novel was selling nicely. This seems like one industry where what goes on between the margins matters most. The other stuff is just cake for 'em.
 

popsprocket

Retired Chief Media Manager
Remember that publishers are in the business of making money. If they receive a manuscript that they think will sell, then who the author is tends to be almost irrelevant.

Being first published at 75 might hurt your chances of earning any kind of celebrity for being young and good looking, but it won't hurt your chances of actually seeing your work in print.
 

PenCat

Senior Member
ah..ok..I'm not so worried about celebrity..more about getting my work printed and receiving checks!

;-)
 

LeeC

WF Veterans
ah..ok..I'm not so worried about celebrity..more about getting my work printed and receiving checks ;-)
I think it's more a case of listening to what popsprocket alluded to in the first paragraph, as to me that's where he really answered your question. If you've written something that catches there attention, something sufficiently well written and something they think will sell within what the specific agent/publisher is looking for, they're not going consider age or any other demographic. In this materialistic world they're interested in marketability.

Those that feel they were turned down because of some demographic are usually finding excuses. So if:

1) the book catches their attention as standing apart enough from the crowd;
2) the book is sufficiently well written and presented in a professional manner following whatever guidelines they request;
3) and the book is within a range of the stories they're looking for (various agents/publishers specialize by non-fiction, literary/commercial fiction, horror, thriller, etc. or combinations thereof);

Do your homework in building a list of potential agents/publishers (which a bit of an effort in itself). This includes looking at the list of books they've published, examining their guidelines, and looking into the contracts they might offer. If they say they're all about promoting women writers, or just publish chapbooks, children's books, "adult" fiction, or whatever, do you fit what they're looking for? Also a big turnoff is some new writer trying to wow them with how great they are (just the facts mam/man). They can spot BS from a mile off, it's what they're in the business of. There not interested in you as an individual, just if they feel your work is marketable (they'll make you out to be whatever they think most marketable).

That's what you should worry about ;-)


PS: There are well over a thousand agents in the U.S. alone that accept unsolicited submissions and are easy to find with internet searches.
 
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Riis Marshall

WF Veterans
Hello Pen

Ditto everything that's been said here.

P D James was still publishing at 92. Fast Eddie Townsend was still parachute jumping at 92. Stuff 'em if they can't take a joke.

I'm thinking about asking moderators here if I can start a sub-forum called 'The Sunshine Club'. You have to be at least 70 to join.

Go for it.

All the best with your writing.

Warmest regards
Riis
 

John Galt

Senior Member
I don't think anyone cares how old you are if you produce good work. Just like no one cares if your hair's blonde or you have purple spots on your left big toe.
 

popsprocket

Retired Chief Media Manager
I don't think anyone cares how old you are if you produce good work. Just like no one cares if your hair's blonde or you have purple spots on your left big toe.

But it should be said that purple spots on your right big toe are a big no-no in the publishing industry.
 

John Galt

Senior Member
But it should be said that purple spots on your right big toe are a big no-no in the publishing industry.
Of course, of course. This is publishing, not a circus. The day we hand publishing over to the spotted right-toe people, we may as well hand over the country to Cthulhu and his green-striped legion.
 

JustRob

FoWF
WF Veterans
At age 70 I'm not making any great effort to get my first novel published or even finish writing it, only recently having decided where it ought to end. Taking into account my other must-do pastimes and the fact that the novel is only the first part of a trilogy the whole idea of publishing is getting beyond a joke. Yes folks, there's every chance that I'll have to publish posthumorously. Have I left it too late (to become a comedian maybe)?
 
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