Publishing a book these days can be a relatively simple process. Various online platforms allow you to publish your own book and even make a good amount of money. However, can a minor publish their own book?

A minor can publish their own book. However, the minor will most likely need a parent or guardian to negotiate and sign contracts. Additionally, many publishing companies require a parent’s consent to publish a minor’s book.

The rest of this article will discuss how old you have to be to publish a book and the steps to take to publish a book as a minor. Let’s get started!

How Old Do You Have To Be To Self-Publish a Book?

Writing a book is a huge accomplishment. Many people write books, but not everyone publishes their books. While you might think you won’t be able to publish a book until you’re 18, that’s not necessarily true.

You can self-publish a book at any age. However, minors wishing to self-publish a book typically have to have a parent or guardian negotiate prices and sign contracts to ensure the juvenile doesn’t get taken advantage of.

Although the term “self-publish” makes you think of the author publishing their book themselves, self-publishing is just a way to publish a book without using a publishing company. Therefore, even if minors can’t publish books themselves, it’s still self-publishing when a parent or guardian does it for them.

How To Publish a Book as a Minor

Finding a publishing company that will publish a minor’s book without parental consent might be a bit challenging. However, with some parental guidance, publishing a book is entirely possible and can be done either through a publishing company or by self-publishing.

Go Through a Publishing Company

Finding a publishing company that will publish your book can be difficult, especially as a minor. 

Trying to get a publishing company to publish your book is a long process, as finding a company to publish your book is challenging no matter what age you are. So, unless you’re a professional author, it’s best to expect some difficulty.

Here are the steps to take to publish a book through a publishing company:

  1. Set your book aside for a bit. Before giving your manuscript to a publishing company, it’s best to set it aside for at least a week before reading over it again. This will provide you with a new perspective on it so you can catch any inconsistencies or errors in the manuscript.
  2. Perfect the manuscript. Most publishing companies require that you have a completed manuscript. Therefore, it’s best to have an excellent editor go over the complete document.
  3. Write a query letter. Sending a query letter along with your manuscript to a publishing house lets the company know more about you as a writer. Additionally, the letter should provide a brief pitch of your book. Therefore, make sure it’s error-free and has all the necessary information included.
  4. Hire a literary agent. Most of the time, especially for new writers, an agent is a primary way to get your book to a publishing company. A literary agent will be able to negotiate on your behalf and give you publishing advice. 
  5. Submit your book to a publishing company. After you have everything together to submit, including your finished manuscript and query letter, you’re ready to submit your book to a publishing company.

Do I Need a Literary Agent To Get Published?

If you’re a new writer or a first-time publisher, the publishing process can be challenging to wrap your head around. Therefore, finding someone to go through the process with or for you seems like an excellent idea.

You usually need a literary agent to get published at a traditional publishing company, but not always. Therefore, an agent is a good thing if you plan to publish your book through a publishing company rather than self-publishing. Literary agents will negotiate for you and offer you literary advice.

However, if you decide to self-publish, you won’t need a literary agent because you’re in control of what you decide you want to publish.

Self-Publish Your Book

One of the more realistic ways a minor can get a book published is through self-publishing. Publishing companies can be difficult to work with, as they’re only going to publish books they’re sure will make them a lot of money. So, for minors, self-publishing will likely be the best option.

Here are the steps to take to self-publish a book:

  1. Set your book aside for a bit. Just like publishing through a company, setting aside your finished manuscript for at least a week will allow you to find any errors or inconsistencies within the work.
  2. Perfect the manuscript. Whether you hire an editor to look it over (which is ideal) or edit the manuscript yourself, you have to ensure there are no mistakes or inconsistencies within your book.
  3. Choose a self-publishing platform. There are several self-publishing platforms, and choosing the right one for you is essential. For example, Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) is one of the quickest and easiest platforms to self-publish books.
  4. Publish your book. Once your manuscript is edited and ready to go, all you have to do is upload it to the platform of your choice and submit it.

How Old Do You Have To Be To Publish on KDP?

You have to be at least 18 to publish on Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). You must be of legal age to sign contracts to publish books yourself. However, an adult can publish a book for you on Kindle Direct Publishing.

The majority of self-publishing platforms will have this same rule. Since minors cannot legally sign contracts, a person over 18 is required.

Final Thoughts

A minor can publish their own book with the help of an adult to sign contracts and negotiate terms. The best option for minors looking to publish their own book is self-publishing. Although an adult will still most likely be needed through self-publishing, it’s the only way to ensure the book will be published, as publishing companies won’t accept every book sent to them.

Categories: Publishing

Ol Adams

Letter Review is currently edited by Ol Adams, who is a PhD candidate in Creative Writing, casual academic, and guest lecturer at the University of New South Wales. Ol Adams has had short stories published in leading literary journals such as Overland, Southerly, Seizure, and TEXT. Ol has had novels long listed for major awards such as the KYDUMA, has received government funding to produce plays from Create NSW and screenplays from Screen NSW, and has performed / produced professional work at major theatrical venues such as the Sydney Opera House.