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View Full Version : New Adult books: how do editors and agents view them?



annetpfeffer
12-18-2012, 04:44 AM
So called "New Adult" books, featuring characters who are college-aged, are starting to come out and hit the bestseller lists; e.g. My Favorite Mistake (NY Times bestseller) and Beautiful Disaster and Thoughtless (both acquired by Simon & Schuster). But most of these new adult books, including the three I just mentioned, were originally self-published.

As I understand it, publishers have not traditionally recognized the New Adult category (except for St. Martin's Press). Is that changing? Are publishers acquiring New Adult manuscripts? And are they categorized as children's books, as the YA books are, or as adult books?

AshleyEpidemic
12-18-2012, 05:13 AM
I can't give you an answer, but I am curious myself. My past two novels fall into this currently awkward genre. I asked a similar question in the YA forum of if YA can transition. I will likely query the project as an adult novel when the time comes.

KalenO
12-18-2012, 05:57 AM
I think its really too soon to have a definite answer on this because a lot of publishers, editors and agents are reevaluating their stances even as we speak and don't have an answer themselves.

Other than the examples you cited, Tammara Webber's EASY and Cora Carmack's LOSING IT were what first got people sitting up and taking another look at New Adult, and those were only a couple months ago. Since then there have been a couple more deals labeled 'New Adult' on publisher's marketplace. Some have been listed under Young Adult and some under Adult, so its clear from the language that no two publishers are viewing NA the same way. For instance, just a couple days ago Sophie Jordan (a bestselling author already, so not a debut writer, take that into account) sold a new adult trilogy in a good deal. It's set in a college but the deal was listed under Young Adult on PM. Another new adult deal a couple months ago was listed under Fiction: Debut on PM, by comparison.

Its worth noting that all the new adult deals seen so far seem to be contemporaries with heavy romantic and even erotic elements to them. So far, I don't think there have been any examples of sf/f or other genre fare with college age protags under the new adult label.

Edited to add: Webber, Carmack, McGuire and a couple others like Abbi Glines' SEABREEZE were self-published successes before they were acquired by a publisher like you mentioned, but there have been a couple new adult deals made with previously unpublished novels. Shannon Stoker and Sophie Jordan's deals were for new, non-self pubbed manuscripts. A number of smaller publishers and e-publishers like Entangled have been expanding to look at New Adult submissions for awhile now as well, I believe.

annetpfeffer
12-18-2012, 07:56 AM
Its worth noting that all the new adult deals seen so far seem to be contemporaries with heavy romantic and even erotic elements to them. So far, I don't think there have been any examples of sf/f or other genre fare with college age protags under the new adult label.



Thanks for pointing that out. All the books that I know of in this category are in fact contemporary romances, or erotic romances, and I was curious if New Adult was showing up in any other genre. I guess the answer, for now, is no.

FCameron
12-22-2012, 04:31 AM
I've been curious as well and bookmarked these links.

GalleyCat What is New Adult Fiction? (http://www.mediabistro.com/galleycat/what-is-new-adult-fiction_b61036)

Finding Bliss blog, guess post on new adult genre (http://laurahoward78.blogspot.com/2012/08/guest-post-new-adult-genre-with-allie-b.html#more)

I'm confused on the age range: 18-23 or 18-25?

WriterWho
12-22-2012, 04:39 AM
Random House's new digital imprint Flirt is specifically designed for New Adult. I write romance/erotica, but it's all New Adult. Aimed for readers 19-30 (right around there).

MrsBrommers
12-26-2012, 04:24 AM
My agent and I were discussing the genre last week, and she had said it's one of those hazy genres that hasn't had it's breakaway hit yet...but there's definitely interest from New York publishers now. The success of some of these self-published NAs has New York going, "Oooh, shiny." Quite a few are looking to acquire, though I'm not sure what editors the agents would submit to, if YA or adult editors. As is so often with YA, I think what will be key to a New Adult's success is going to be the voice.

frankiebrown
12-26-2012, 04:41 AM
I'll also add KMM's Fever books as a prominent New Adult series. I'm not sure if they're specifically marketed as New Adult, but they do feature strong coming-of-age themes and the protag's a 22 y.o. in college.

Moon Daughter
01-11-2013, 11:30 PM
I know Entangled Publishing had a New Adult section on their website, but have subsequently taken it down. I'm not sure if that's a sign that the term New Adult isn't going to become of anything, or if they just feel like it's just not present enough in the industry to keep up with that category on their site. We'll see some day. Personally, I'd love for there to be a New Adult category.

P-Jay
01-11-2013, 11:59 PM
I will be keeping a close eye on this thread, as my MS is New Adult.

After getting many opinions, I've come to a conclusion that for now, New Adult is still considered Adult, simply due to the age of the characters.

I highly suspect NA will make a name for itself in the near future. I mean, before YA was introduced, there was only Adult and Children's, right? Then YA came in and "claimed" the teenage years.

Aggy B.
01-12-2013, 01:22 AM
Its worth noting that all the new adult deals seen so far seem to be contemporaries with heavy romantic and even erotic elements to them. So far, I don't think there have been any examples of sf/f or other genre fare with college age protags under the new adult label.


I actually received a response to a query of my NA Steampunk novel that told me agents who rep Speculative Fiction were less likely to understand the NA abbreviation or to recognize it as a category than those dealing with Contemporary/Literary fiction.

wampuscat
01-12-2013, 03:02 AM
Kristin Nelson's blog called New Adult a "hot trend" today when talking about what she read over her holiday break. (Unless she was referring to historical?) Although she did say no to it. http://pubrants.blogspot.com/


-- So a previous work from this writer. I even remembered it. It was historical and a "new adult" work but I didn't think it was right for me despite this becoming a hot trend.

KTC
01-12-2013, 05:21 AM
I saw two agents put out a call for New Adult on Twitter this week. It's happening. And it's happening now. Despite all the, "New Adult is NOT a market" outrage.