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scribbledoutname
07-15-2013, 04:05 AM
Can't tell if it's an actual marketing category now or if it's still a sort of movement that hasn't really taken off. If it does take then a lot of my stories would be "new adult", what with my college age students and characters who have left school and just stepped into the world :P

Pearl
07-15-2013, 06:46 AM
I would say it has taken off. It's gaining more attention and more readers. It is an actual marketing category, and I believe it will change how books are categorized. Will all books have age categories for now on, or will it evolve into something else?

frankiebrown
07-15-2013, 07:15 AM
It is definitely "a thing." Many agents and editors are requesting it.

GingerGunlock
07-15-2013, 07:25 AM
The only reason I've heard of New Adult and know it's A Thing™ is because of my AW membership. It isn't something I've encountered in my little corner of the library world, and I'm still a little unclear regarding what it's supposed to mean exactly.

TudorRose
07-15-2013, 09:52 AM
New Leaf agent Suzie Townsend and her authors discuss it in a podcast here:

http://cleareyesfullshelves.com/blog/podcast-ep7

(about 48 minutes)

Buffysquirrel
07-15-2013, 03:12 PM
Yeah, I've seen a lot of lit agents asking for it.

shadowwalker
07-15-2013, 04:25 PM
Where I get confused is when people talk of New Adult as a genre. But YA confuses me in that regard, too. :Shrug:

Toothpaste
07-15-2013, 04:45 PM
I'm so disappointed. I thought NA was going to be a category that would allow those previous books that were a bit in a no man's land, set in college, etc, to have a spot on the shelf now because there was a marketing category. But now it looks like all it is is racy YA. Characters just 18 being sexy. Basically YA finding a way to cash in on the 50 Shades trend. While I have absolutely no qualms about those books having a place, I'm just disappointed that it seems less racy books involving characters that age still have no marketing category. Boo-urns I say.

Torgo
07-15-2013, 05:18 PM
I'm so disappointed. I thought NA was going to be a category that would allow those previous books that were a bit in a no man's land, set in college, etc, to have a spot on the shelf now because there was a marketing category. But now it looks like all it is is racy YA. Characters just 18 being sexy. Basically YA finding a way to cash in on the 50 Shades trend. While I have absolutely no qualms about those books having a place, I'm just disappointed that it seems less racy books involving characters that age still have no marketing category. Boo-urns I say.

This is essentially my experience with it. I'm also getting the sense that this is an agents' and editors' category, and not actually a retailers' or readers' category yet.

lolchemist
07-15-2013, 05:20 PM
Toothpaste, that's not true at all! Listen to this podcast (it's different from the one linked above but by the same people) and it's totally what you were imagining and much much more! We the authors actually have a chance at being trailblazers in the genre because it's still so young and malleable. People just need to sharpen their pencils and write awesome books about the college life or about moving out of mom and dad's home and finding your own place and getting a grown-up job! It's awesome, finally a category for this demographic instead of having to treasure-hunt through the fiction shelves for hours!

http://cleareyesfullshelves.com/blog/podcast-episode3

Toothpaste
07-15-2013, 06:33 PM
Actually it is true, at the moment. It may change and I hope for those authors interested in doing unique different things with that age range it does. It's not a market I am personally interested in writing for. We shall see. But considering how the most successful NAs so far have been as I described, I don't see the big publishers wanting to branch out when they know they can make money this way. But I admire your enthusiasm and optimism :) . I truly hope you're right.

Filigree
07-15-2013, 06:35 PM
The female MC in my big fat fantasy novel is eighteen through most of the book - and I'd never dream of trying to market it as anything but adult. There's no graphic sex, but there is referenced sex, lots of on-screen violence, and too many braided plots for an NA novel.

If someone wanted to push me into simplifying it to make it palatable to NA, I'd be more inclined to add in more sex and violence, and just make it a big erotic romance crossover.

I'll have to check out the podcast, but I'm put off by the industry's ongoing compartmentalization. When I was technically NA, I read everything from kids' books to graphic adult literature. When I was in college, I didn't really care about validating my college existence by reading fiction in the same setting.

Lexxie
07-15-2013, 06:49 PM
I have actually read books marketed as New Adult without sex in them. I think some authors/publishers/readers coined it as being YA with sex.

I think NA could be a real age category thing, and I have seen both paranormal and contemporary NA books, mostly with at least a little bit of romance.

What I think is a little sad though is that some people seem to try to jump on the bandwagon of the 'next big thing' and write a NA book when they are usually writing something else. I recently read two NA books by an author whose Historical Romance books I love. I really didn't enjoy the NA ones.

Stacia Kane
07-15-2013, 06:58 PM
What I think is a little sad though is that some people seem to try to jump on the bandwagon of the 'next big thing' and write a NA book when they are usually writing something else. I recently read two NA books by an author whose Historical Romance books I love. I really didn't enjoy the NA ones.


Keep in mind, though, that some of us may have had that idea/wanted to write that story for YEARS, but it didn't have a real place in either YA or adult. It may not be bandwagon-jumping, in other words; it may be a "Oh, cool! Here's my chance!"

SBibb
07-15-2013, 08:10 PM
I think NA is a category that's developing. At the moment, it does seem to be primarily contemporary romance, but I think it has the potential to branch out to other genres. That's my personal hope, anyway. The manuscripts I'm working on straddle the branch between YA and adult (due to age, and partially to content), and I think they could likely be classified as New Adult. So I'm intrigued to see how it plays out in the long run.

Rhoda Nightingale
07-15-2013, 08:34 PM
What it should be is a category between YA and Adult, just a stash of fiction with a target demographic between teenagers and grownups. And for what it's worth, I think that's what it will mean ultimately. The confusion is coming in because, with 50 Shades taking off the way it did, with both its target demographic and the ages of its main characters, the most common/popular genre in New Adult now that it's becoming a Thing is erotica/romance/contemporary. None of which I write. Or read, for that matter, at least not much.

I have a WIP that would fit for the age/demographic category, but it's a dark supernatural just like everything else I write. You know how people in here always insistent that YA is a category, not a genre? I feel the same way about NA. With my fingers crossed, naturally.

frankiebrown
07-15-2013, 08:40 PM
I'm so disappointed. I thought NA was going to be a category that would allow those previous books that were a bit in a no man's land, set in college, etc, to have a spot on the shelf now because there was a marketing category. But now it looks like all it is is racy YA. Characters just 18 being sexy. Basically YA finding a way to cash in on the 50 Shades trend. While I have absolutely no qualms about those books having a place, I'm just disappointed that it seems less racy books involving characters that age still have no marketing category. Boo-urns I say.

I disagree. So far the majority of what's been published in NA is steamy contemporary romance, but that doesn't mean that NA is now defined as steamy contemporary romance. All the agents I've seen requesting NA are requesting to see something other than contemporary romance. I've also seen a few sci-fi and fantasy NA deals. I think that NA is well on its way to becoming an age categorization under which many genres fall.

WriterTrek
07-15-2013, 09:19 PM
The only reason I've heard of New Adult and know it's A Thing™ is because of my AW membership. It isn't something I've encountered in my little corner of the library world, and I'm still a little unclear regarding what it's supposed to mean exactly.
Pretty much this.


What it should be is a category between YA and Adult, just a stash of fiction with a target demographic between teenagers and grownups.
Personally I don't really see much in between the two. I guess you could call it the... what, 18-21 range maybe? Except when I was that age I considered myself a grownup, not something else, and had no desire to read stories about kids in college and whatnot.

I can understand that there's a niche market for "college stories" I suppose, but I have trouble envisioning it as a category.

There are plenty of teens (and of course older people) who read Romance without any need or desire for it to be told with kid-gloves (which seems to be what some folks are implying this category has a lot of).

I've nothing against this category mind you. It's interesting and I could see it taking off, especially in the current environment where kids are spending a lot more time in... limbo, I guess, between childhood and adulthood.

It just seems more like a niche than a major marketing category to me (personally).

Lexxie
07-15-2013, 11:38 PM
Keep in mind, though, that some of us may have had that idea/wanted to write that story for YEARS, but it didn't have a real place in either YA or adult. It may not be bandwagon-jumping, in other words; it may be a "Oh, cool! Here's my chance!"

I'm sure that's what many authors have done, and I think branching out is awesome.

lolchemist
07-16-2013, 12:08 AM
Yeah for me, I have a NA story that's been percolating in the background since 2003! I've been too busy trying to finish my 2 YA and MG projects to even seriously pay attention to it and also, at the time, the only YA-style books that were written for that age group that I knew of were the Jessica Darling series (latter books) and I Am Charlotte Simmons (not exactly YA but then again WTF is it??) Because of the tone and writing style and themes I would employ, I knew it would be more of a YA-demographic (which includes the adult readers who enjoy YA) book but of course no one is going to publish a YA book about a 21 year old girl's struggles to start her life after college and find a job and a life! (Unless it's romance-y and involves lots of shopping and brand-names, then it can be Chick-Lit.)

But yeah... it will still be another million years before I even have a chance to touch this project. I'm just excited that if I ever finish it, it will actually have a category with a name now! Not just General Fiction.

Parametric
07-16-2013, 01:19 AM
I hang out with the self-publishing crowd from time to time, and their sales records suggest that New Adult is indeed a thing. One of my editing clients stormed the charts with a New Adult romance. Big sales.

juniper
07-16-2013, 09:53 PM
So when does the Old Adult category get started?

I've read about a few new mysteries that feature older sleuths (I guess Agatha Christie's Miss Marple series was the first) - as the population ages, will there be more demand for novels that have senior citizens as main characters?

I'm not into the senior category myself yet, but will be someday, gods willing.

lolchemist
07-17-2013, 12:37 AM
Lol I actually have a story about a sassy senior citizen lady too! I need Granny Lit to definitely become a thing!! (I'm not kidding I really do have one!)

Undercover
07-17-2013, 01:03 AM
There's been an abundance of YA imprints that have been popping up (and somewhat rapidly) like Soho Teen, Merit Press, Blink (Zondervan) Poisoned Pencil and a few others. But I haven't seen many NA publishers...unless I'm just missing them.

kuwisdelu
07-17-2013, 01:19 AM
Personally I don't really see much in between the two. I guess you could call it the... what, 18-21 range maybe? Except when I was that age I considered myself a grownup, not something else, and had no desire to read stories about kids in college and whatnot.

I think there's definitely more room in there, going further into their 20s. There are certainly lots of people in their 20s who are getting settled and feel like adults, but there are also lots of people in their 20s who still feel caught between childhood and adulthood, and I think there's lot of room for stories for us. Adolescence is never-ending these days, and it's a struggle for the new adults who feel trapped there. Think of something like Lena Dunham's Girls series for an example that isn't about college.

frankiebrown
07-17-2013, 01:51 AM
I think there's definitely more room in there, going further into their 20s. There are certainly lots of people in their 20s who are getting settled and feel like adults, but there are also lots of people in their 20s who still feel caught between childhood and adulthood, and I think there's lot of room for stories for us. Adolescence is never-ending these days, and it's a struggle for the new adults who feel trapped there. Think of something like Lena Dunham's Girls series for an example that isn't about college.

And then of course there's the upper-spectrum YA audience who will most definitely want to "read up" to NA books.

Satori1977
07-17-2013, 05:38 AM
I have had several story idea with MC's in their early twenties. I was told those stories don't sell (this was years ago). So I would either put the idea aside, or bump up the age of the character. Which I hated doing. It didn't feel right. So I am tentatively excited about New Adult. Thought honestly I wish they would call it something else.

kaitie
07-17-2013, 06:09 AM
This might end up being crazy ramblings, so apologies if so.

I'm not a fan of the "new adult" category, and I've been trying to place my finger on why. I think, though, that the reason is because I feel like it's more limiting in some ways, as if it's telling readers "if you're this age, you should read this" the way we do with children's books.

I can understand why it's important for children's books to be designated by age. You want to be able to pick a book that is in line with what your child is capable of reading. Granted, I know myself and a lot of kids who always read above level, but I think it's useful to know if you pick up a book for a first grader that it will be the appropriate level.

Young adult kind of irks me in some ways because I feel in a way that it's saying teens shouldn't be reading adult books, that they're supposed to be reading young adult. At the same time, even in that case, I don't mind too much because I can understand the idea that teens in particular have a different mindset that adults in some ways and might want to be able to read stories about people in a similar age range with similar experiences (I never particularly wanted to read about high school because high school sucked, but I know I'm not everyone).

New adult, though, just feels like a way to say "hey, you guys should be reading this instead of adult books." It's like we're declaring that the age group should want to read these books, and at the same time, has a feeling (to me) that it's wrong to read something else.

I guess that's what gets me. I feel like it's a way to say "you're wrong for not wanting to read these because they're designed for you." I think it's wrong that books with college-aged characters are turned down because of the age, but at the same time, I dislike categorizing them as such. And honestly, I could have sworn I once read that college kids don't read as much in general just because they're too busy with college.

I've also heard from a few people who read the genre that the reason they like it is because it can be more racy than YA, in which case, I'm not sure I see much point in bothering with a separate category. If that's the case, I'm guessing a lot of YA readers will gravitate towards it, in which case it's still being read by young adults, and adults reading it are already adult readers.

Like I said, rambly post of nonsense, but I just dislike the distinction and am not sure it serves any real purpose other than to designate what a certain group of people "should" or "shouldn't" be reading. I'm a bigger fan of categories based on style and story because at least then there isn't a sense of making an insider/outsider situation.

kaitie
07-17-2013, 06:15 AM
And then of course there's the upper-spectrum YA audience who will most definitely want to "read up" to NA books.

I started reading adult books when I was 12. Why does there need to be a different category for kids who want to "read up?"

Belle_91
07-17-2013, 06:19 AM
I would love to read some smart NA about the challenges it is being in your 20s. I'm 22 right now, so it'd be really easy for me to identify with a character going through getting ready to graduate (like me) struggling to find a job (like I will lol). I think this could be really cool.

Like others, I think it will branch out. There will be paranormal NA, romance NA...just like there is in the YA genre. At least, that's what I'm hoping. I think it's all really exciting.

eleutheria
07-17-2013, 06:20 AM
I started reading adult books when I was 12. Why does there need to be a different category for kids who want to "read up?"

I did the same at the same age. I was introduced to the new adult category here on AW, and I can say that at that time in my life (I'm 27 now), I had no desire to read a specific age-group category. I read anything that was good, simple as that, and felt no need to categorize it at all.

frankiebrown
07-17-2013, 06:41 AM
I started reading adult books when I was 12. Why does there need to be a different category for kids who want to "read up?"

I doubt there are terribly many people who read exclusively young adult, new adult, or adult fiction books. No one's saying you have to read NA after you read YA but before you read adult. There is no "need" or "should" involved. I think there's just probably a large audience of teens from 15-18 who would want to read characters in their early twenties. I know I would've wanted to.

Belle_91
07-17-2013, 07:07 AM
I doubt there are terribly many people who read exclusively young adult, new adult, or adult fiction books. No one's saying you have to read NA after you read YA but before you read adult. There is no "need" or "should" involved. I think there's just probably a large audience of teens from 15-18 who would want to read characters in their early twenties. I know I would've wanted to.

Agreed. Even in high school, I knew I wanted to be a museum curator. I would have LOVED to read a book about a girl who gets an internship at this high end museum and goes to galas in beautiful dresses, and gets to work with rare books and artifacts. Maybe even beautiful dresses from the past. *sigh* I guess I'll just have to write it. :)

kuwisdelu
07-17-2013, 08:39 AM
I started reading adult books when I was 12. Why does there need to be a different category for kids who want to "read up?"

I don't think there needs to be one, but I can see why it's convenient to have categories that basically describe "if you want to read about characters around X age and facing the kinds of challenges you face when you're X years old, here they are."

lolchemist
07-17-2013, 08:42 AM
kaitie, It's not as much about telling readers what they *should* read based on their age but more about helping them find what they are looking for quicker. For example my book store has a section for gay books and African American books. They are DEFINITELY not saying these are the only books gays/African Americans should read or that nobody else should read them, they are just making it easier for people to find the books they are looking for (and from a marketing/money-making perspective, they are increasing the chances of the customer finding more books to be interested in and buy.)

When I was little, most of the libraries and bookstores I went to had all the kids books and teen books all mixed up and without the aid of the internet, it was a pain sorting through everything. A lot of books didn't even have blurbs! My favorite place was the library that had the teen books separated on one narrow shelf. I discovered Judy Blume that way!

I think publishers realize that due to the economy and everything else, 20-somethings are taking a longer time being stuck in limbo before they get their lives going and I think they really want to cash in on this demographic by catering to them with *Their very own shelf.*

A.P.M.
07-17-2013, 04:08 PM
*Is writing an erotic NA that features superpowers on blog*

I have had that college story bouncing around in my head for ages, but I was stopped by one thing--Being told over and over that people don't read college stories because only about 30% of people go to/went to college and the vast majority won't relate to it.

So when the whole NA thing started, I heard "College settings!" and went to town. XD

I'm wondering if this means that more people in general are heading to college, or that more high schoolers expect college in their future and thus are interested in reading about it?

I'm curious about the primary audience for college-based NA--Actual "new adults," like 18-26 year olds, or 15-18 year olds who want to read about what their future may be like? Or maybe even middle or older adults who want to relive those college glory days?

I think it's fun. I look forward to more NA, especially more fantasy or sci fi NA like Lev Grossman's The Magicians.

kaitie
07-17-2013, 04:30 PM
kaitie, It's not as much about telling readers what they *should* read based on their age but more about helping them find what they are looking for quicker. For example my book store has a section for gay books and African American books. They are DEFINITELY not saying these are the only books gays/African Americans should read or that nobody else should read them, they are just making it easier for people to find the books they are looking for (and from a marketing/money-making perspective, they are increasing the chances of the customer finding more books to be interested in and buy.)


I understand that they aren't actually saying that. I guess it's the psychologist in me. It's not just that by saying "here are books for you" it feels like that to me (like I said, this is all just my odd feelings on the matter), but in a way it's also saying to the outsiders "you shouldn't read that." I'd be curious to know whether a same book in an African American section sells to as many non-African Americans as one stocked on the normal shelves, because my gut tells me it wouldn't.

In my mind, it's creating a category that doesn't need to exist that is separated by people rather than the story.

Like I said, I know this isn't really the purpose. I get that. I just also know this is the reason I'm not a big fan of it, too.

lolchemist
07-17-2013, 04:44 PM
I'd be curious to know whether a same book in an African American section sells to as many non-African Americans as one stocked on the normal shelves, because my gut tells me it wouldn't.

I bet it doesn't. I'm sure most non-African American people would just pass by it like 'Oh, not for me.' But if the exact same book was mixed in with 'normal' books, like for example On Beauty by Zadie Smith, then everyone would buy it and pat themselves on the back for being soooo open-minded :rolleyes.

kaitie
07-18-2013, 02:34 AM
To clarify, by "normal" I mean defined by genre, rather than person groupings. All the bookstores I go into do this differently, and I'm not sure of a word for it right now. My brain is fried.

You do have a point, though. It might be that a lot of people would buy it because they want to appear open minded, rather than people passing it by intentionally. I think the racism thread is getting to me.

Also, it's been a hell of a long week, so maybe I'm just more negative than usual in general.

Liosse de Velishaf
07-21-2013, 10:13 PM
I know a lot of people who are writing books they think could be marketed as NA in many genres. I have tons of story ideas about characters that age, across genres.

But what's currently being published and marketed currently is definitely steamy romantic contemp. Obviously, I'm on the side hoping that will change.

As far as age categories, I agree with the folks saying it's not a prescriptive label, it's a descriptive one. People aren't trying to claim what's "proper" for people to read, just making note of a category of books that is currently becoming popular in commercial fiction.

/linguistics analogy

I think it's worth noting again that very few people read to category. Most people I know reading YA are adults (although I'm sure I know more adults now than teens), and looking at the 50 Shades argument, most people who read that were not NAs, but quite a few older women (and men?), as well.

juniper
07-21-2013, 10:51 PM
I think it's worth noting again that very few people read to category. Most people I know reading YA are adults (although I'm sure I know more adults now than teens)

I'm sure there's been research done on this, and probably at least a few discussion here -

What's the % of teens reading YA vs adults reading YA?

dangerousbill
07-21-2013, 11:19 PM
Can't tell if it's an actual marketing category now or if it's still a sort of movement that hasn't really taken off.


I appears by now that publishers built it, and readers came.

DB

Samsonet
07-21-2013, 11:32 PM
I was told that NA was just YA with sex. Neither genre appeals to me, if I could be fully honest, for a similar reason that Kaitie mentioned: there's this feeling of "it's about people your age, so you should read them."

People my age appear to be some of the most antisocial, misandrist, misogynist, racist, selfish, slut-shamey and stupid people on earth. What happened to all the brilliant, likable stars of children's books?

(of course, I probably just haven't found a good YA yet.)

Liosse de Velishaf
07-22-2013, 12:22 AM
I was told that NA was just YA with sex. Neither genre appeals to me, if I could be fully honest, for a similar reason that Kaitie mentioned: there's this feeling of "it's about people your age, so you should read them."

People my age appear to be some of the most antisocial, misandrist, misogynist, racist, selfish, slut-shamey and stupid people on earth. What happened to all the brilliant, likable stars of children's books?

(of course, I probably just haven't found a good YA yet.)


I'd like to posit that they're a bit young, maybe, but it's lack of social pressure in their contexts rather than an inherent feature of people that age which reveals the truth about these people as opposed to adults who have to worry more about social stigmas in acting as they might like to.

Roxxsmom
07-22-2013, 04:02 AM
So is New adult just based on the ages of the characters (early to mid twenties, I would assume), or is it more focused on stories that deal with the sort of things that modern twentysomethings face? Or are they stories written in the style you see with a lot of YA (first person, present tense narratives, lots of snark) but with slightly older protagonists?

As the kids who grew up with the current style of YA fiction continue to age through the market, will be see marketing niches specifically aimed at thirtysomethings, then middle aged adults, then golden years etc?

I'm curious, because my fantasy novel has (like many do) pov characters who are in their early to late twenties (protag. is about 23-24, his friends are 22 and 29). But while their age influences the story in some ways (because of where they are in their lives--not kids, but not part of the "establishment" yet either), it's not "about" being zany, madcap twentysomethings trying to finish college and establish themselves professionally. It's a fantasy novel, and that's how I planned on querying it.

I'm puzzled at the perceived need, actually. I've never noticed a shortage of stories where the protagonists are in their twenties, at least not in the genres I've read.

Liosse de Velishaf
07-22-2013, 04:13 AM
So is New adult just based on the ages of the characters (early to mid twenties, I would assume), or is it more focused on stories that deal with the sort of things that modern twentysomethings face? Or are they stories written in the style you see with a lot of YA (first person, present tense narratives, lots of snark) but with slightly older protagonists?

As the kids who grew up with the current style of YA fiction continue to age through the market, will be see marketing niches specifically aimed at thirtysomethings, then middle aged adults, then golden years etc?

I'm curious, because my fantasy novel has (like many do) pov characters who are in their early to late twenties (protag. is about 23-24, his friends are 22 and 29). But while their age influences the story in some ways (because of where they are in their lives--not kids, but not part of the "establishment" yet either), it's not "about" being zany, madcap twentysomethings trying to finish college and establish themselves professionally. It's a fantasy novel, and that's how I planned on querying it.

I'm puzzled at the perceived need, actually. I've never noticed a shortage of stories where the protagonists are in their twenties, at least not in the genres I've read.


I'm pretty sure the category is about the character age, but once you get out of mandatory schooling, a lot of life stuff is no longer different by default from the lives of older people.

I agree there doesn't seem to be a lack of books with protags of this age. I think part of it is authors writing a certain type of story, involving kids in college, and not being able to find a market for them. So they decided to create one.

Samsonet
07-22-2013, 10:47 AM
Since my last post was quoted and I don't want to change it, I'd like to add here that I wasn't trying to bash YA. As I said, I probably haven't found a good one yet.

Liosse de Velishaf made a very good point.