New Adult!

Six months ago I was saying New Adult would ever happen. Not because I didn’t want it to happen but because things move at a snail’s pace in publishing. Plus, I think the name is stupid.

But authors who had these stories and couldn’t get representation took to self publishing and made amazing leaps and bounds with their sales numbers. They proved that there is definitely a market for these books. They made it possible for me, as an agent, to ask for these books to consider for representation.

When your kids are nine you buy them books about twelve year olds. Your twelve year olds read books about sixteen year olds. The kids want to know what happens next. I’m in grade school, what happens in middle school. I’m in middle school, what happens in high school?

Why is ‘I’m in high school, what happens in college?’ not a natural progression?

I think this category is going to thrive, with or without there being a special shelves or sections at bookstores.

6 Responses so far

  1. Gravatar

    Yes. The internet is particularly well suited to any tech savvy nich that can identify what it wants. They create their own “virtual shelf” vie search aggregation. So if there’s an audience….

    I also think that college age kids and readers in their twenties don’t necessarily want to read only about kids in high school (though they still will… i still do!). We all like to relate to characters with whom we have things in common.

  2. Gravatar

    Even though the first books take place in high school, I love that Megan Mccafferty’s Jessica Darling books took us to college. I read them in high school and was eager to learn what college would be like, so I think this way of thinking could be true! At the same time, I personally want to read NA books that deal with bigger issues, not just steamier sex.

    It was interesting to see this from an agent’s perspective :)

  3. Gravatar

    Thank you! College/leaving home is the single biggest life change young people face (assuming they don’t have some tragedy befall them earlier). That time is sorely neglected in most fiction. I’m sure there’s some out there, but the odds of someone finding it without the label is slim. Why make *reading* harder than it has to be?

  4. Gravatar

    I think it will thrive too. But I also agree the name is stupid.

  5. Gravatar

    I’m so encouraged to read your opinion regarding New Adult. I had completed a manuscript, that had met all my expectations, only to discover I had a “young adult” manuscript that contains twenty somethings, sex, and bar crawling. I became depressed, realizing that this would be a struggle to sell. Thankfully, I found a home in New Adult Genre. My story fits perfectly there, and as I had developed this story, I had an audience in mind, I just wasn’t sure if I had a route that would reach them. Apparently I do!

  6. Gravatar

    18 and up can be a frightening world for a young adult if they haven’t prepared themselves. They must leave their high school days behind, enter college or the workforce, and everyone expects them to finally grow up and to take life seriously. I personally would enjoy seeing more college stories like that. What happens to the kids who choose to go to small colleges – ones that do not involve a lot of parties? Or the ones who somehow avoid the party scene at large colleges? Is there hope for good grades and a social life for a collegiate or are they destined to give up one for another? Or perhaps could we look at New Adults of the past and future rather than simply the present?

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