Friday, June 14
Is New Adult Just Steamier Young Adult? And What Does That Mean for YA?
It's always exciting when a new genre or market appears in the writing world, and New Adult writers have finally broken though the wall and have become their own market. (Way to go NA authors!) However, their market link on Amazon appeared as a subgenre of romance (and only in Kindle e-books), and that got me thinking about what New Adult is and how it fits into the marketplace.
I read a lot of book review blogs, and I see a lot of New Adult titles popping up there. I've heard NA writers do readings and sat with them on panels. I'm not sure I've ever seen a NA title that wasn't romance in some aspect.
A look through the NA covers on Goodreads is pretty much all romance. Plots often surround the intensity of the teen experience, yet with more adult sexual encounters. Characters are typically in the 18-25 range, but still dealing with "teen" issues, just on a more adult stage.
The more I thought about it, the more I started to wonder...
Is New Adult just Young Adult with slightly older characters and steamier sexual situations?
Going from high school to college does up the ante for sex, so being more adult there is realistic. It's also not surprising to see its popularity since romance is one of the top-selling genres out there, and adults make up 55% of young adult book buyers. Giving those readers the same emotional intensity plus sex has got to be a huge draw. I've seen plenty of reviews where the only negative was, "I wish the characters acted a little older." They always struck me as an adult reading a young adult novel and wishing it was more, well, adult.
If so, then what might this mean for the young adult market?
If a large chunk of those 55% start reading NA titles instead, is a big drop in YA sales looming on the horizon? Is NA going to be the next big boom?
Chances are, all it'll take is the NA version of Twilight to launch it.
It'll be interesting to see where things go and how this shakes out.
(ETA: Commenter Juliana Haygert linked us a great post she wrote on what New Adult is and why it's not just YA with sex) It's nice to see the NA writers out there educating readers about this new market. I also think one reason this attitude exists, is that right now, romance is a major focus of the NA market. Considering the power of romance and the tenacity of romance writers, this isn't surprising.
What are your thoughts? How do you feel about the New Adult market and how it might affect the Young Adult market?