One Writer’s Journey

January 10, 2014

New Adult: A market more than a genre

Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 1:08 am
Tags: , ,

New AdultWhat is new adult?   That’s one of the big questions you are going to see discussed on blogs and in newsletters right now.  Why?  Because editors and agents are asking for it so writers want the parameters.  Until recently, I thought of new adult as a genre, but then I read this blog post on Writer Unboxed.

New adult isn’t a genre any more than picture book, chapter book or early reader is a genre.  New adult is a segment of the market.  Just as there are picture books that are humorous, contemporary, historic, nonfiction, fiction and more, new adult can be all of these things.  What sets it apart is the age of the intended reader.

New adult readers are . . . new adults.  They are college aged, although this doesn’t mean that they are all in college.  They are simply post high-school, meaning 18 and over and most likely no older than 26 or so.  Some of them want to read science fiction or fantasy.  Others want mysteries.  Still others want contemporary a stories.

I’ll admit that when I read these particular lines in the post, I laughed.

Uh, no. Not even close. This is wrong, wrong, wrong. So is the assumption that NA is just YA with sex. No, it isn’t. It isn’t a revamped version of chick lit. It is not only working class characters. It is not only tattooed guys or MMA fighters. Or even just romance. It’s time travel and horror. It’s science fiction and mainstream. It’s light romance, and smart romance and tough romance. Very sexy and not really.

And why did this make me laugh?  Because, to date, I have read one book billed as new adult.  It is about two college students, one of whom is a tattooed guy who just happens to be an MMA fighter.  And, I would definitely describe the book I read as YA with a lot of explicit sex.

I’ll accept that there is more to it than that and that it can be about a wide range of topics.  That’s believable.  But I’m also going to be much more choosy when I pick out my next New Adult book.  Otherwise, my next book might also be my last.

–SueBE

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