You’ve heard of the phrase “elephant in the room,” right? According to Merriam-Webster, it’s “an obvious major problem or issue that people avoid discussing or acknowledging”. Heh. Sounds a lot like a certain underserved market in the publishing world…
Today, I’m talking about the New Adult (NA) stigma.
Writers are often discouraged from writing in this yet-to-be-established category because it’s too risky. Agents and publishers are looking for solid, saleable books. There’s no market for it. There’s no—
Whoa, hold on. It’s not saleable? There’s no market? I beg to differ.
I think we’re seeing more and more support for this category every day. People want to read NA/Upper YA books. The problem is shelving.
I don’t know about you, but I refuse to miss out on awesome stories because writers feel disheartened by the odds. It’s not as if the publishing industry doesn’t like NA; it’s just that they need numbers, reasons, proof that there’s a following before they'll get on board. So, that’s what we’ll give them.
I don’t think you guys realize how much power you have as readers and consumers. If you buy it, they will bend. (Read that again and imagine me whispering it Field of Dreams style. If you buy it, they will bend… *Grins*)
First things first, we need more visibility. If we can’t start with physical bookstores, we’ll start with their digital counterparts. There’s plenty of “shelf space” there. All we need is for one of the so-called giants to agree. The rest will follow.
This is where I’d love to hear your ideas. How can we get NA out there? Start an e-mail campaign to Amazon, asking for NA or Upper YA to be made a separate category? Send post-cards to B&N headquarters, requesting the same? Eat cookies until we come up with a better plan? Let’s hear it, ladies and gents! :)