Disclaimer: I’m no expert. As always, take this post with an opinionated grain of salt. :)

Today we’re going to discuss the New Adult category—shocking, I know—and categories, in general!

First, I should admit something: I am a nomadic info-sponge. It starts with one well-intended Internet search, and then comes the distraction. One thing leads to another. Something shiny catches my eye. I wander a bit.

Because of this, I catch a variety of posts and articles—lately, NA-centric ones. You know what I’ve learned? 

There are a few bloggers who oppose NA. (Everyone gasp now!) In the spirit of education, I’ve decided to summarize their complaints/misconceptions and answer them FAQ style:


We don't need one more category clogging up our bookshelves!


Hey, change is scary. I get that. But have you thought about it this way? Cross-category markets (like NA, which bridges the gap between YA and Adult) promote reading in both categories. It broadens horizons. It blends readerships. Win, win!

As for bookshelves, there are three schools of thought here:
  1. NA could comfortably fit into the adult category. It’d be harder to find, but at least it’d have a home.
  2. Same thing with YA.
  3. Four words: E-book Revolution. No shelves.
The ever-evolving publishing landscape will probably be the judge of this one. We’ll keep you posted. :) 


This is condescending. When I was that age, I wore artsy glasses, sipped lattes, and read the classics!
 

I wear artsy glasses, too! Only when I’m on the computer, though.

…What was I saying? Oh, right.  Are you assuming these market categories are strictly targeting a demographic that small? Believe me, these books are not written with only college-aged readers in mind. What about the “adults” who remember and relate to that stage of life? What about the curious teens, looking forward to their first taste of freedom? You don’t have to be 18-26 to enjoy these books.

Let’s try a different angle.

Show of hands, who likes The Lion King? It’s rated ‘G’ and, according to the Motion Picture Association of America, contains, “…nothing in theme, language, nudity, sex, violence or other matters that, in the view of the Rating Board, would offend parents whose younger children view the motion picture. “ Do you have to be a kid to enjoy this movie? Of course not. The category—or in this case, the rating—is simply telling you what to expect. Same with NA (and YA, for that matter). :)


This is another one of those marketing schemes. Marketing is the devil!




…Did you know my background is in marketing? :) I promise, I’m not [that] evil. This niche was formed because there was a gap in fiction. Traditional categories overlooked an important stage of life, and readers demanded its representation. NA, like other market categories, benefits the reader.




Don’t write NA. You’ll never get published.


My NA paranormal romance, STRENGTH, is coming 03/07/13 from Sapphire Star Publishing. Last week, Victoria  announced a deal with Curiosity Quills, and Juliana signed with Lyrical right after.

NA is happening! :)

There you have it! Agree? Disagree? Have a question? We’d love to hear from you in the comments. Have a great week!






P.S. Our friends over at YATopia are announcing something pretty big today. You might want to check it out. ;)

Post a Comment

  1. Boy, I don't even wear artsy glasses, sip lattes and read the classics now. And I'm old! (Okay, I do try read the classics sometimes, but usually it YA.)

    You know what would be really neat to see, a listing of literary agents and publishers who are open to NA. Hopefully that list is getting bigger all the time.

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  2. I don't see why there can't be another category. Especially one that will appeal to a large amount of people.

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  3. I think NA is fascinating, and the list of reasons against it are frankly ridiculous.

    People are obviously wanting to read NA books, or else they wouldn't be getting published and no one would be talking about them.

    I wonder if it's a case of people fearing change, and in a few years once people have gotten use to NA being around no one will bat an eyelid.

    Great piece exposing the, unfounded, concerns about this exciting new genre.

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  4. @Suzi Hey, you can't go wrong with the classics. :)

    Funny you should mention that! I believe we're working on a list now. :D

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  5. @Alex J. Cavanaugh Same here! I'm of the "Sure, why not?" mindset, when it comes to these things. :) Thanks for stopping by!

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  6. @Clare I think you're right. It must be a change thing. Hopefully, in a few years, NA will be known as an established category (like YA). :)

    Thank you!

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  7. Haha! So good Carrie! I have heard all of these things and I think alot of it has to do with what you and Clare said, change. Yes change can be scarey, but it can also be both thrilling and rewarding. Breakout books like Harry Potter changed middle grade completely and what about Hunger Games??? Both great series' that expanded their categories!

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  8. NA IS HAPPENING- and I, for one, am 100% behind it! How many adults read YA? How many kids read up? This category deserves a chance. I think all of the reasons against it, are silly.

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  9. So glad I'm not the only one tempted by shiny cyber bunny trails. LOL Great post! As one of those adults who likes to look back and remember that stage life, I totally agree. :)

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  10. That's funny, I recently found myself in a web of NA-related posts too. I didn't see even ONE convincing argument as to why NA should not exist! I saw real seething anger towards the idea of NA which is just, well, silly. :/

    Maybe it comes from the misconception that YA readers only read YA, and adults only read adult books when in actual fact, most readers branch out quite often. Perhaps people think NA means a bunch of readers will only read in this niche category, when in actuality it's just giving people even MORE to read.

    Clearly the market for NA is there as it's really taken off in the last few months. I've talked to people who think even the YA category is useless so really- you can't please everyone.

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  11. There is a need for NA. And yes, it does appeal to a broader audience. People who don't think so are being obtuse.

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  12. So happy to see this category getting good PR... and that's SO neat about the YAtopia contest! Awesome.

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  13. Well said! While I'm of the belief that everyone has the right to their own opinion, I found that those who criticize harshly have issues of their own to deal with but instead of delving deep, they choose take it out on others. Too bad for them!

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  14. I wish there were more opportunities to get more PR for New Adult. Being in the marketing field as well, I look forward to your devil scheming ways, haha.

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  15. If I read one more "I don't read NA so who would?" or "it's a marketing strategy" complaint I am going to beat someone up with a book. Probably an NA one, but maybe a dictionary because that'd hurt more.
    1. Who care if YOU don't read it? I don't read plenty of stuff I still think should be on the shelves for the readers who do.
    2. MARKETING IS A PART OF BUSINESS, and PUBLISHING IS A BUSINESS. I have a hard time taking complaints seriously from dissenters who don't seem to understand that writing is the creative part, and publishing is the business part. If you want to be published, you're going to part business person.
    Excuse me now while I step away from all my heavy books.
    This is a great post -- short and simple, but to the point and the beginning of addressing issues that we should (as a blog) really begin to sort out with our readers.

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  16. NA is happening, and if I get the chance (and money), I'll try a book from the demographic out once I spot one. Good luck!

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  17. Love this post! Well said, sister!
    Maybe I'm pestering, but each time I see a #askagent on twitter, I ask them if they would accept NA queries ... most respond like this: NA doesn't exist, or There's no such thing as NA.
    UGH!
    I hate when they do that. NA exists! Here we are with this blog, proof of that and the readership that wants it!
    Let's keep pestering them ;)

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  18. Really it's just carving out a niche from the space in the shelves. Adults read YA. Why can't you give them another area in which to relate or remember? I think those who don't want NA are YA writers who are afraid of a little competition, though it's hardly that at all. It's just a category, plain & simple.

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  19. @twentysomethingfictionwriter Thanks, Victoria! Those are some excellent examples, my dear NA sister. :D

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  20. @jaybird YES! And this is (partially) why we love you, Jaybird. :D

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  21. @Melissa Testify! :D Thanks for stopping by, Melissa!

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  22. Pretty amazing, isn't it, that a movie that includes the heavy these of a character bringing about the death of a brother doesn't hold anything that might be concerning for young children. O_o

    And you're right about the cyber bookshelf. That's what's so liberating now. With my first book being an adventure romance I would hate to be forced to only write that genre.

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  23. Okay, I have to admit I was someone who didn't understand NA and now I think I get it more. I guess my thinking was that NA could fit with YA or adult fiction. I mean, many YA characters are 18 or 20 and some adult novels feature recent college grads.

    Now I see NA is there to encompass that college aged category that really isn't written about much. I'm think the NA genre will resonate with adults and high schools students alike.

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  24. @Kat C I'm not going to lie. I kind of love you right now. You're proof that this blog can help change people's minds about the category, and that makes my day! :) Thanks for stopping by!

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  25. Wait, people think NA is just a marketing scheme? Don't they realize that if NA was driven by marketing, there would *gasp!* actually be NA being promoted widely as NA?

    ...sorry, I sometimes get snarky about baseless criticisms of things I like. Eh heh heh.

    But seriously, good list and great responses. I have a feeling we'll need these kinds of things for quite a while as we work toward getting NA established as a genre.

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  26. NA is coming, indeed. I have six books with Crescent Moon Press. Two are out and the rest coming over the next 12 months. I'm glad because there's such a need for it. :) Great article.

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  27. @Nicola Silly is the perfect word for it, and you're right. We can't please everyone.

    Instead, we'll be thankful for the support we do have. :) Thank you for stopping by!

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  28. @Morgan Me too! :) Thanks for stopping by, Shamynator!

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  29. @40Sumthin Thank you very much! I agree with you. The naysayers are welcome to their opinions. I just want to make sure they have as much information as possible. :)

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  30. @Preet @ A Written Rhapsody Hah! My devil scheming ways...

    I just laughed so loud. I hope no one heard me. :) It's always nice to meet a fellow [evil] marketer!

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  31. @bailey m kelsey Well, now we know why people are afraid of alleys...

    *Grins* Kidding, kidding! I love your rants, Bailey. They're a great mix of passion and logic! :)

    Thank you!

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  32. @Chihuahua Zero Thank you, Chihuahua! We appreciate that. I know an NA book you'll be able to spot in March... ;)

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  33. Thanks for explaining something I was too embarrassed to ask about. Course, I could have looked it up on the net. Duh. I didn't know this, but I'm thinking of writing a New Adult. Ha, I'm feeling smarter!

    Marketing, eh? I knew that. I'd love to rack your brain. Or do I mean rake your brain? I visited Laura Best's blog and have been having brain farts ever since.

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  34. @Juliana Haygert Thanks, Juliana!

    Ugh. That bothers me, too! It's fine that they're not actively seeking NA, but why do they have to say it doesn't exist? Don't they realize how much power their words hold? All we're asking for is acknowledgment...

    Pester away! :D

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  35. @Nancy Thompson Exactly, Nancy! It's just a category. The NA movement isn't trying to start a turf war; we're just delivering another option to readers. :)

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  36. @Donna K. Weaver Now that I think about it, that is a bit odd...

    Yes! I like the way you phrased that. Cyber bookshelves are, in a sense, quite liberating. Hooray for space! :D

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  37. @Mason T. Matchak *Grins* You would think.

    Thank you, Mason! We'll do whatever it takes to get the word out. :)

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  38. @LynnRush You, my friend, are quickly becoming an NA legend. I can't wait to work my way through your series! :) Thank you!

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  39. @Joylene Nowell Butler Feel free to rack my brain anytime! We'll skip the raking, though. That sounds painful. ;)

    Oo, you should definitely write a New Adult book! They focus on such a pivotal point in life. I think you'll love it. :D

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  40. Great post! People put down things they fear and I think they honestly fear the idea of NA, which is ridiculous, but there you have it. We've got a battle ahead of us, but at least we're battling. Someone had to do it. ;)

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  41. Great post, Carrie! It's so great seeing the awareness for this category grow. Then there's the new titles coming out! The shelf space is coming. :)

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  42. I just got home!!! I think you know that I love this post, Carrie. There are so many misconceptions connected with merely publishing, and now especially New Adult Publishing. Awesome. :)

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  43. Excellent rebuttals to all the criticism. I bet there was "no place" for paranormal six or seven years ago. Now it's all the rage. Adults love YA stuff, it stands to reason they'd love NA as well. I think you NA ladies should go for it and go big! The point these people are missing is that some really incredible books are getting written by NA writers and they are MISSING OUT!!!!

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  44. Thanks for the tutorial in NA. The writing and publishing scenery is changing and genres are being re-defined as well. And .... wait a minute. The animals in Lion King were naked!

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  45. NA is gaining in popularity. There have been many books released in YA that should have been NA in the past. Congratulations on your upcoming release. I know it will be fabulous.

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  46. @Jaycee DeLorenzo Thanks, Jaycee!

    Ah, yes. Fear can be a powerful thing. Thankfully, determination is stronger. :)

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  47. @Michael Pierce Thank you, Michael! :) Oh man. I certainly hope so!

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  48. @Lisa Regan Thank you, Lisa! That's an excellent point. It's all a matter of timing. :) Onward and upward!

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  49. @Stephen Tremp Anytime, Stephen! Thank you. :)

    *Gasp* How scandalous!

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  50. @Ciara Thank you so much, Ciara! I really appareciate that. :D

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  51. Hey there,

    Silly me, I already imagined there was something like NA out there... so it's great to hear y'all are on the cutting edge of something new.

    Good luck to each and every one of you :)

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  52. I think having a New Adult category is a great idea. As a mother, I think it's easier to know exactly what my teenagers are reading. Some YA is a little too mature for the younger teens and by have a middle grade NA section it helps clarify. Not to mention the NA age group is a huge market and huge part of the population, they shouldn't be ignored.

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  53. @Mark Koopmans It's out there in some capacity... just unacknowledged. We hope to change that! ;) Thanks, Mark!

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  54. @dayner Thank you for stopping by, Dana! That's an excellent point. These categories help parents, too. :)

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  55. I love that I found this place, it's been such a struggle for me as an NA writer, and this post was very encouraging, thank you!

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