But, amidst the dizzying array of rowdy frat parties and miraculous heroine makeovers, there's one aspect of New Adult books I haven't seen enough of:
When scrolling through Amazon's Best Sellers in New Adult & College Romance, the majority of covers feature white couples. Where are the African-Americans, the Chicanos, the Asians? There definitely are some NA novels with these characters, but they exist as an extremely small percentage of all NA books. How have non-white races somehow failed to materialize among more New Adult literature?
One of the amazing aspects of New Adult books is how fresh and exciting everything about the genre is. We're just that - new. We communicate about books through social media; our heroes and heroines are at an age publishers would never consider before; we finally have a representation of who we are as a readership.
For such a fan-driven genre, the lack of racial diversity among books is startling. I'm not standing on a pillar, pointing at book covers, and crying, "There is no excuse!" Truthfully, the majority of stock images that cover designers work with are ones which feature white models. While my main character (Jane Lu) in my recent novel is Asian, you wouldn't necessarily be able to tell from the cover. Cover artists have less models to work with once they're not looking for a white model.
The issue of a lack of diversity among New Adult book characters is an institutional one. Institutions, however, can be changed. The very creation of New Adult was a result of rejecting the traditional publishing institution. Many early New Adult titles emerged from self-publishing - authors striking out on their own to take the world of literature by storm.
Like I said before, NA is a fan-driven genre. New Adult readers and writers don't have to accept a lack of racial diversity among novels. Our genre is still in the early stages of development. We can be the force to finally embrace multicultural characters and represent all kinds of women and men.
Amazon (Kindle): http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00L9EWUQI
Barnes & Noble (Nook): http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/2940149810512
About the Author: