In fashion, designers see a need or want from consumers, and they fill it. The same is true for food, furniture, and cleaning products. This theory gave us fanny packs, pizza rolls, beanbag chairs, and the Swiffer Wet Jet. So, why not books? Readers once looked for themselves in fiction and came up empty handed. Writers heard their complaints and were inspired. This is how New Adult was born. Yes, the term New Adult could have come from a publisher’s boardroom during a meeting of the minds, but the heart and soul of this genre came from its fans.

New Adult readers are looking for that genre that comes after the tales of YA and before the stories of Adult fiction. They want to identify with the flaws, the struggles, and the joys of each protagonist. They want to fill what was once a gaping hole in fiction with stories about themselves. Some would say this is narcissistic, but I disagree. It’s more about finding relatable characters than being self-centered. It’s about feeling like your generation, your peers, are being represented honestly and realistically.

What started out as mostly romance, is now beginning to branch out into other sub-genres. New Adult has begun to embody a broader audience. Whether paranormal or historical, mystery or steampunk, there is a place for everyone at the table. As long as our late-teens and early twenties continue to be a time of self-discovery, awkward exploration, and life-changing decisions, there will always be a place for New Adult. No one can predict where it will go. This genre has such a reach, that I truly can’t wait to see what happens next. And while we all watch it grow, change, and fulfill its potential, we can be satisfied that it started with us.

Post a Comment

  1. You had me at pizza rolls. ;) Great post, Season!

  2. This is how it works with all things consumerist (is that a word? It is now.), and I'm always happy to see the ever-expanding demand for NA fiction, and now new *kinds* of NA fiction. I love to not only see how readers are demanding new stories, but how writers are responding to those calls with great fiction.

  3. I think we all want to identify--on some level--with what we consume. Advertisers play to that all the time. We should want to connect with readers at every level, and shouldn't be deterred by those who don't 'get it', because certainly not everyone will.

    NA is needed and enjoyed by many, and I think that'll just continue to grow as the category expands into more genres.

    Great post!

  4. I'm so glad that it's growing and expanding!

  5. That's what I love about NA. It fills a need for readers, not publishers.
    Awesome post, Season!

  6. Totally agree with this -- I love this focus on NA being reader-driven.


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