This is the first post of the year for the Niche section of NA Alley, and I wanted to take the opportunity to (finally) talk about what Niche is about.

"Niche" is where we get to talk about what's important to us, issues that we tackle in our books or as reading/writing causes, that may not be so visible in popular NA, or the mainstream conversation on publishing. I don't want to categorically say that these topics aren't "popular," because what actually is popular is so subject to changes and trends. There's also part of me that believes that something is only "niche" when not enough people talk about it. Each NA Alley post, each comment, each snippet of social media conversation makes it less and less "niche."

So that's what we're going to do, for now -- provide a place for topics that need to be talked about, in case not enough people know about it.

We launched our series of posts with Alphabet Soup, or, Can You Put an M/M Story in the Middle of Your M/F NA Series?, contributed by Sarina Bowen, author of the Ivy Years series, which includes The Understatement of the Year (the awesome M/M story the post inspired).

The next post was from me, sharing some of my experience as a reader of NA living in what's probably considered a non-market for many authors: Southeast Asia. Except we really are an emerging market for NA written in English -- check out the pic! [Reading NA From Way Over Here: Speaking up from southeast Asia.]

S.T. Bende, author of the Norse-mythology-inspired Elsker Saga, wrote about whether "Sweet" or non-explicit NA has a place on our shelves. (I'm inclined to say yes, because I don't want to anger a Norse god.) [Sweet NA... yay or nay?]

Author A.J. Matthews shared with us what her second novel, a work in progress, is about: a romance featuring a character with high-functioning autism. She has a personal connection to this, and a reason for writing this particular book. [Love on the Spectrum: Autism in New Adult Romance]

Climate change and environment were headline news in December because of the COP in Peru, and we also had Clicks author Amy Evans contributing a post about EcoLit, with titles for us to check out. [EcoLit - An Emerging New Adult Trend]

E.J. Wesley opens up in his December post about how literature shaped how he saw the world, and what we could do as readers and authors to bring about change. [The Role of Literature in Social Change]

We'll devote this space to more of what we care about, and want to talk about, in 2015. Thank you for your support and reach out to suggest other topics we can discuss!

Mina V. Esguerra coordinates the Niche Team's posts and blogs at minavesguerra.com.


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  1. Great recap Mina! And I'm sure there are a lot of niche topics people would like to discuss. My next NA will deal with weightloss and healthy lifestyles.

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  2. Great post! I definitely want to discuss more of these niche topics in the future :)

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  3. Loved the recap! And defining niche literature for people will go a long way. So many great stories fall into this territory. LGBQT, mental illness, sports psychology, eco lit--all things that we need to explore more. :)

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  4. Mina, Thank you for the recap and for introducing this topic. At this point I am not clear on the differentiation between "Category," "Genre," and "Niche," particularly as they apply to N.A. It seems to me that N.A. is a publishing category, with (at least potentially) a number of genres within that category, such as romance, mystery, western, science fiction, fantasy, historical, etc. Now "niche" I would guess to be either a sub-sub genre or a combination of genre's (such as New Age Historical Fantasy).
    Comments?
    Blessings,
    Glen

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    Replies
    1. Hi Glen! Right now it's still just a catch-all I think, for those stories that mainstream retailers have yet to come up with shelves or labels for.

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  5. @PK I might get in touch with you soon about that for a post!

    @spajonas, Carrie, EJ Thank you!

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