As a hybrid author, I wonder if part of that discomfort stems from the fact that the category got its start in the murky and oft-misunderstood world of self-publishing. Keep in mind that self-publishing emerged as a viable craft on the sea of credibility only recently. Before, oh, 2012, authors who dared take the reins into their own hands did so at the risk of potential future "real" publishing opportunities. And it was from a position of self-assured complacency and potentially fear that many traditional authors and publishing houses looked at the self-pub pioneers with a mix of ridicule and trepidation, watching them fight their way onto the same industry-esteemed lists that "real" authors struggled through long careers to hit. But now? Self-publishing produces some of the best-selling authors of our day. And many of them publish new adult fiction.
I'm encouraged to see that when searching for the newest lambasts of New Adult to gather some gems for this piece, I found surprisingly few dated past last fall. In fact, instead, I found several lists of up and coming new adult authors, NA books to read in 2015, and celebrations of the NA category in general. Is acceptance finally coming this way? Maybe the debate is nearing an end and we can at last focus on the wide variety of amazing books being published (both traditionally and by self-published authors) in this category. I surely hope so!