Friday, September 21, 2012

What’s The Next Big Thing in Genre Fiction?

Hi all! Welcome to another installment of GPF! Today the spotlight is on Shah Wharton, who's going to share some info on New Adult.

Thanks Shah!






Firstly, many thanks to Misha for letting me stop by and have a chat with her readers. I’m honoured to be here, and I hope you enjoy my post. 


What’s The Next Big Thing

in Genre Fiction?

This is thrilling news for me (although nothing new to more savvy bloggers than I), as my beta readers recently suggested that my novel, Finding Esta – Book #1 in the Supes Series, is in fact, New Adult. I never really thought about it’s genre or the desired age of it’s readers when I first sat down to write a short story a couple of years ago, but as it developed into the monster it became, and as it is soon to be published, these things have become much more important to me.
So, I clicked on Google and asked, “What is New Adult and what’s all the fuss about?” Here’s the result…

1) What is New Adult?

‘New Adult' fiction is aimed at post-adolescents and young adult readers aged between14 to 35 years.
I found this age range… difficult to relate to. The average 14 year old would surely find most ‘adult’ fiction irrelevant, and wouldn’t the average 35 year old find the adolescent ramblings of a 14 year old, well… boring? Perhaps.
But then again…
I considered my own reading habits. Like me, many readers overlap so much that the age category is often just a hint at it’s content rather than a strict border control - a cloudy grey rather than black or white. Nowadays, young adults still enjoy their category, but adult fiction along with it, and adults enjoy young adult reads alongside much more adult books. I am very much an adult (although whether I always act like one, could be cause for argument), yet I loved YA - Twilight, YA - The Vampire Diaries, as well as A - True Blood, A- Generation, and even A -Fifty Shades of Grey Series *blush*.
*I’m sticking to the genre I mostly read here, but I’m sure you could find examples of your own.

 

2) Is my book New Adult?

New Adult was first proposed by St. Martin's Press in 2009 who wanted to address the coming-of-age era during a young person’s twenties, including stories about young adults who, although legally adults, still struggled to figure out what being an adult actually involved.
In Finding Esta, Luna is a young 23 year old who lives in her first home, works at her first job, post University, and is yet to experience her first physical relationship. She is also subjugated by abusive parents, and by paranormal, psychic issues (plus a supernatural world she soon discovers) and as a result, has a rather young voice for her age.
So, does all this mean it’s a New Adult book? I’m inclined to think so…

3) Is there any value in categorising my book as New Adult?

Well, major New York publishers are taking self-published authors of New Adult titles for mass-market sales.
Some examples:
▪ Tammara Webber for Easy
▪ Jamie McGuire for Beautiful Disaster
▪ Colleen Hoover for Slammed and Point of Retreat
This is great news and a good indicator of success and relevance… Of course, I don’t expect this kind of success (although hey, I wouldn’t mind it either), just that my genre (if it is indeed New Adult) must be of interest to a mass-market audience if major publishers are pushing it out there so fervently.
Win-win!
So, I’ve learned quite a bit. There’s been a readership group largely ignored by fiction writers – The ‘coming-of-age’ group, now the New Adult group, which explores a specific time and set of experiences, which although popular, other books seem to have ignored. Or simply didn’t concentrate on. Or perhaps many New Adult books are incorrectly listed as either YA or Adult books by category-loving Traditional Publishers? Hell, until a few years ago, no one would have known otherwise, right? And traditional authors would have been made to write to ‘fit’ established categories.
Fortunately, unlike traditional publishers, self-publishers were able to explore this specific time/these set of circumstances without such restrictions; they could write ‘outside the box’ of traditional publishing guidelines. The result is New Adult fiction and of course, its recent success means Traditional Publishers now want to harness New Adult’s popularity for themselves, and I seem to have inadvertently joined this group. Hurrah!
Interested in finding out more about this genre? Interested in reading New Adult books and don’t know where to find them? Well, I found this fabulous blog called New Adult Alley, which includes promotion of New Adult titles, community discussion and oodles of New Adult resources and information.

Author Mini Bio:

Shah writes urban fantasy novels and horror short fiction, punctuated by the occasional poem. She loves psychology, horror movies and a hefty drop of Merlot. Shah would love to hear from you at her blog: Shah Wharton's WordsinSync.
* Finding Esta – Book #1 in the Supes Series is expected to be published Autumn/Winter 2012.
Discussion: So, what do you think of this new(ish) genre? Is it necessary? Are you a New Adult author/reader? Would you be more likely to read a book from the YA or NA section?
Thanks so much for this insightful post, Shah. Anyone else want to do a post? I still have spaces open in October and November. To find out more, please mail me at mishagericke(AT)gmail(DOT)com.
Have a great weekend, all!

26 comments:

  1. Thanks for having me here Misha. Hope I can spread a little light on the subject for some of your readers. :) X

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  2. When my books came out, they were classified YA, although they would fit the NA genre much better.

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    1. I think I have a naturally younger voice so will edge toward this genre more naturally than adult, say. But I do believe there can be an overlap. Perhaps reclassify your books on the next edition/marketing plan?

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  3. I read EASY the other day and became hooked on the genre. I didn't realize it was being picked up for traditionally publishing, or did I misunderstand that.

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    1. Nope, you understood exactly. It was news to me too... happy news! Click the link to read more about that by all means. :)

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    1. I'm sure there's room for New Adult sci-fi too Alex, should you fancy it? :D X

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  5. I had not heard of NA books. But, I would not mind reading them.

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    1. I hadn't until a friend of mine pointed out to me that my MS could be classified that way (just from my explanation of it), so I investigated a little more.

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  6. Interesting post on a 'new' genre. I can see how it would fit in though.
    Still struggling with the genre on mine - police, crime, some First Nations people and culture, supernatural.

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    1. That is one major positive about the self-publishing of today - we don't have to fit into traditional convenient pigeon-holes. We can break the mold, so to speak. I believe this is where NEw Adult came from - people breaking the mold and refusing to make compromises, therefore necessitating a new more accurate genre title. A genre is only a guide, after all... and guides need to be updated.

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  7. Thanks for sharing this, Shah. I can probably categorize my next release as New Adult.

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    1. Great, I imagine there will be a LOT of us creeping out from the wood-work... Butting in on both adult and young adult. :)

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  8. Interesting genre. I never thought something that appeals to a thirty-five year old would appeal to a fourteen year old.

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    1. No, nor me. Although I never thought I'd love Harry Potter either (not that its N.A) and never even considered reading YA till then... now I read either or... it's about the story more than the genre, which might contradict my post I realise. But what I mean is I enjoy there being genres - they guide my initial search, they give my a clue about the content, but it'll be the blurb, the cover, the reviews and possibly the author, which ultimately makes me get the book. :)

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  9. I was told this genre wasn't viable to write for and that agents weren't accepting it. Seems that has changed. Congrats!!

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    1. I hope it helps me to sell books - of course. Thanks. :D x

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  10. Interesting post. I'm seeing New Adult everywhere. I had no idea it covered that age range, though.

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    1. It is a large range, although at 14 we have very different priorities to when we're 35, and visa versa, there is much to overlap throughout the twenty years: finding our identity, searching for love, our desires, our careers. After 35 one hopes we've found all those (or mostly) and yet that doesn't mean we don't still fell entertained reading about other's struggles. :)

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  11. Interesting post. It's always neat to see how new genres emerge.

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    1. It's all marketing and categorisation, but it works :) X

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  12. I rarely read any teen books when I was a teen and had no problem with adult themes. I think I would've enjoyed 'new adult' if it had been around back then.

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    1. Thanks Lynda, I feel very much the same. :)

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  13. must read books for young adults

    The books having the title young adult are mainly being targeted to the younger class of people. The author wants us them to read this book and understand the life. These books are really interesting and provides good knowledge.

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  14. I've been hearing and reading about NA. I wondered if it's necessary, but I suppose as long as there's a market...

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    1. Exactly - I won't write for the market, but if what I write is marketable and there is a way of marketing ing it conveniently for readers, for the benefit of both of us, then thats a win, win. :)

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