Recently I have been seeing a lot of tweets and articles about an emerging genre called "New Adult." Interested, I started doing some research on just what this means. What I've found is people describing it as a bridge genre. It closes the gap between young adult fiction and adult fiction--the time period where the main character or characters have moved out of their parent's house and are living on their own for the first time. This is typically the college years and early twenties. The characters are experiencing their first adult jobs and relationships and the sex is often more descriptive than in young adult novels. The characters are learning the life lessons that go along with not only more adult relationships but also the difficulties of being on their own, navigating early adult life, and the responsibilities that come along with all of this.
Now there aren't a whole lot of agents and publishers out there that are embracing this genre, if you can even call it that right now. Most people submitting new adult manuscripts are being told to make their MC either younger or older. New adult is a gamble for publishers because it's just that, new. There's not a clear audience for it yet and they argue that many adult books feature MCs that are in their early twenties--there isn't a need to start drawing lines at ages and giving a cut off for when YA ends or when NA should end and adult should begin. Publishers and agents are still figuring out if NA is just a market trend or if it's a genre that's here to stay. After all, it wasn't that long ago that young adult books even got their own section in book stores and libraries. So because of the hurdles NA authors are facing, those penning NA stories are going the route of self-publishing rather than traditional publishing. A few authors have gotten lucky in this department and have had a lot of success. So much so that they've been able to broker some lucrative print book deals too.
Personally, I think new adult books are great. As an adult who loves YA, every once in a while I get the urge to read something a little more grown up. New adult fits that desire for me. And now that I have started a new manuscript, I've been thinking about it even more. For some reason I tend to write books that don't neatly fit a mainstream audience. My first completed manuscript is a young adult historical fantasy. Faeries in the year 1065 England...not everyone's cup of tea. Now I've started something that I may be able to market as YA but might actually better fit as NA. I've read a few new adult books and I have to say, I like this genre and I hope it sticks. I hope that by time I'm ready to submit, it will be even more accepted.
To finish, I thought I'd include a link to Goodreads. It's a list of some popular new adult titles. These have had great success and film rights on at least one have been optioned.
Let me know what you think in the comments below. Have you read any NA books? Do you think it needs it's own section in bookstores and libraries?
Thanks for stopping by! Check back with me on Saturday--I'll have a review of an NA book I just finished reading and I'll let you know what I think.