Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A New Genre Emerging: New Adult

Photo by imagerymajestic
You may have heard this news, but I was shocked - and intrigued -  by the news of a new genre emerging:

New Adult

What is the difference between New Adult (NA) and Young Adult (YA)? I wondered that too. So I did a little research and discovered some interesting things.

NA books features protagonists age 18-25, the age in-between adolescence and adulthood. It is the time time when a person leaves the security of home and deals with making decisions and "growing up". The themes and issues of NA books are more mature, such as identity, abuse, bullying, sexuality, etc. These kinds of themes, when coupled with new life experiences such as starting college, first jobs, new friendships after college, engagement, wedding planning, etc, make life an difficult path to traverse.

YA books features adolescents...teenagers. It is the crazy teens years, with all it's drama and angst and adventure. It is a time of firsts...first boyfriend, first kiss, driving, getting on the cheerleading squad, first job, etc. It is the coming of age.

Where YA appeals to younger readers, NA is marketed to the 18-30 crowd. It is more PG-13 than PG...and depending on the sub-genre, it could lean toward an R rating.

Did I say sub-genre? Yes, indeed! NA books can be found in romance, fantasy, paranormal, dystopia, science fiction, even horror.

In my research, I didn't really find this particular genre in the Christian market. I am sure there are books out there that fit into this genre, but it is just not labeled as such. It's still pretty new and not all publishers even consider NA a valid genre.

It really came into play when some independent writers made it big selling their NA books as ebooks. Big name publishers then picked them up and offered them HUGE contracts. These books struck chord with readers and publishers are beginnining to take notice.

Now whether the Christian Booksellers Association (CBA) will follow suit, I don't know.  Maybe they already have and I just cannot find the information. But it seems that there would be a place for the NA genre within the smaller confines for the CBA world. The landscape of publishing is ever changing, ever growing. It's an exciting time, for sure!

What do you think? Have you heard of this genre? Does it sound appealing to you?


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This post is brought to you by
 Sherrinda Ketchersid

Sherrinda is a minister's wife and mother to three giant sons and one gorgeou


Karen @ a house full of sunshine said...

Sherrinda, this is pure awesomeness!! I cannot believe it - the first novel I wrote, I pitched to publishers as "upper-end YA, aimed at 18-25 year olds." It was an urban fantasy and fit the criteria you've outlined here in every way.

At the time, I'd never heard of this new genre (it probably didn't even exist) but it was definitely a "felt" need for me back then. I was 23 when I wrote it - YA was just too young; adult fiction featured way older protagonists with a whole different set of life experiences and concerns than what I was facing in my life. I felt there was a niche market for others like me who were caught in the divide between two vastly different established markets.

Anyway, all that to say - this is very cool! Maybe I was just ahead of my time - haha! Thanks for doing this research to keep us all up to date with the trends.

Susan Anne Mason said...

Hi Sherrinda,

I think a lot of books are already geared to that age. Most of the heroines I read are in the early 20's category. Especially historical, where the girls got 'betrothed' and married a lot younger.

Interesting that it has a new classification.

Thanks for the info!


Laurie Tomlinson said...

Thanks for spotlighting this incredible genre! When I was that New Adult age, I identified a huge hole in the CBA market where this age group was concerned. So I wrote my first manuscript for this demographic and am pitching it as New Adult!

Even though her books were published before New Adult was a thing, I'd consider Erynn Mangum's books to belong to this category. In fact, a recent USA Today review of her PAIGE TORN (Full article: http://m.usatoday.com/article/news/2458207) said, "Paige and her friends are college grads — so, if anything, this is inspy's answer to the evolving New Adult category of romance lit. If so, keep it coming, inspirational publishers!"

Krista Phillips said...

If you like/want New Adult books... I have a GREAT book for you to read.

It features a 20 year old heroine....

is VERY pink...

and is even about Sandwiches...

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Karen, you must be ahead of your time, girl! That is so awesome, and so astute of you to recognize the gap and the need for stories in that age group. Maybe you blaze the trail for CBA. ;)

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Susan, I'm wondering if historical would fit in with the New Adult genre. It seems that...at least from the research that I did...it is all contemporary/future type books, dealing with normal type stuff that early adulthood deals with. Rather gritty, from what I could see. But you are right, in the historical, women married very young and certainly covers that age group!

I will have to keep researching and check out the correlation between historical and NA. ;)

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Laurie! I love that you are ahead of your time and are paving the way! And thanks for the link to the USA Today article. I will check that out when I get home from work today. I'm excited to see what is up and coming.

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

LOLOL...Krista!!!!! Your book DOES fit in to the New Adult category!!!! How could I have missed that, girl! Sandwich, with a Side of Romance by Krista Phillips is a great example of what NA is in the CBA. :)

Carol Moncado said...

I think a lot, not all, contemp romances fall in this category in CBA [all but 2 of my 10 completed MSs do] but they aren't necessarily labeled as such. Or maybe more are the 22-27 range? Out of college, not yet 30.

Personally, I love this age range and would love to write more of the college age, high school sweetheart type thing. I have one with an 18/19yo heroine and 22yo hero, but whether it'll sell or not... Whole different story...

It'll be interesting to see how it evolves in CBA and I'll be keeping an eye on it :).

Laurie Tomlinson said...

This post was so thought-provoking that it inspired an entire post of my own! It will be going up in the morning and linking back here -- hope you don't mind!

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Carol, you have 10 manuscripts under your belt??? I am soooo impressed! Wow!

I really love YA...especially the high school years, but what I want to write is a little more mature, so when I heard about this New Adult genre, I latched on really quick.

I will be watching out for it in CBA, as well.

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Laurie, of course we don't mind you linking up with us!!! We are honored and tickled pink!

I just read your post and it was brilliant, girl! Like I've said to some of the others here....PAVE THE WAY!!!! We need strong voices to forge new trails in CBA! You go, girl!

Michael said...

I had never heard of this genre, but I can definitely see some books fitting into it. Does anyone know when calling books YA came about?

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Hey Michael, I had no idea when YA came into play, so I googled it. Wikipedia say that a woman by the name of Sarah Trimmer introduced the terms Books for Children and Books for Young Persons in her children's literature periodical, The Guardian of Education. That was back in 1802! There is a complete history of YA on that site. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Young-adult_fiction

Thanks for the question! It got me thinking. :)