THE FUTURE OF NEW ADULT….

Many years ago when I was a “green” blogger, I was introduced to a new age group which was just surfacing; New Adult.  Over the years, I’ve found there are many misconceptions about what this term means.   What does New Adult actually mean?  Is it a real genre? Is it accepted by publishing houses?  Do retailers make room for these books on their shelves?  How long will this New Adult Romance boom continue?  I thought it might be time to clarify a few things….

MISCONCEPTION NUMBER ONE:  People call New Adult a GENRE.  This is not true.  New Adult is NOT a genre.  It is not the same thing as Romance, Urban Fantasy, Science Fiction etc.  New Adult is an AGE group ONLY.  This is VERY important as everyone seems to automatically link New Adult with Romance as a WHOLE genre listing.  New Adult means the book is aimed at readers aged 17-25 primarily-but not exclusively.  The content will be appropriate for individuals in that age range regardless of the genre.  Prior to its introduction, there was only Young Adult and then Contemporary/Adult without anything in between.  Authors writing content aimed at college age individuals didn’t know where to place their work-it was too old for Harry Potter readers, yet too young for some Contemporary bibliophiles.  Thus, New Adult was born.

I want to be clear though….New Adult is NOT a genre.  That may lead you to ask, well, what is a genre then?  If you look up its’ definition you will find it’s explained as:

“a class or category of artistic endeavor having a particular form, content, technique, or the like: the genre of epic poetry; the genre of symphonic music.”

A genre is a TYPE of writing style.  The typical genre’s you will see are romance, science fiction, fantasy, urban fantasy, horror, drama, mystery, thriller and crime.  There are MANY more, but those are some quick top picks.

So if I had self-published a book, how would I classify it?  I would choose a genre first, then add on an age group.  So Young Adult Fantasy or New Adult Mystery or Adult/Contemporary Horror would be some examples.  Can you see how New Adult itself isn’t a genre??

Is New Adult accepted by publishing houses and retailers?  That’s a loaded question and without a solid answer I’m afraid.  Some publishing houses have started to accept the age group, yet many retailers will not reserve shelves specifically for this age group.  It’s a work in progress and one I hope we all continue to promote.

The New Adult Romance genre has seen an incredible influx over the past several years in both new authors as well as new readers.  Many adults over the age of 25 choose New Adult novels causing the market to keep expanding considerably.  With that growth has come MANY new authors.  As this happened, I was introduced to Shannon Mayer, Tara Sivec, Janine Caldwell, Jillian Dodd, Denise Grover Swank, N.L. Gervasio, Sean Underhill, Carolyn McCray, Jack Kilborn and so many others I don’t even know how to list them all.  They are all fantastic and I started noticing a trend with them.

MISCONCEPTION NUMBER TWO: New Adult can only be found in romance novels.  Not true. While many of these authors ARE writing New Adult Romances, they are also expanding out into other genres.  You’ll notice Jamie McGuire, Jessica Park, Shannon Mayer, Tara Sivec, Denise Grover Swank, J. Sterling, Sean Underhill and so many others putting out Contemporary Romances, Women’s Fiction, Drama, Urban Fantasy, Horror, Science Fiction and Paranormal.  They are expanding and spreading their wings and showing us just how talented they are.  These authors will be here for quite some time, so settle in with their novels and enjoy every minute of the magic they shower upon you.

Here are a few of my recommendations of authors and novels outside the Romance genre (some are New Adult and some are Adult) which you may not have heard of and may enjoy:

My theory about the future of New Adult?  I think it’s here to stay.  I think, however,  you will see it continuing to show up in more genre’s than just romance once people realize it’s not an actual genre, but an age group.  I think you will see publishing houses and retailers forced to make room for it as the public is demanding it.  Truthfully, I’m shocked it took this long for readers to want a distinction.  Then again, this is all Just My Opinion.

-JMO

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