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The Term "New Adult" - what's its status?


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#1 AQCrew

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 12:50 PM

Okay, all you YA writers out there....

 

What's the official status of the term "New Adult" within the publishing industry these days.

 

Are agents using it?  Are editors using it?

 

We just talked with a conference director who had never heard of it, and it made us pause... a long, pensive hmmmmmm.... "Really, agents at your conference really aren't using the terms, "New Adult?"

 

We ask this because we assume they are... it seems like SHOULD be because they MOST CERTAINLY are using it within the digital publishing sphere ---> Go to Amazon Kindle Books and you'll see a whole genre section dedicated to "New Adult & College Fiction" and we know that "new adult" is a hot, hot, hot, keyword among new releases from popular the indie authors.

 

So we throw this back onto the AQC community who is likely paying more attention to the traditional publishing scene within the YA/Post-YA realm.

 

Has the term "New Adult" finally grown up and become an accepted... and desired?  Or is it still being shunned as "not marketable" by traditional publishers and editors the same way it was two years ago...



#2 Guest_AWExley_*

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 01:05 PM

New Adult is hot, seriously steaming hot in the romance sector. SPs are surfing that wave all the way to the bank.  :smile:

 

Some agents and publishers are trying to catch up. Carina Press is specifically looking for NA and I believe Random House also have a NA line but the name of it is eluding me.

 

NA Alley has quite a large list of agents & publishers seeking NA romance. http://www.naalley.c...publishing.html



#3 LucidDreamer

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 01:15 PM

The sister imprint of my publisher, Month9Books is Swoon Romance and Swoon is acquiring and publishing NA like crazy.



#4 LittleJoni

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 01:52 PM

One of my writing friends who just came back from a conference a few weeks ago talked in our critique group about how "New Adult" is in high demand.  Many agents and editors at the conference requested it.


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#5 Nobody

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 01:53 PM

The term is bandied around liberally on Twitter by writers, agents, and editors.



#6 AQCrew

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 02:08 PM

Great info, ladies.

 

Definitely the indie publishing scene has embraced "new adult" and it has ballooned in the past year, especially on Amazon.

 

Lucid... we recently saw this "Call for Submissions" page from Swoon Reads, which is an imprint of major publisher Macmillan Publishing and a totally different entity than your publisher, Month9Books, and their sister imprint, Swoon Romance.  

 

For this reason, we want to point out the distinction (although a bit off-topic). MacMillian's imprint, Swoon Reads, is accepting direct submissions to their reading community and then highly rated ones will be passed along to the Swoon Read editors. It's not the first time that major imprints have tried this community model to screen potential manuscripts, and it's hard to gauge if there's an actual opportunity there.

 

Back to "new adult" -- it's fascinating that the list that AWExley provided is fairly light in terms of the number of agents as well as the fact that most of the agents listed are the younger (and perhaps more progressive) ones.

 

Hmmmmm... so it does sound like there continues to be a major disconnect between the indie/digital publishing community's  acceptance of the term "new adult" and agents and traditional publishers who are still trying to figure out if it's something they can sell and market, or who are now realizing that it's the hot new genre? 

 

Anyone else have a take on that?



#7 Guest_AWExley_*

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 02:21 PM

I think it shows that Trad Publishers are much slower to adapt to the market and SPs have swooped in the met the demand. I can remember when a few friends tried to query NA romances and they got scathing replies from agents that there "was no such thing."

 

The NA romance market (esp with a touch of erotica) are voracious readers. I liken them to a pack of piranha, constantly looking for their next feed! lol Trad publishers are cherry picking, but I have heard anecdotal evidence that the high e-book sales not translating to print. Katy Evans series was picked up in a very large deal, her first book that was SP's is for sale at around $2, her publisher has the next instalments priced at over $7 which is a huge jump in that market. Are print versions selling, or do women prefer the anonymity of an e-reader, without the half naked man on the cover? It will be interesting to see how the market changes.



#8 LucidDreamer

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 02:30 PM

AQCrew -- thanks for clarifying the difference between Swoon Romance and the Macmillan Swoon Reads!  They are two very different things. Swoon Romance is an indie pub. and accepts both agented and unagented MS -- but they don't use general readers to "screen". :smile:



#9 RC Lewis

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 05:34 PM

From everything I've seen thus far, the VAST majority of NA (that's selling) is college-age romance with varying levels of heat. Some very NA-enthusiastic agents have noted that the NA market is already getting a little flooded, and part of me wonders if it's because the category hasn't yet branched out genre-wise.

So one question is whether it WILL diversify the way YA has.

A related question ties into what was mentioned about price point. Is the NA that's working ONLY working because low-priced eBooks fill that niche formerly held by mass-market paperbacks? So, people are looking for that cheap, "fun/sexy" read, but aren't willing to shell out more than a couple bucks per book?

I'm still honestly not sure whether NA is destined to be a full, diverse category like YA has become in the past decade or so, or if it'll settle in as a subgroup of Romance.

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#10 J. Lea Lopez

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 06:02 PM

I'm seeing lots of stuff on social media about agents and editors looking for NA. You may be right about it being the younger ones. Also smaller publishers where you can submit without an agent. But I'm seeing just as many tweets and comments about waiting for NA to really take off in genres besides contemporary romance.



#11 AQCrew

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 06:28 PM

Great discussion all, and great points -- especially the points about "New Adult" being perceived only as a subgenre of "Romance" as well as the successful "new adults" from the indie writers being largely NA romance with flavors of erotica.

 

It's also an interesting point about whether or not "New Adult" will cross-over into other genres (perhaps semi-related genres like Paranormal Romance), has already crossed-over, or will never cross-over.  Also interesting to ponder the difference in how the indie world is using the term versus the traditional publishing world.

 

Price is also an interesting point, but low-cost ebooks gave the fuel to the indie publishing insurgence.  "New Adult" as a definitive navigation category was added by Amazon within the past year (and that's only on the desktop version of the Kindle Store...).  And anyone who has been self-publishing on Amazon for more than a year knows how much has changed on that front and how much competition has arrived compared to only a year ago.   



#12 Nobody

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 06:38 PM

I know a lot of speculative fiction writers are waiting for NA to swing back into our genre. It used to be the classic coming-of-age story in that age bracket, which has been frowned upon the last several years by agents and publishers. Some of the most classic and beloved spec fiction books deal with protagonists in their late teens to early twenties.






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