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YA or MG??!!


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#1 SnowFox23

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Posted 16 May 2017 - 04:24 AM

Hello lovely people,

 

My manuscript is about:

 

Cloning.

Specifically, it's about a secret lab who is stealing kids to clone their unique abilities. These kids are all under the age of 13.

However, the main character is Luke who is 17. He is the older foster brother of Jake. Jake is 12, and he is the one who has unique abilities and is being hunted by the lab.

They are taken to an island by teenaged (17yr old) protectors.

 

The book is in the third person, and although the book typically follows Luke, it also follows Jake and even their foster father for a scene or two.

 

My problem is, unlike say, The Hunger games, where Katniss is in every scene, my book follows a few people.

 

I tried to sell it as a YA, but I'm not certain. The writing is somewhat more straightforward and more simplistic, so it could be seen as MG.

However, it DOES mainly follow 17yr old Luke.

 

 

Ugh, so confused.

What do you think?



#2 LucidDreamer

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Posted 16 May 2017 - 07:15 AM

If your protagonist is 17, it's YA.  (Esp. since many of the other characters appear to be 17yo or older). The only way you could sell it as MG is if the 12yo was the protagonist.



#3 kathleenq

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Posted 08 June 2017 - 10:02 PM

Sounds like YA


Synopsis: Glass Domes


#4 kjasjg

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Posted 06 July 2017 - 12:55 PM

I think it sounds like a YA but age should not be the only deciding factor. if you look at Harry Potter (ugh another Harry Potter comparison - yes but only because it is so identifiable) the target audience is appropriate to the age of the main character but I know more adults who are fans than 9 year olds (it was originally MG). 

 

Sometimes the age of the MC is not the definition of the audience age range. Take the Game of Thrones series of books. There are many of the characters in the teen (and younger) range but I definitely think that it is an adult fantasy because of the content (sex, violence etc.). Kristen Britain wrote a series called the Green Rider and its in the adult fantasy but it could easily be in the YA too.

 

Your content should, at least in part, define the target audience. I would drop into a book store and browse through the YA in the fantasy section and see what is there. Are they in some way targeting the same readers you are? then try the adult section and ask the same question.

Hope this helps

Jer



#5 LucidDreamer

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Posted 06 July 2017 - 04:07 PM

It is true that content matters, but only in one direction. What I mean is, you can have younger characters and yes, the content can make it an adult book.

However, you cannot have a YA book that has the primary characters being over 18 (19 at the oldest). There can be adult characters, of course, but in a YA book the primary characters should be under 19. 



#6 albarchs

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 04:09 PM

Really depends on the content of your story. The elements sound YA and from the perspective of an agent, they would probably look at it as one.

 

17 is usually the cut off point for YA. If the story focused on eighteen to twenty-somethings, it'd be more adult. I would do a comparison to similar stories and research the common elements they have.



#7 janeald

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Posted 24 July 2017 - 06:05 PM

I agree with the others. Since the main character is 17 and the plot seems more mature than typical MG, I'd go with YA.

#8 mwsinclair

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Posted 25 July 2017 - 09:58 AM

My opinion is YA, too.



#9 RSMellette

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 03:54 PM

Having been through this with a MG narrator and a YA heroine - I'd go with Science-Fiction. The genre is hot right now, and you won't have to discuss what shelf the book goes on.


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#10 Springfield

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 10:48 PM

Having been through this with a MG narrator and a YA heroine - I'd go with Science-Fiction. The genre is hot right now, and you won't have to discuss what shelf the book goes on.

 

That's got nothing to do with it though, and doesn't solve the problem the OP is having.

 

Sci-fi is a genre. The OP is asking about whether something is YA or MG, which are marketing categories. There's both YA and MG sci fi. 



#11 RSMellette

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 11:05 PM

That's got nothing to do with it though, and doesn't solve the problem the OP is having.

 

Sci-fi is a genre. The OP is asking about whether something is YA or MG, which are marketing categories. There's both YA and MG sci fi. 

 

You would think that would be the way it works, and prior to my experience with submissions I'd agree with you - but go into a bookstore and look at the labels on the shelves.

 

There's Fantasy & Sci-Fi, Middle Grade and Young Adult.

 

On the latter two shelves, you'll find books of all kinds of genres. But, if you see a Science-Fiction book on a YA self, it won't be on the Sci-Fi section.

 

So... when you have a book, like mine - with two main characters, one MG and the other YA - all you're going to hear from agents and editors is "I don't know what self it goes on." If you just present it as Sci-Fi, then suddenly that criticism goes away simply because they are already thinking about the Sci-Fi shelf.

 

It doesn't make sense, but that's how the business is these days.


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#12 Springfield

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 09:55 AM

You would think that would be the way it works, and prior to my experience with submissions I'd agree with you - but go into a bookstore and look at the labels on the shelves.

 

There's Fantasy & Sci-Fi, Middle Grade and Young Adult.

 

On the latter two shelves, you'll find books of all kinds of genres. But, if you see a Science-Fiction book on a YA self, it won't be on the Sci-Fi section.

 

So... when you have a book, like mine - with two main characters, one MG and the other YA - all you're going to hear from agents and editors is "I don't know what self it goes on." If you just present it as Sci-Fi, then suddenly that criticism goes away simply because they are already thinking about the Sci-Fi shelf.

 

It doesn't make sense, but that's how the business is these days.

 

Sorry? This isn't about shelving; it's about querying. Having an MG and a YA character as equal MCs is an issue. It's not resolved by just saying it's sci-fi. as, again, that's genre. 

 

Agents who rep scifi don't also rep MG all that often, and vice versa; you have to know to whom you're submitting. 

 

I've also never heard an agent or editor say, "I don't know what shelf it goes on,' as bookstore shelving really is not their issue -- hell, it's not anyone's primary issue anymore. 



#13 RSMellette

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 11:09 AM

Okay... I'll tell my agent that the responses she's getting from editors are wrong. :)


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#14 Springfield

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 04:13 PM

How would pitching it as sci-fi help anything? It's not going to be shelved (since this is apparently the issue for your thing) in sci-fi if it's YA or MG.

 

Also, physical bookstores do have subs within YA and MG, so I don't know what shelves your agent or editors are looking at (though it's, again, not their job).






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