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Young Adult (YA)

Switch Blayde

I've been writing a novel in the YA (Young Adult) genre. Yeah, me who usually writes erotica.

Well, an author who knows about the industry recently posted something that indirectly hit me hard. She said YA readers are young (that I knew) and therefore don't buy books. Their parents buy it for them. And when they buy them, they are bought in book stores. I was planning on self-publishing in KDP ebook. What a bummer.

Anyone know if that's true?

Replies:   Dominions Son  KimLittle
Dominions Son

@Switch Blayde

Depends.

My niece (14) has a Nook that my mother bought her, my mom has bought her e-books, and for last Christmas I got her a prepaid card for the Nook store, so she can buy some books herself.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

My niece (14) has a Nook that my mother bought her, my mom has bought her e-books, and for last Christmas I got her a prepaid card for the Nook store, so she can buy some books herself.

I think that's a common practice, as few parents are going to purchase books for their teenagers, and their teen kids aren't about to tell their parents what they're reading.

We can never figure out what to get my nephew (23), so everyone gives him bookstore/app store gift cards, so it's not limited to juvenile readers either. That said, Kindle is better than lulu, smashwords or D2D, because no one gives those as gifts.

Also, don't assume that you can't include erotica in YA novels, but it's got to be a gradual buildup, focused on the relationship, rather than having two people jump into bed as a way of getting to know each other (i.e. write it for women, rather than horny males). Young kids also prefer dystopian YA novels, because they assume everything adults do is fucked up, and it's up to youngsters to set everything right (sound familiar, anyone?).

Note: These are all observations based on my never having written a YA story.

docholladay

@Crumbly Writer

As in R/L the YA will surprise everyone with both their knowledge and interest in sex related areas. Its why I seriously believe their best protection from problems is to give them the real knowledge about risks involved not a bunch of "Do as I say, not as I do" rules. I have seen kids as young as 14 trying to purchase adult erotica books and magazines among other things.

Switch Blayde

@Crumbly Writer

don't assume that you can't include erotica in YA novels,


Other than heavy kissing, there are only two sex instances in the story. One is when the two teenagers are sharing a bed (for sleeping) in a motel room and he gets a little too frisky. She stops him and tells him she wants to wait. He agrees. The other is when an older woman rubs her breasts against the teenage protagonist's back and shoves her hand into the front of his pants. He immediately yanks her hand out to show his commitment to his girlfriend.

Yes, teenagers are very interested in sex, especially the girls. I see what they write on wattpad. But I decided this novel is not about sex.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

Yes, teenagers are very interested in sex, especially the girls. I see what they write on wattpad. But I decided this novel is not about sex.

As I said, YA is primarily female centric, thus the stories aren't primarily about the sex, but about the slow buildup of the romance, where the readers are rewarded in the end with hot sex, once they've become excited about the prospect.

That differs from the typical male approach to eroticism, where the story starts out with hot sex, and only then begins to explore the relationship between the two.

The romantic relationship is the story draw, and the hot sex (at the end) is the reward. Leaving out the last part is like cheating the readers of a happy ending. Granted, I've written plenty of non-sex stories, but we're talking about traditional YA novels here. It sounds like you're directing this towards a pre-teen YA market (those who aren't directly interested in romance yet), in which case it would call for a separate story. But, in either case, the romance angle is an important component if you want to capture the desired YA market. The 'hot sex' at the end can be constrained, but the readers want the 'move your world' moment at the culmination of the story.

Replies:   docholladay
docholladay
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer

The beauty is that the actual sex act itself can be implied rather than detailed. Look at all those darn James Bond type stories. Plenty of suggestive scenes but little real sex activity. Probably why its usually an R rating at the worst.

edited to add:
Although in those movies and similar ones its funny how much D/s is implied.

Switch Blayde

So far the feedback from the YA people on wattpad is they prefer paperback to ebook. Most so far don't read any ebooks, others maybe 10%-20%.

Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

So far the feedback from the YA people on wattpad is they prefer paperback to ebook. Most so far don't read any ebooks, others maybe 10%-20%.

That just means you can charge more for each book. Instead of pricing an ebook at $2.99 to compete with the plethora of free ebooks, you can charge $14.99 for a print books, have a nice profit margin, and still substantially underprice the traditional publishers' books which charge $20+ USD for a mass-market, lower quality paperback.

Ebooks are kind of taking a beating at the moment.

Ernest Bywater

@Switch Blayde

So far the feedback from the YA people on wattpad is they prefer paperback to ebook. Most so far don't read any ebooks, others maybe 10%-20%.


I publish both, so there's no reason why you can't.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

So far the feedback from the YA people on wattpad is they prefer paperback to ebook. Most so far don't read any ebooks, others maybe 10%-20%.

You've also got to be cautious where people get their stats from. If it's from the mainstream publishers, who are publishing the major YA blockbusters, then yeah, hardly any of the final sales are on ebooks, simply because Indie publishers never reach the 1 million books published mark, but young adults are more tech savy, and more likely to spend time curled up with a tablet than checking out bookstores.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@Ernest Bywater

I publish both, so there's no reason why you can't.


I was talking about self-pub vs traditional. When I think self-pub, I think ebook only.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Switch Blayde
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


You've also got to be cautious where people get their stats from. ... but young adults are more tech savy, and more likely to spend time curled up with a tablet than checking out bookstores.


The stats are coming from the horse's mouth. The ages so far range from 13 to 18. Most are from the U.S., but there are others from U.K., Sweden, and France.

I thought the same--that they were more tech savvy--and since they read stories on wattpad they are used to reading them electronically. But I'm finding out the author who said YA doesn't work with self-pubbing is looking more and more right.

What's really weird is a huge percentage of wattpadders access the system on their phones. They even write the stories on their phones. Yet when they buy books, they buy paper books.

Ernest Bywater

@Switch Blayde

I was talking about self-pub vs traditional.


so was I.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@Ernest Bywater

so was I.


Yeah, but it doesn't sound like they buy those books, print or digital. A lot of them said they get books from the library. Others say their parents buy the books from bookstores, although a lot said they buy used books because they're cheaper.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Switch Blayde

Yeah, but it doesn't sound like they buy those books, print or digital. A lot of them said they get books from the library. Others say their parents buy the books from bookstores, although a lot said they buy used books because they're cheaper.


Well, judging by what I see the kids on the streets shopping, they buy e-books because they read their tablets when sitting down in the food court, and they had books open when I go a glimpse of them. Recently fixed a computer for a high school senior, all the textbooks were e-books and they had a pile of e-books in their personal files as well.

Hard to get valid stats on them.

KimLittle

@Switch Blayde

She said YA readers are young (that I knew) and therefore don't buy books. Their parents buy it for them. And when they buy them, they are bought in book stores. I was planning on self-publishing in KDP ebook. What a bummer.


I was chatting with an acquaintance of mine (librarian at a high school) about YA. I had read "Hunger Games", "Maze Runner" and "Divergent" in one burst, just in order to see what the hell was so fascinating about these books (and how might I discern the secrets in order to exploit them for fun and profit).

I made the comment that "they weren't a particularly difficult read" and "the characters are incredibly self centred". She made the observation that "YA are really popular with adults who don't want a hard read, but want to read something - kind of like King or Koontz 15-20 years ago" and "they're really self-absorbed, but by the end of the book/series they have changed and evolved and that's the hook for the young kids".

And she also pointed out a few articles about how reading breeds empathy because 1st person narrative allows the reader to experience the character's thoughts and feelings and thus experience how someone else might respond in a particular scenario.

I know from my own anecdotal surveys of the YA target market (occupation hazard) that many of them buy/download their own stuff on their tablets/iphones/galaxy things.

Switch Blayde

@KimLittle

I know from my own anecdotal surveys of the YA target market (occupation hazard) that many of them buy/download their own stuff on their tablets/iphones/galaxy things.


I sure hope you're right.

Replies:   docholladay
docholladay
Updated:

@Switch Blayde


I sure hope you're right.


Just remember how much information on your reading habits you shared with your parents or other relatives when you were that age. Parents might think they know what their kids are doing, but that isn't always true.

edited to add:
When I was running a BBS and a member of a few networks. Two teenage boys got to discussing hacking into banks in an open forum which was shared through out the network, potentially world wide. I caught that discussion and called their parents after getting info from local BBS op where the messages were posted. They had no idea of what their sons were discussing or the potential consequences.

Crumbly Writer

@KimLittle

I know from my own anecdotal surveys of the YA target market (occupation hazard) that many of them buy/download their own stuff on their tablets/iphones/galaxy things.

I know, from our family's own gift giving, that parents often purchase 'gift cards' for ebook purchases, so it's hardly the case the the only YA purchases are in bookstores. If that were the case, bookstores wouldn't be in the trouble they are now. However, the ebook trend has never proven to be as 'overwhelming' as the various doomsayers were predicting for so long.

jimh67

YA, especially paranormal YA, attracts a lot of independent authors who sell their books for 99 cents, and on occasion give them away. Romance is the same way, only more so. It's tough to make a lot of money with so much low-price competition.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@jimh67


YA, especially paranormal YA, attracts a lot of independent authors who sell their books for 99 cents, and on occasion give them away. Romance is the same way, only more so. It's tough to make a lot of money with so much low-price competition.


According to recent stats, close to 90% of ALL books are now classified as "Romance". You have "historical romance", "sci-fi romance", even "paramilitary" and "post-apocalyptic" romance.

In short, "Romance" simply means "I'd like women to read this as well", but little more than that. But that doesn't mean they'll sell worth crap.

Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

According to recent stats, close to 90% of ALL books are now classified as "Romance". You have "historical romance", "sci-fi romance", even "paramilitary" and "post-apocalyptic" romance.


My personal favorite is paranormal romance.

Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

In short, "Romance" simply means "I'd like women to read this as well", but little more than that. But that doesn't mean they'll sell worth crap.


Usually, it means there is at least some sex involved.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

Usually, it means there is at least some sex involved.

True, but it's usually 'sex directed at women', which is very different than the typical 'guy oriented' sex you find on SOL and ASSTR. (ex. more 'feelings', emotions and slow build ups, and less 'tab A into slut B'.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

True, but it's usually 'sex directed at women', which is very different than the typical 'guy oriented' sex you find on SOL and ASSTR. (ex. more 'feelings', emotions and slow build ups, and less 'tab A into slut B'.


I've read quite a bit in the area of paranormal romance over the last decade. Sure, there's a lot of build up, but they typically get to the tab A -> slot B stuff by the middle of the book and after that, not only is there quite a bit, it's very graphic.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

I've read quite a bit in the area of paranormal romance over the last decade. Sure, there's a lot of build up, but they typically get to the tab A -> slot B stuff

Shouldn't that be "Tab A -> misty slot B stuff"? 'D

richardshagrin

@Crumbly Writer

A pair a normal breasts? Maybe the plot involves twins. A pair abnormal romance might involve same sex conversations, or even intercourse. A town in Pennsylvania, in the Pennsylvania Dutch area.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

Shouldn't that be "Tab A -> misty slot B stuff"? 'D


No, paranormal romance isn't just ghosts. The category basically covers fantasy elements in a modern world setting. So it covers vampires, werewolves, Fae (Elven beings) Wizards, witches, dragons, or anything else you might expect to see in a typical fantasy novel in a modern world setting.

Dominions Son

@richardshagrin

No, it involves two clones of one of Garfield's feline friends. A pair of Nermals.

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