First, let me ask: Have you heard of a classification called new adult? It's a sort of crossover classification between YA and adult in which the characters are in their early 20's (college age). There is some theoretical appeal for both teens and adults. Many adults are now reading YA, but new adult may have more adult situations/themes.
I have an urban fantasy series coming out soon that is clearly new adult, but since very few people have heard of it, finding my target market has been a problem.
My publisher was considering marking it as YA (probably thinking it would draw a wider audience), but two things keep me from wanting to push it that way. First, my heroine is 21. Moreover, she's not a high school student or even a college student -- she's a functional adult. Second, there is some mild sexual content in the series. The YA feel to the series stems from the fact that this is ultimately a coming of age story, and from the fact that her parents/family play an important role. (She's still living with them during most of the first book.)
I try to be very sensitive when it comes to reviewers' guidelines. If they say they only review YA, I don't want to send them an adult book. It seems rude. But this may be gray area, so I am curious to hear from YA reviewers if they think this would qualify. Basically: Would you be offended to receive a review request for a new adult book?
Here's a link with specific book information and the first couple of chapters...no cover art yet. We'll be releasing ARCs in a month or so: http://christineamsden.com/wordpress/?page_id=1581
I don't think most YA bloggers would be offended to receive a new adult review request. I know more and more YA bloggers are getting into new adult books. Just make it very clear that it's new adult and maybe list the "offensive" material in the request? Many of the reviewers would probably be fine with it as long as they know what's coming before they start reading (or they'll pass on it if that stuff offends them).
That seems sensible.
One thing that worries me, though, is the idea that some of these bloggers are teens themselves. Not sure there's anything I can do about that, but it has crossed my mind.
I agree with what Alison has said--list the offensive material, and if it offends them, they will pass the book up. Another note is that although a lot of YA bloggers are teens, there are many who aren't too. You could seek them out--there are several directories of bloggers available. I can also say that if it's minor sexuality, that many teens have already read a lot of what's out there--or experienced it.
Here's a YA directory. :)
Thanks for the link! That will take some time to get through!
I'm among who never hear about New Adult.
Any new classification or thing which may never be heard or may have been heard by few people could also attract great people.
It just need a bold leader and leap.
To be the first is never easy, but to be the follower/ing is not that easy either.
Hope it does well with you,
Wish you all the luck and best.
Thanks! Honestly, I think I'm mostly going to push it as an adult read, because I think it is, but if I can draw in a bigger audience it would be nice. :)
Some publishers actually don't recognize NA as a new genre, and continues to sell more "mature" books as YA. Honestly, a lot of YA bloggers I know of are adults, and wouldn't mind an NA book to bridge the gap between their own age and their love of YA. I, myself, am not an adult yet, but have already read and enjoyed a couple of NA reads, so I don't really mind the age thing.
If you want to send a review request to bloggers, go for the "About" or "Policies" page. It gives you a better idea of who the blogger is (age range, genre preferences), and would also help you personalize a request, which many bloggers love.
The need to classify everything is not good and can hurt reaching out to your intended readers. People will read what they want. I read YA and adult novels when I was age 15-16 because there was no such distinction then (mid-90's). Now when I see a novel labeled YA I have to scratch the back of my head if I want to try it as it is possible the level and quality of the story will be too low for me while there have been quite a few YA novels around that will appeal greatly to adult readers. If it didn't have the label I would judge it on its own merits.
What I try to say here is that the YA genre already covers a wide range of quality, complexity and serious content. Personally my experience is that most kids are familiar with serious content around age 15. The YA genre should be something that provides them a milder introductory version before advancing to the adult literature. If they complain they should stick to kids' novels.
Coming of age is a relative term in my opinion. It is most true until adulthood. Afterwards there are the minor coming of age developments: college life, getting out on the job market, founding a family, being a parent, reaching middle age, end of productive life, becoming elderly, end of life. They are all "coming of age" stages. You can put a label/category on it, but in the end it will still be an adult novel. An adult novel by the way does not require offensive material. It can be anything. This New Adult classification is just rubbish as it tries to limit your reading audience. You've written an adult novel and whoever is interested in it will read it. If it says it is aimed at age 18-22 people can think otherwise.
there's a sight out there called http://yalitchat.ning.com/ and it's focused on more of the young adult crowd. I'm a member of the sight and I love it. Check it out.
I review a lot of YA among other genres and would be in no way offended by being asked to review your book. I'd love to add your book to my read and review list.
My daughter Rai29 of Rai29BookReadNReview is 16 yrs old and mostly reviews YA and I truly don't think she would be offended to be asked to read and review your books.
I mean you can always say you think it fits the new genre "new adult" genre explain it has some sexual context and then let people decide for themselves. My daughter is and always has been a mature teen, so I would not bat an eyelid at her reading your book. I think teens this day see so much unecessary sexual content on tv that is much more objectionable than you would read in a book.
Its like I will read some "mild erotica" in that if theres a decent storyline and its not just sex for the sake of a steamy racy scene then I'll give reading it a go. But I once said yes to "mild eroticia" and was sent some pretty gruesome and graphic stuff so I tend to say no to all erotica now which is a shame.
I hope I haven't rattled on too much. My email should you wish to contact me is jeanz[at]btinternet[dot]com