What is the New Adult Genre?

New Adult is a genre near and dear to my heart because that is the genre that I write in. It is amazing how many times when I talk about my books people wonder if I made up the genre. Some people interpret new adult as ‘New adult’ meaning that it’s an adult novel that is new.

Just to clarify, new adult is a real genre, hopefully Amazon will acknowledge that and give us our own category. That is my prediction for this year.

New Adult (NA) fiction is a developing genre of fiction with protagonists in the 18–25 age bracket. St. Martin’s Press first coined the term in 2009, when they held a special call for “…fiction similar to YA that can be published and marketed as adult—a sort of an ‘older YA’ or ‘new adult’.” – Wikipedia

Anne Tibbets photoAuthor Anne Tibbets defends the New Adult genre.

Yes, New Adult is a Thing, Can We Move on Now?

Every time an editor or agent tweets that New Adult is just a marketing gimmick or a fad, somewhere in the universe, an author dies.

Okay, so maybe he or she doesn’t die – maybe they’re just clutching their chest, or banging their head on their desk, or bashing their laptops with a baseball bat.

The truth is, nobody knows for sure if New Adult has staying power. So far, there have been great successes in self-publishing New Adult, particularly in Contemporary Romance, and traditional pubs are catching up quickly. Even after Publisher Weekly reported that New Adult was an actual thing [http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/publisher-news/article/63285-new-adult-matures.html], there are still those who are unwilling to accept it.

Part of me wonders if these naysayers were also the ones who predicted ebooks would destroy publishing as we know it. Or, maybe they’re just slow adapters, the kinds of people who resent their iPhone upgrades (I’m guilty of this myself), or maybe they understand that the publishing industry can be fickle, and just like in Project Runway, one day you’re in – the next, you’re out!

Whatever their reason for refusing to believe that New Adult is real, if they keep up with the disapproval, they sure aren’t helping! All they’re doing is hurting a lot of feelings from a lot of hard working authors and being negative, and in my limited life experience, being a pessimist makes you a good at creating Dystopia, but isn’t very useful otherwise.

Expanding New Adult Beyond Contemporary

I have very odd taste when it comes to reading. I don’t like just one thing. I go on binges. I’ll read three fantasies, followed by several science fiction titles, followed by a couple historicals, then off to a contemporary romance, then a horror or a thriller – I’m all over the place, in almost all categories (YA, NA, adult) and I believe most readers are like me. Readers don’t read just one thing. We cast a wide net.

So when I hear opinions that New Adult is a contemporary romance category only – my argument to that is, “So far.”

I truly believe that yes, New Adult is a thing, and it’s real, but it’s also evolving. I love the fact that publishers and indie authors are evolving with New Adult, too.

There are so many titles out there now that go beyond the “Damaged Girl Meets Boy” story, which I love for reasons all it’s own, but because readers are naturally inclined to want variety, there are also “Girl From Wrong Side of Tracks Falls for Wrong Guy” (aka. WILD ONES by Kristine Wyllys), “Girl on Trial for Murder in Cyber-Prison” (aka. THE WICKED WE HAVE DONE by Sarah Harian), and “Girl Sees Dead People, Literally,” (aka. DARK PARADISE by Angie Sandro), and if I may be so bold as to include “Girl Battles Mega-Corporation in Dystopian Society,” (aka. CARRIER by Anne Tibbets) – all these being New Adult titles that go beyond the confines of contemporary romance.

So, I guess what I’m proposing is if you’re getting a little burnt out on New Adult, well GUESS WHAT? Options.

Because just like how New Adult is evolving, so are its readers.

Connect with Anne: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

Well said Anne. Do you like Anne’s take on the new adult genre? Check out her other post on the Good Bad Reviews, also check out Anne’s novels below.

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