Must we really break everything down into the smallest possible marketing bracket we can possibly conceive of?
Yeah, I get it... Thanks to the eBook and self-publishing revolution, we've got more books being published than ever before, but do we really need to have an entire marketing niche targeted at twentysomethings?
I can sort of understand differentiating between Young Adult and Middle Grade. The maturity level of those two groups of readers is a little different.... Now that I think about it, shouldn't this "New Adult" catagory really be Young Adult and today's current "Young Adult" should probably be called Teen? Let's face it, today's YA market is really focused at teenagers, who aren't really young adults, because they are NOT adults...BUT of course we CAN'T call them teen readers or anything like that, because, god forbid we remind that particular demographic that they are still legally children...oh no... not that...must spare their feeleings and empower them...blah...blah...
Okay. I need to stop on that particular rant or I'm going to throw my laptop across the Starbucks.
Onto "New Adult" readers. This classification pisses me off even more than "Young Adult."
"Hey Gallowglas," you might be saying, "why are you so worked up about this? It's just about where to put books on the shelves or organize them on Amazon."
Only, it's not. Not really. As business and marketing always does, it conforms to reflect the attitudes of society in order to reach people and make as much money as possible. This is kind of indicative of a how we, as a society and culture view the transition from adolescence into adult hood. Allow me to explain this by looking at this "New Adult" thing in one of two ways:
First, it can be take like this: as a teen, you were a young adult, and now that you survived high school, and likely some college, you've managed to claw your way into a job, you don't get to be a full adult yet. You're a new adult. You've gotta earn your stripes and pay your dues before we consider you responsible and intelligent enough to be a real adult. Come talk to us when you're thirty.
On the other side of that coin, we could look at it like this: No, you don't have step up and be a responsible adult, because let's face it, you're just a new adult. We'll give you all the time you need to figure this "adult" thing out, don't stress on stepping up and pulling your weight in this social experiment we call a society, because you're new, everyone should get a decade of slack. Once you reach thirty, we'll talk to you again and see how you feel about things.
So, yeah. Not a fan of the further breakdown of literary categories and what that's saying about our society. Where should we place books like, Catcher in the Rye, The Hobbit, the first three Harry Potter books as apposed to the last three Harry Potter books (the fourth being this really weird bridge between the styles of the early and later books), and I could go on but you get the point.
I think the biggest thing that bugs me about this is that we're readers. Most of who read books are pretty bright people. (Readers of Twilight, Fifty Shades of Gray, and Dan Brown aside.) For the better part of the Twentieth Century, we were pretty adept at navigating books stores and libraries to find stuff to read. Really, we did. In a lot of ways this constant redefining of book categories makes it harder to find stuff, because it pigeon-holes so many books that someone might be interested in reading into categories that might very well turn that particular reader off. For example, I'm pretty sure I've missed out on some terrific reads because I don't really delve into this whole YA thing. I'm sure the same will be true of books in the "New Adult" market.
I guess what I'm really trying to say is: Publishing industry! We're adults and smart enough to find books we like to read on our own. In fact, that's part of the fun of being a voracious reader. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
K thnx buh by.