"In these pages many mysteries are hinted at.
What if you come to understand one of them?"

"Words let water from an unseen, infinite ocean
Come into this place as energy for the dying and even the dead."

"Bored onlookers, but with such Light in our eyes!
As we read this book, the jewel-lights intensify."

- Rumi

Monday, November 19, 2012

Daily Rant - Book Catagories

I was just checking out some stuff on Facebook and I saw a post by GalleyCat about "New Adult Fiction." I've provided a link, because I don't really want to go into an explanation on this new marketing category. Skim it over. That's all you need to grasp the concept of this "New Adult" fiction.


I mean...REALLY?

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.


  1. I can see the need for protagonists in the 20 something age range, and i maybe getting old, but i'm fairly certain I've read books in the past with just that.

    Is the idea of 'new adult' a bad one? probably for all the reasons you stated, and being the parent of a YA-soon to become NA, i can probably list loads more.
    Is there a need for a literary NA genre? unfortunately i think there is, the youth of today click, click, click and if it doesn't appear, it doesn't exists. A lot, i'm not saying all, wont be able to find what they want with out the genre title. I think we can hope that if they start reading NA, they will move on to real adult books and maybe even learn something.

  2. Thanks for your comment, Holly.

    I can appreciate your sentiment, but I think it just goes to prove my point further. That they have to move on to real adult books once they get out of the literary kiddie pool, and that they aren't ready to read real "adult" books until after they get some NA books under their belt. How many is that, by the way? At what point to we tell them it's okay to start reading the "real" grown up books.

    And yes, the youth of today are a click, click instant gratification generation, but are we now defining twentysomethings as "the youth of today?" If that's the prevailing attitude, then that really explains a lot about what's going on in our culture.

  3. Hi, I am interested in your blog and what readers have to say. I am a recently published author of a few weeks. I am hoping the New York Times will review my book shortly. MELTING LOVE MOMENTS Lynne Pickering is available on Amazon.com and 8 others. It is a feel good romance an uplifting story. It does have sex but not R rated.When I was categorizing it it was Adult fiction young adult , romance and I think inspirational. It has inspiring motivational concepts but I am not sure how you categorize that into a romance fiction. If anyone out there knows any film producers in Hollywood it is written in first person and would make a great movie comedy romance and is easy to covert to a film script. I am still waiting for my first book review.For marketing I have sent off 5,000 emails to my art customers all over the world hopefully some will buy the book and in 2013 it is being presented at 19 book fairs world wide. My next book I am due to lodge on the 3rd January it is a spy, mystery , adventure , romance erotica.More complex so it has more categories. My publisher in the USA is Stategic Publishing I have an authors website http://sbpra.com/LynnePickering if anyone is interested.


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