Pub Rants

A Very Nice Literary Agent Indulges in Polite Rants About Queries, Writers, and the Publishing Industry

New Adult – Perhaps the latest word for Chick Lit

Status:

Tonight Anita and I are braving the predicted 5 to 8 inches of snow to hear Salman Rushdie speak in Boulder.

Listening To:

BIG SPENDER by Bette Midler

Just recently I was doing an interview with a reporter from  Publishers Weekly and she asked if I found it surprising that the New Adult category had remained hot for so long. Here is my response: 
I don’t find it surprising at all actually. Publishing tends to run hot on trends. Sometimes to the point of saturation.
What indie self publishing authors are doing is writing and releasing a lot of content quickly. They see what works and what doesn’t and they shift course if something is not getting the desired reaction or when something is. They have that flexibility because it’s all digital.
Ten years ago, new adult was “hot” but we called it chick lit and it was less sexual relationship or romance focused. Then that became a dirty word and we had to call it contemporary romance or women’s fiction and age up the protagonists.
That left a hole in the market for a whole lot of readers who loved reading works in that genre but got tired of the same old Sex in the City type story lines.
New adult is the 20-something coming of age and the new novels hitting in this realm are emotionally intense (unlike their chick lit predecessors). Prolific indie authors figured it out pretty quickly that the audience was there and started writing for them. It hasn’t abated because the market is not yet saturated.
One thing about Jasinda Wilder is that she is creating her own niche within what people are calling New Adult. 50 Shades is a story of sexual discovery and awakening. What Jasinda is doing is more Nicholas Sparks. Her stories are about emotional healing and the relationship/romance is part of the healing process in a significant way. Now she is a little stunned at the velocity of the response/sales for Falling Into You.
Tags:

3 Responses

  1. Anthony - Rehabilitated Hack Writer said:

    I have a novel in need of revision which is on the bleeding edge. Revised one way, it is Young Adult. Revised another, it’s New Adult.

    So I’m on a month-ish troll for insight. I actually spoke to a very kind agent about this very subject and she gave me an insightful look into what’s selling to publishers (YA). Unfortunately, the clear waters muddied up again when I read, and adored, several new adult books shortly thereafter.

    What’s a writer to do, ha!

    Your gorilla analysis is dead on concerning indie authors who are nimble and can adjust to the demands of readers as long as they have the capability (and fortitude) to get over the discountability hurdle.

    I am finding (and reading) new adult that I love, all of it either indie or small press. Not all of it can be construed as chick-lit. It seems broader, but chick-let does seem to be its base.

    You should write about New Adult more often. Say, once a week until I make up my mind.

  2. Pingback: New Adult – Perhaps the latest word for Chick Lit | The Passive Voice | Writers, Writing, Self-Publishing, Disruptive Innovation and the Universe

  3. Pingback: New Adult – Trend or Fixture? » Salt Run Publishing

Denver Skyline Photo © Nathan Forget [Creative Commons] | Site built by Todd Jackson