Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Why YA Books are so Popular

Today, I'm sharing an editorial by C. Hope Clark.  Her newsletters, Funds for Writers, are popular resource tools for many and she always has something interesting to share with her readers.


I don't know if I'm aging that fast or the Young Adult market is exploding that much, but it seems most of the new writers I speak with are writing in the YA genre.

The genre sells!

Of course the towering, shining examples of perfection in YA fantasy are Harry Potter and The Twilight books. Then there's Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins as well as The Hunger Games. Neil Gaiman's Stardust is another. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery represents a classic YA series. Lemony Snicket's thirteen books made a huge splash, especially after the movie.

Why do they sell?

1. Teens love to escape.

Having raised three boys, I learned that just because they think they're grown at age 16 doesn't mean they have the confidence to pull it off. They still love to escape and feel comfortable in worlds of other teens.

2. The age group is electronically connected.

From sun-up to sundown, teens tap buttons on so many gadgets to include e-readers and phones. They are also online reading reviews and catching virtual word-of-mouth from their peers. Amanda Hocking proved YA could sell six figures purely from  an online presence via ebooks.

3. Adults read them, too.

Adults raising children live in a world of children. They are surrounded by the literature. The YA genre can actually bridge youngsters and their parents with the plots and characters intriguing enough to snare adult attention. Especially adults
so burdened with schedules that they don't have the time to sink into more heavily weighed-down adult books that require deeper attention.  

4. Pre-teens crave to grow up.

Kids of ages 9-12 count the days until they can be teens. Therefore, they emulate their older idols, to include the reading material. In YA books, they can dream about that day when they, too, can be worldly, fall in love, and
solve sinister mysteries.

In summation, young adult books span a wide age range, from middle-schoolers to grandparents. That's a market share to die for.

For ideas on delving into YA, this is a marvelous reference tool. I've read it.

Wild Ink: How to Write Fiction for Young Adults by Victoria Hanley

Reprinted with permission from
C. Hope Clark


  1. Thanks for spotlighting this interesting post, Penny. Lots of great points here, Ms. Clark. I started reading YAs to get a feel for the genre I wanted to write. Now I seek them out. Love the adventure and hopeful feel of the writing.

  2. Pat, glad you enjoyed the post. You might consider signing up for Hope's newsletters. She always has very insightful editorials.

  3. Wonderful editorial. Thanks for sharing it.

  4. Susanne, Hope always seems to have something interesting and worthwhile to share.

  5. Great post! Trying to find an agent for my just-completed novel, and think I am going to try YA next. Not sure how to be authentic though; I'm 54 with no access to teenagers!

  6. Unknown...try volunteering at a library or local school. They are always looking for volunteers. There's also scouts, 4-H, church groups, too. Good luck.