At a time when YA is on the rise, we must ask this question: How do YA authors cater to their older audience?
Today, there is an entire world of social media enabling authors to engage with fans, which helps them learn about marketability, understand the reception of their work, and see their audience in a whole new way. We see this popping up particularly among YA authors, who generally have a great appreciation for the loyalty and passion of their young readers. More importantly, it has opened the door for authors to adopt the additional role of a social media influencer, and the results of this new development are delightful and heartwarming, particularly in the YA community.
Adult books are about learning to live in the world we have. YA books are about changing the world.
A quiet evolution has been occurring in the world of book publishing during this last decade. A hybrid species is emerging—one that has taken until just last year to jump the Atlantic and become available to American literary consumers. There may not seem to be much room to improve upon our current forms of bookish technology, as the basic formats are pretty simple: hardcover, paperback, ebook. But even if you are firmly in either the print or electronic camp, you may be pleasantly surprised by a type of happy medium that is ideally giving readers the best of both worlds.
Growing up around this library program and watching it flourish over the years inspired me to take a deeper look at young adult programs in libraries for my thesis. How have they developed over the years? What makes them “successful,” and what defines success? How are librarians identifying and then meeting their communities’ needs?
To anyone that’s been paying attention to recent trends in young adult (YA) over the last four or five years, the line-up of books slated for 2019 is both timely and highly anticipated. With the push for diversity in literature and media still going as strong as ever (perhaps even stronger than ever), it seems that publishers have finally started to seriously answer the call. Young adult (and middle grade) lists are heavy with POC leads and the number of books about LGBTQ characters has doubled since the last few publishing seasons (and that’s just looking at books coming out—pun intended—between January and April! The list for May through June is even longer!). This is extra important when you consider that as recently as 2012, just over 1 percent of YA books had any LGBTQ content at all.