Monday, November 11, 2013

The real audience?

I wrote my first young adult novel this year. A young adult (YA) novel is a book that will most likely be enjoyed by children 12-18 years old. Since all of my previous books had been written for a younger audience, I did a lot of research before getting started.

Some of this research involved reading books about how to write the novel. I read tips like - include a teenage protagonist, write in the present tense and in the first person, keep the pace fast, and don't be afraid to touch on risky topics like sex and drugs.

Most of my research involved reading other young adult novels.This was, of course, most valuable. I passed some of them to my children for their opinions and I quickly came to the conclusion that YA novels could be divided into three categories: books the parents like, books the teens like, and those books that meet the approval of both sides.

Of course, both audiences are important, as you really want teens to love your book, but you have also want the parents to be willing buyers. Some books for younger readers have been wildly successful despite being embraced reluctantly by many parents, for example, the Captain Underpants Collection. And I've read a few award-winning YA books that I am quite sure would not appeal to most teens.

I aimed at getting Another Day smack in the middle of these two interest groups and if I stray off center, I should be a little to the right!


Charles Gramlich said...

I'd be interested in hearing more about the differences between the ones teens like and the ones parents like

Jewel Amethyst said...

Me too Charles. So Carol, here's to your next post...

Skylar Burris said...

That overlap is really the sweet spot. Good luck finding it! I wonder, though, how many teens buy (or check out from the library) books on their own (with or without their parents' knowledge), therefore making whether or not the parents like them less relevant?