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Y'all,

Does anyone know the difference between Women's New Adult and New Adult?
I've never seen Women's New Adult as a category on Amazon until just now.

Thanks for any advice.
 

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DebDougall said:
Y'all,

Does anyone know the difference between Women's New Adult and New Adult?
I've never seen Women's New Adult as a category on Amazon until just now.

Thanks for any advice.
I checked Amazon. From what I can tell, it's basically just new adult books specifically targeted to women readers -- lots of romance fiction with male hunks for cover models.
 

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I can't answer that, but I would be interested in knowing about how popular the New Adult category is today. I've written a book with characters specifically in their early 20s, but I never tagged it as a New Adult category novel. I always thought that the New Adult category was a superfluous tag.
 

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New Adult is basically like YA, it's problems and issues people from 18 to about 25 face. Marriage, college, career. I don't think most traditional publishers use the tag. And I think it's more a Romance thing.
 

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All my books fit in the new adult category with my female MC in this age group, but I've found that the genre is not a good marketing category for me. My books are listed there, but it's rare that I draw readers from that category (I think). My books sell much better in fantasy/sci fi sub-categories. I think the new adult books that thrive in new adult are more contemporary romance. And, to me, the quintessential "new adult" book would be a non-fantasy contemporary romance. But, of course, we all know genres mix and blend everywhere.

As far as the new category, you've got me. Strange. I've never heard of that. The majority of women's new adult readers are women and most of these books are about women in their 20s. To me, though there are always exceptions, I'd think nearly all these books are "women" new adult.
 

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unkownwriter said:
New Adult is basically like YA, it's problems and issues people from 18 to about 25 face. Marriage, college, career. I don't think most traditional publishers use the tag. And I think it's more a Romance thing.
it isn't like YA altho the characters are in the same age group-- very, very frequently seniors in high school (college, early career is also common in NA, less common in YA except fantasy YA where apprenticeship/early career is more often seen)

YA is problems, issues, coming of age with a heavy emphasis on emotions, growing up, & often the sex is sweet & rather fumbling or not really described,-- the romance arc rarely ends in marriage or a permanent relationship, & there may not be a romance arc at all

NA is contemporary high-angsty sometimes dark romance with far more explicit language and graphic sex, & the focus is on coming together as a couple, not on growing as a person (quite frankly, the characters in a good NA dark romance can be completely spoiled, immature, & just generally terrible people, esp. the cocky male alphas who frequently fill the genre)

trashy fun, guilty pleasure etc. are terms you might associate with NA vs. YA

women's new adult doesn't appear to be any different from just plain ole new adult-- most NA authors are self-publishers who are writing for age 17+

trad YA publishers are also aiming for younger teen readers who like to read "up," which is why you see more emphasis on the issues of growing up/adolescence, high school... and less swearing or sex that might peeve off the school libraries who bulk purchase these books

a good NA invests significant time in the main characters doing damage to each other & then developing a way for them to somehow sort out their differences to reach the happy ending together
 

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alhawke said:
All my books fit in the new adult category with my female MC in this age group, but I've found that the genre is not a good marketing category for me. My books are listed there, but it's rare that I draw readers from that category (I think). My books sell much better in fantasy/sci fi sub-categories. I think the new adult books that thrive in new adult are more contemporary romance. And, to me, the quintessential "new adult" book would be a non-fantasy contemporary romance. But, of course, we all know genres mix and blend everywhere.

As far as the new category, you've got me. Strange. I've never heard of that. The majority of women's new adult readers are women and most of these books are about women in their 20s. To me, though there are always exceptions, I'd think nearly all these books are "women" new adult.
NA isn't just an age category, and your covers don't look remotely NA to me

you can write in this age group & not be either, many of my pairings concern couples who just turned 18, but they are not YA because they are explicit & they are mostly not NA because they don't have that quality of high angst

for example, a contemporary romance about a 20-year-old character who inherits a coffee shop & gets thrown into conflict with the town's up-and-hot young real estate developer isn't NA, it's just good old-fashioned contemporary romance that happens to feature younger characters
 

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New Adult is something tradpubs were really trying to get going several years ago. All of them were asking for NA. It never seemed to pick up with readers (or libraries, or bookstores), though, so it's not a classification that I pay any attention to. It's so limited in what actually qualifies (not technically, but in actuality, in terms of expectations) that it's not useful to anyone who doesn't like that very specific type of steamy romance book. "Women's New Adult" is redundant, since all New Adult is written for women. (Again, speaking of what NA actually is, not what it theoretically could be.)
 

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it's a genre where self-publishers are crushing it to the extent where i had no idea trad had ever tried it!

you've got to have that aura of juicy trashy fun i think
 

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New Adult became a thing around the time of Fifty Shades and it was pushed heavily by a couple of literary agents trying to create a new niche.

It is a misnomer because one would think it would be natural succession of teen and young adults...but, it isn't.

What is sorely missing is that category for the young adult reader that does not leap into steamy, almost erotic.

Mark
 

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ShawnaReads said:
New Adult is something tradpubs were really trying to get going several years ago. All of them were asking for NA. It never seemed to pick up with readers (or libraries, or bookstores), though, so it's not a classification that I pay any attention to. It's so limited in what actually qualifies (not technically, but in actuality, in terms of expectations) that it's not useful to anyone who doesn't like that very specific type of steamy romance book. "Women's New Adult" is redundant, since all New Adult is written for women. (Again, speaking of what NA actually is, not what it theoretically could be.)
This (bolded part) seems entirely plausible. Seems to me the only people I heard mentioning or focusing on NA was publishers and writers. Readers? Probably not so much. TBH, I never did understand the distinction between NA and any other type of women's fiction. Was it mainly romance? The "life journey" kind of story? Does it have any sort of focus at all that sets it apart from other women's fiction? Or is the only requirement the fact that the MC is between the ages of 18-25?

As for Women's New Adult... maybe that simply means that NA is a subset of Women's Fiction. ??
 

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From my perspective, the main problem with NA as publishers tried to make it happen (as opposed to what it settled into becoming) is that they were once again trying to piecemeal the market artificially. Big companies love to put customers in neat little boxes so that (they think) they know how to market directly to them. The idea that someone might read widely, or that boys might like things intended for girls or vice versa, is a fact of reality that they dislike. They like it when they can say, "This type of reader reads exactly this specific type of book, and this is how we can market to that." When I was a kid, there was no YA or even MG. There were kids' books (chapter books), and there were adult books, and it worked fine. Kids didn't need transitional books that were aimed directly at them. People in the "new adult" age range (as publishers tried to define it) certainly don't need books targeted directly to them. First they created MG, then YA, and then they got greedy and tried to create NA, and it just didn't work for them because people from 18 to early 20s are actually adults, so there just was no market to carve out as its own niche. (Which is why it became the incredibly specific subgenre of steamy romance that it is, rather than the broader but still very specific genre that big publishing wanted it to be.)

That's my take on it, anyway.
 

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nightwork said:
it isn't like YA altho the characters are in the same age group-- very, very frequently seniors in high school (college, early career is also common in NA, less common in YA except fantasy YA where apprenticeship/early career is more often seen)

YA is problems, issues, coming of age with a heavy emphasis on emotions, growing up, & often the sex is sweet & rather fumbling or not really described,-- the romance arc rarely ends in marriage or a permanent relationship, & there may not be a romance arc at all

NA is contemporary high-angsty sometimes dark romance with far more explicit language and graphic sex, & the focus is on coming together as a couple, not on growing as a person (quite frankly, the characters in a good NA dark romance can be completely spoiled, immature, & just generally terrible people, esp. the cocky male alphas who frequently fill the genre)

trashy fun, guilty pleasure etc. are terms you might associate with NA vs. YA

women's new adult doesn't appear to be any different from just plain ole new adult-- most NA authors are self-publishers who are writing for age 17+

trad YA publishers are also aiming for younger teen readers who like to read "up," which is why you see more emphasis on the issues of growing up/adolescence, high school... and less swearing or sex that might peeve off the school libraries who bulk purchase these books

a good NA invests significant time in the main characters doing damage to each other & then developing a way for them to somehow sort out their differences to reach the happy ending together
Mostly this, but also the usual indie authors posting in all the categories. New Adult is like Dark Romance or Alpha Heroes. Ask ten people what it is and you'll get ten different answers.

I'm moving away from calling my books new adult because the genre has become more and more associated with heroes who are literally bullies and/or "alphaholes" or generally treat the heroine very poorly.

I came into romance as a YA romance reader and I see none of what I like about YA in most popular NA. It's almost like someone took everything I liked about YA romance away and added all this stuff that makes the books into something disturbing, from a theme/message POV. You (general you) may or may not care about the "moral of the story," so to speak, but I very much do, and I find this high school bully (and the like) type of NA very disturbing.

I think NA did start out like this to some degree, what with Beautiful Disaster and similar books. But it also started out in a more Colleen Hoover kind of way, with slightly more adult stories about teens and people in their early 20s. CoHo is guilty of some writing sins, but AFAIK, writing heroes who treat the heroine like crap is not one of them. (I have not read all her books).

Back in the days of Beautiful Disaster, trad was buying NA books left and right, trying to jump on the train, but they never quite managed. Many indie careers were made in those days. And then NA influenced the market to the point where the line between NA and contemporary romance blurred then disappeared. When I started writing, back in 2014, people were still saying CR couldn't be in first person, but NA could. Now, first person is more common in all but a few small niches.

Women's Fiction > New Adult isn't a real category, I'm afraid. That is, it's not a category with a specific readership or style. It's mostly romances put into the category, though, ideally romances with a high focus on the heroine's coming of age.

edited to remove disallowed content -- Moderator
 

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ShawnaReads said:
From my perspective, the main problem with NA as publishers tried to make it happen (as opposed to what it settled into becoming) is that they were once again trying to piecemeal the market artificially. Big companies love to put customers in neat little boxes so that (they think) they know how to market directly to them. The idea that someone might read widely, or that boys might like things intended for girls or vice versa, is a fact of reality that they dislike. They like it when they can say, "This type of reader reads exactly this specific type of book, and this is how we can market to that." When I was a kid, there was no YA or even MG. There were kids' books (chapter books), and there were adult books, and it worked fine. Kids didn't need transitional books that were aimed directly at them. People in the "new adult" age range (as publishers tried to define it) certainly don't need books targeted directly to them. First they created MG, then YA, and then they got greedy and tried to create NA, and it just didn't work for them because people from 18 to early 20s are actually adults, so there just was no market to carve out as its own niche. (Which is why it became the incredibly specific subgenre of steamy romance that it is, rather than the broader but still very specific genre that big publishing wanted it to be.)

That's my take on it, anyway.
Not sure what you consider 'chapter books'--to me, those are children's books aimed at ages 7-10, but there have been MG books for at least 90 years. Trixie Belden, The Dana Girls, Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys.... they've all been solving mysteries since the '30s or '40s. (Sorry, these mystery books are the ones that jump to mind first, but there are definitely non-mysteries geared toward 11-15 year old readers from back in the day.)

Perhaps it's more of a case of publishers 'creating' the YA category, to bridge the gap between young teens (who read the above series, among others) and the standard books read by adults.
 

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Did some research.

New Adult was pushed heavily by St.Martin's Press as a "marketing initiative" to grab hold of former Young Adult readers who wanted something more "adult". This was circa 2012 and at time it was widely panned as unnecessary and pure marketing by amongst others, booksellers. They started using the term in 2009 and it was a pretty self-serving idea.

Mark

 

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It's something I've been confused about as well and I appreciate all the insight about it in this thread. All I know for sure is it's a category I avoid, because it attracts those romance authors who spend thousands on Facebook ads and AMS.
 

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psnew said:
It's something I've been confused about as well and I appreciate all the insight about it in this thread. All I know for sure is it's a category I avoid, because it attracts those romance authors who spend thousands on Facebook ads and AMS.
Romance authors are notoriously bad when it comes to categorizing. You can't trust the categories. The trouble is you can't trust Amazon either. Even BookBub blurs the lines.

As a group, romance authors put our books into many categories where they don't belong. I've been guilty of this myself but I've stopped in recent years. No more holiday romance tags unless my book prominently features the holiday as a theme. Usually I can ignore this miscategorizing, but the interracial and multicultural charts are 75% aliens and white mafia guys... I've gotten alien books removed but Amazon seems to feel the white mafia guys belong. If you want to argue they're multicultural, eh, maybe (it's my understanding these books contain nothing about Italian, Russian, or Irish culture) but then we need a category just for IR. Bc the market being what it is, broadcasting a book as IR isn't necessarily a net positive for sales.

Or just make a mafia subcat the way sports has a subcat.
 
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