Wednesday, September 24, 2014

New Adult and the Library

Yesterday when I arrived at work, I was greeted with good news from our Acquisitions Librarian. After pulling numbers for the year 2014 so far, our New Adult books were performing better than 'traditional' best selling authors. For a librarian, the truth is in the numbers.

They discovered that in 2014 (only 9 months so far) that our New Adult books went out at least 10 times. This is considered a great number since we loan our books for three weeks at a time. But wait, there was more to celebrate in New Adult. Claim Me by J. Kenner went out over 20 times!

I thought I would put this in perspective to those of us not familiar with the library numbers game...

  • A popular Harry Potter book placed in the system in 2007 has gone out over 80 times and
  • John Green's The Fault in Our Stars has gone out over 50 times since 2012
So, as you can our surprise when the numbers showed that people are reading New Adult books at pace, if not better, that the 'top' best selling authors. In a time when numbers count for libraries and most have seen decrease in readership, this is something to truly celebrate. New Adult readers are reading at large levels and are helping out the libraries!

As promised, here's another question that I was asked in my interview on New Adult books. Very timely considering our good news.

New Adult (NA) and Staying Power

I feel the NA genre has great staying power. I found two categories that people seem to fall in when reading the NA genre. First, those who grew up in the magical world of Harry Potter and then moved on to Twilight and other books in the YA universe as they grew older. Once they hit college and post-college, there seems to be a missing part for them. These readers were split between YA and Adult Fiction but craving something that reflected what they were most familiar with or wanted to read about.

The second category of NA book readers are those of us who are older but prefer to read about college and post-college situations. I might also add that these readers are looking for something a little more “steamy.” What I have noticed about these readers is that for the most part they haven’t been big pleasure readers or hadn’t picked up a book since high school or college. Once they find NA, they seem to fall in love with reading and the people they read about. One of our readers stated, “Why would I want to read about what’s happening in my life (a reference to older adult fiction books)?” I might also add that this person has not read in years and is now at our library all the time asking what to read next.

I also feel the genre has staying power due to the fan base of the books and the authors’ dedication to the fans. Most of the authors highlighted as core collection NA authors started as Indie authors. With that, they dedicated a lot of their time and efforts to build and maintain their readers. I have noticed more with NA than other genre the opportunity to read character interviews and additional scenes from favorite books. One great example of this is Abbi Glines. After publishing Forever Too Far, she mentioned on her Facebook page that if she went #1 (I can’t remember if it was Amazon or NYT Bestseller List) she would write a whole book from Rush’s POV. Glines has very dedicated fans and with that we got Rush Too Far, a book she originally wasn’t planning on but wrote for the fans.

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