The River Between

The Gap Between Middle Grade and Young Adult Fiction
Sometimes I wonder if it was wise of me from a marketing standpoint to write both Middle Grade fiction and Young Adult Fiction. They seem to be sometimes miles apart.
Many times I when I look at my sales of both genres I can see the big divide. And when I attend publishing conferences or writing events I’m constantly told not to jump genres all the time.
WHY NOT JUMP GENRE
The most important reason is the building of different markets. When you write a book in a specific genre, market that book, build a fanbase for that book within your genre – changing it means basically starting all over again.
Someone who reads mostly romance may not be a fan of your new horror book. It’s so much easier to build and maintain an engaged audience when you keep feeding them goods they love. Which in turn saves marketing dollars and efforts.
BUT…if you write companion genre it may help instead of hurt. For me, I hope my middle grade readers grow up to like my young adult novels as well.
DO READERS CARE
Yep, because let’s face it. Readers are picky and creatures of habit. Yeah, I may jump out of my comfort zone once in a while but most people love the same type of story and genre. For instance, all those girls that loved Disney’s fairytale love stories probably love romances that are grown up love story, lol!
THE DIFFERENCE IN SALES
This to some people is the bottom line. I have to admit that my Middle Grade books sell MUCH better in person at book signings, direct to stores and other venders then it does in ebook. It’s growing in ebooks but not by leaps an bounds mainly because most people prefer to buy their 6th-8th graders paperback books over ebooks.
My Young Adult novels do much better on the ebook formats than the paperback. Over the years their paperback sales have shifted to the ebook format although remaining somewhat steady in paperback.
SOOO…… What are your thoughts? Do you like to read an authors book when they hop genre even when the genre is something you aren’t in love with?
by: LM Preston, www.lmpreston.com
Middle Grade and Young Adult author

6 thoughts on “The River Between

  1. I’ll genre hop on occasion, too. Especially if I find an author I like. When that happens, I’ll read many of their books regardless of genre. I guess it boils down to quality, sort of like Lynn said.

  2. Wait… didn’t JK Rowling do something like this? Wink. Great post, LM! I agree that if you have a younger audience, most times they grow up liking your books targeted for an older crowd. Cheers!

  3. One problem I’ve encountered with Middle Grade is your story has to appeal to two audiences: the tween and the parent/adult who is buying for them. Most tweens aren’t buying their own books, their parents are, so if you have a story that the parent doesn’t think is a good fit for their child, no sale.

    As people get older, YA and up, they have more control over what they want to read.

  4. I think you have a good point that middle grade readers grow up to read young adult. I never thought of it before, but Beverly Cleary certainly did this.

  5. Absolutely it has to appeal to both kids and parents. Not only that but I think it’s one of the few genre left that’s still paperback heavy. In person sales works well with this genre also.

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