June 8, 2012

I bet you'll think this post is about you

Okay, so I know i've talked about this topic before... maybe once or twice (of 50 times, knowing me)... but clearly it's something that plagues me.

Or i'm trying to figure it all out. 
Or make sense of it all. 
Or explain it to your brain. 
But most likely to mine.

I write YOUNG ADULT books. I write my books for a TEENAGE audience.  That's who my books are for. If you aren't a teenager and you like my books, I am thrilled!!! 

T H R I L L E D! 

Because you're outside of my target audience, but you still enjoyed the story I told.  I'm incredibly happy when that happens.

Because it doesn't happen all the time.  I'm not sure it even happens 50% of the time.

At least not for me.

I see a lot of the other YA books that ARE being loved by adults in their 20's, 30's and 40's-  and when I try to figure out where my stories lack in comparison (in a learning way, so I can become a better writer/storyteller)- I realize that their stories are told in a way that strikes a chord with us grownies (my new made up word for grown ups) because we have more life experience. We see, read and interpret things in a completely different way than a teenager would...or more likely even could. Don't get me wrong, that doesn't mean that a teenager wouldn't love those books as well, i'm just saying that the people who ARE reading and loving those books-  most likely are not teenagers.  And I'm really starting to think that we 20, 30, 40-something year old women rule the marketplace. (dur)  And us marketplace ruling women tend to rant and rave about books everywhere we go. We post about the books we love on facebook, goodreads, email...we tell our friends, our neighbors, our book club, strangers, etc.  (And that's fan-freaking-tastic.  For reals. I sincerely think that's awesome. Please don't stop doing that for the books you love. Especially if they're Indie books- don't ever stop.)

But teens don't tend to do that. They aren't posting about the books they love on facebook. They aren't sending emails to their friends telling them to read a book. They do tell their friends face to face. They do recommend books when they're in social settings. But as far as spreading things like wildfire- no one holds a candle to us WOMEN.

So here's the thing. If mostly adults are buying and reading YA books- then who is the true YA audience? And have we forgotten about our teenagers? Do we not write for them anymore? Or have we forgotten about them because we don't know where the hell they are?  Because they don't interact with us on Facebook, or Goodreads, or write Amazon reviews...

Everyone wants YA books to appeal to them- no matter their age. Because so many of them nowadays do. Indie YA is all I pretty much read at this point. The books are really, freaking good. The stories are incredible. They may not be pulitzer prize winning novels, but they're enjoyable. And I like enjoyable stories. I don't sit there ripping a YA book apart if it doesn't appeal to me in the same way that I expect (or want) an adult book too.

I swear I had a completely different point to this post.
See? Easily distracted. 
I think my point was that I get a lot of reviews places that say things like;
this book is for a teenager...
if you're a teenager then you'll probably really love this book, but I couldn't stand it... 
the dialogue is annoying...
this book has an immature feel to it...
this book was so unrealistic, unbelievable and just plain stupid...
this book made me roll my eyes more than once...

But you see, I read those reviews and SMILE. Because while you sit there all pissed off and irritated that my book sucks unless you're a teenager- I sit there shaking my head while saying, "well, no shit." And while you're all mad that you hated my book, I want to reach through my computer screen and scream at you, "YOU READ A BOOK FOR A TEENAGER! I'M SORRY YOU DIDN'T LIKE IT, BUT IT WASN'T WRITTEN FOR YOU. GO READ A GROWN UP BOOK!" 

I guess my point is. Ha, maybe I have 2 points. Or none, depending on how you see things. lol  That our expectations for YA books is changing, growing, evolving. But that's an adult perspective. An adult shift.  An adult want.

Personally, I'd love to know what the teens want. But I can't freaking find them.  If you see one, send them over.  :)

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