Trends in Young Adult Books

Trends in Young Adult Books

The market for young adult books has grown by leaps and bounds over the course of the last decade and a half. Books for young adults have existed before that, but not quite on the same marketing scale as they have since Harry Potter.

It’s hard for publishers of young adult books to guess what new series will hit it big, as it’s fairly well-known that the publishing industry relies on mega hits and superstar authors to turn a profit. Thus, everyone is always looking for the next big thing. Because few books actually make lots of money, the publishing industry is reluctant to buy books from new authors, and it’s notoriously difficult for authors of young adult books, or any other type of book for that matter, to break out. Which seems to be a self-defeating business model, but, like Hollywood, the publishing industry tends to play it safe.

But when something does hit, publishers want to get as much out of it as they can. Post-Twilight, bookshelves were packed with paranormal romance young adult books. Post-Hunger Games, everything was dystopian. The big exception to this is Harry Potter itself, though fantasy has always been a mainstay of young adult books, from Ursula K. Le Guin’s Earthsea to Tamora Pierce’s Tortall.

While science fiction and fantasy young adult books are perhaps the most popular right now, teen literary fiction is also quite pervasive. These books explore issues real teens face, and many of them are taught and read in school curriculums. Classics and contemporary examples include books like The Perks of Being a Wallflower and the recent best-seller Fangirl.

It truly is an exciting time for QBD young adult books – who knows what the next big genre will be?