You’ve probably heard of the Young Adult genre, but the New Adult genre has been incredibly popular the last few years. It’s been touched by certain books like Twilight and Fifty Shades of Gray (which, like it or not, were financial successes), and it’s all the rage on Kindle. If you’d like to publish in this genre, here are a few highlights of what’s included.
What is New Adult?
New Adult features characters that are slightly older, and many of the stories have teens that are transitioning into adulthood. It touches on the problems of going from youth to post-adolescence, but there’s one other thing that it really features: sex.
This genre often has fairly explicit sex scenes, and it’s one of the defining aspects of New Adult. It’s not to the point of being gratuitous, but the majority of these books offers a few scenes to keep readers hooked. The focus is still on character and plot, and it looks at what it means to grow up.
This means that most of the characters aren’t “true” adults (as we commonly see in real life). They still have scraps of childhood in them and they tend to slack, play video games and don’t have “grown-up” jobs. You’ve probably seen various stories like this, but now it’s become its own genre.
In many ways, this is basically the same as the existing genre “contemporary romance fiction.” However, that’s just a subset of the romance genre, and tends to gravitate more towards strict romance and love. New Adult features the problems of growing up more often, even though many of the stories are romantic. It’s like comparing horror romance to a romantic horror.
At the same time, this genre is slow to expand outside the world of self-publishing. Many publishing houses have been unwilling to adopt new genres, citing their popularity as a flash in the pan that will fizzle out in a few months. The truth is that New Adult is starting to gain some shelf space, though it’s often in corners and away from the major sellers. However, since 2012, some publishing houses are starting to produce and market this genre.
While the offline world has been cold to New Adult, the online world is brimming with sales and opportunity. Here’s how to get yourself a spot in this new genre.
Demographic and Buying Behaviors
As you can probably guess, the primary demographic is New Adult is women. Most of these readers are 18 to 25 years old, and their age works perfectly with the growth of this genre and its primary marketplace. These are readers who are more accepting of technology. Many of them have tablets and smartphones that they use to read novels on a daily basis.
These readers are looking for books that show them that most adults don’t have it together, while at the same time satisfying some fantasies. The readers are often the same as the protagonists, being either in high school or college and going through similar situations of trying to figure out their life and where they are going.
It’s hard to say if this genre is just a fad or not, but it’s become a growing force on Kindle and other online outlets.
New Adult is a subset of Young Adult that features what young adults are really going through and has more sex than your average story. Just remember to focus on relatability and plot while targeting younger female readers are that buying digital books.
The Fire Phone is Amazon’s newest device on the market. Unlike most other Amazon devices that were only meant for ebooks or as e-readers with tablet capabilities, the Fire Phone is a full phone made with premium hardware.
While the specs are great and it challenges both the Android and iPhone market, let’s look specifically at one of its most interesting, and controversial, features: Firefly. Many are saying that this feature has the ability to destroy retail stores, but it might be what’s needed to significantly increase ebook sales.
What is Firefly?
What is the Firefly feature? This is a unique feature that allows the phone to check nearly any product for its Amazon comparison. Imagine going into a store and trying on a pair of pants. You’ll find the best pair in the store, but you’ll find the best price with the phone. That’s because Firefly allows you to scan the barcode and see if it’s cheaper on Amazon (which it will be 99% of the time).
Now, there have been many barcode scanners, but Firefly goes a few steps further than your conventional comparison shopping app. First of all, it tells you the price on Amazon, not anywhere else. Also, it can do more than scan barcodes. Let’s say you see an awesome movie scene, but you don’t know what movie it’s from. Firefly can find out for you. Don’t know the name of that song? Firefly can find it for you.
It’s the ultimate comparison shopping and media discovery app because not only does it bring people directly into Amazon, but they can quickly find new products and buy new things that they wouldn’t have before. This turns interest quickly from “want it” to “got it” because products are now just a click away, and they don’t even need to worry about shipping times if it’s a song or movie.
As you probably noticed above, Firefly isn’t made specifically for books. Yes, consumers can go into bookstores and scan books for cheaper prices, but this won’t specifically help them find new books. So, how does this help authors? More Amazon customers can easily translate into new Kindle readers. Books are typically significantly cheaper on Amazon, and it’s easy to find new books through their website.
As people come to Amazon more and more, there is a good chance that a fair percentage of them will check out the Kindle listings, which can lead to better sales. This is especially true for people looking for media because they’re already interested in being entertained, so it’s just a small jump to the Kindle store to see what’s available. Not only that, but the Fire Phone comes with all the Kindle bells and whistles, which is expected to prompt people to at least try the Kindle store.
While the Fire Phone has the potential to make ebook sales explode, it’s still just potential. Yes, it will probably lead to much bigger sales for Amazon when it comes to movies, music and overall products, but nothing guarantees more ebook sales. It’s likely that authors will see more traffic, but the actual number of new sales is too hard to decipher at the moment since the Fire Phone is still very new. Many authors are rooting for the Fire Phone and its potential, but you’ll have to wait to see if there are any real benefits for authors.
There’s also the problem of usability. Some reviewers are saying that Firefly is an interesting feature, but not really a useful one. There are already barcode scanners, and it’s hard to say how many new people will flock to Amazon if they already know that Amazon offers low prices. However, the feature is built with the intention of building the Amazon fan base, and Amazon has usually been good when it comes to growing its expansive list of customers.
The Fire Phone Firefly feature really might be the death knell for brick-and-mortar stores because it makes every storefront a potential Amazon storefront since customers can try out new products before buying them on Amazon for cheaper. But, does this mean that it will benefit authors? With Kindle Unlimited and the likelihood of new customers trying out Kindle books, there is a high possibility that ebook sales will increase, but it’s hard to say if the effect will be long-term, or if it will even be significant for authors. At the same time, getting ready to do some heavy marketing to pull away from the pack might be your best bet for getting these new Amazon customers.
If you’ve ever written a series, and many KDP writers do, because it can spell large profits and an even larger following of dedicated readers, then you know that Amazon has now made it easier for customers to find your series. Writers have been able to enter a series title for years, which allows you to tell people that this book is part of your new series. However, Amazon has recently improved titling and selling of a series, which will make it even easier for people to find the other books and, more importantly, buy all of the books so that they can catch up to the new installment.
Titling a Series
This section is mostly for new series writers because this feature hasn’t changed much since the update. When you enter a new book, you have the opportunity to name it. You’ll see a field that’s labeled “Series Title.” Be sure to write the series title in here. For example, if this book is part of the “Ramen Noodle Mystery Diner” series, then write that title in this field.
Do not write the book’s title here. Also, be sure to write the exact series title again when publishing the next installment. It has to be exactly the same, otherwise Amazon won’t recognize it. So, if you make it “Ramen Noodles Mystery Diner,” Amazon will consider it a different series.
Each book needs to be numbered for Amazon to put them in order. So be sure to add a “1,” “2″ or “3″ in the title field. If you don’t, then it won’t be added to the series. According to Amazon’s guidelines, which you can find here (https://kdp.amazon.com/help?topicId=A15JL56ZKVMPGJ&ref_=pe_390220_119467240_55), it says that any books without a volume number won’t be shown in the series page. While they can still be found along with other books, you’re losing out on one of the best features of this update.
The Series Page
So, how does this new title schema make it easier to sell books? The series page. Whenever someone clicks on your series’s title, they will be brought to the series page. This page lists all of the volumes in order so that readers can quickly find all of the relevant books. No longer do they have to search for the title to find your book, and possibly others that have a similar name. Not only that, but forcing authors to number their books makes it much easier for customers to know which book is which so that they can follow the proper order.
Making sales on Kindle is all about discoverability. This makes it much easier for readers to know about your series. Before this update, some readers would buy the newest installment and just read that book, not realizing that books have come before and after it. If someone likes your series, then you can almost guarantee that they will look at the other books and buy them.
Profiting From a Series
Due to this update, you don’t have to worry too much about making people aware of your series (though it’s still good to market it as a series, just to ensure that everyone’s aware). Your primary focus should now be providing a quality product that people will want to read. Series books have always done well if the product is good, just look at some of the latest series. Harry Potter, Twilight, Fifty Shades of Gray and the Percy Jackson books. Readers love the individual books, but making them a series keeps their attention and ensures a much higher money flow for the authors.
If you can get people really excited about the first book and then keep the quality going, then you’ll make some major sales. A series also tends to be easier on the writer because the characters are already established after the first book. Now you just have to keep the plot going. At the same time, remember to stress quality the whole time. Faltering even once can reduce your profit.
Amazon is always trying to make things easier for writers, and updating the series feature now makes it easier than ever to get your series discovered. You don’t even have to do any work. Just make sure that the series and volume number are correct before publishing the book. If you do that, then people will have an easy time finding all of the books in your series.