As a UK blogger (and one that seems to devour YA), I am thrilled to be taking part in this blog tour to promote UK YA. If you want to know more about Project UKYA, please visit their blog! Today, the lovely author Sara Grant (author of Dark Parties and Half Lives) will be trying the answer the question: With UK book sales in general going down in the past few years, why do YA sales seem to be going up? So, I'll hand you over to Sara for her thoughts on this question....
Why when book sales are going down, YA sales seem to be going up?
My short answer is…because there are so many amazing young adult books being published!
Yeah, I’m biased. That’s what I write and primarily what I read. But it’s true. Here’s a snapshot of my reading pile – some of these I’ve recently finished and others I’m dying to read. When I check out the teen sections in bookshops, I always come home with a stack of books. (My husband would tell you that I personally am the reason for this upturn – because I buy so many YA books.)
I think we need to thank trailblazers like J.K. Rowling, Suzanne Collins and Stephanie Meyer for expanding the appeal of teen books. Their series established a habit and hunger for reading in millions of children and teens. Readers of Harry Potter, Hunger Games and Twilight are now – I hope – lifelong readers.
We also know that YA books aren’t just for teen. YA books have an ever-expanding readership. Tweens to pensioners pick up books that are branded YA. And once they’ve read one, they will read others. Perhaps initially parents check out what their teens are reading, but I know empty-nest mums and dads who still enjoy a teen novel from time to time.
Teen characters and issues are timeless. Whether you are experiencing puberty now or still healing from secondary school scars, we can all appreciate this time of life when we experience the thrill of so many firsts and the possibilities seem endless. It’s the time of life when we begin to break away from our parents and discover who we really are. I wonder if we are all still struggling to either live up to our teen expectations or overcome our teen issues. Oh, maybe that’s getting too deep…
On a more practical note, teen books can be face-paced and highly charged stories. They are often a fairly manageable length. I think many teens and adults appreciate the fleeting escape YA fiction offers.
No matter what the cause, I’m thrilled that YA is flourishing. Not only because I write it, but also because as a teen, I needed it. I’m pleased that teens can find themselves and lose themselves in teen fiction. Long may it endure!
About Sara GrantSara writes books for both children and teens. DARK PARTIES, her first young adult novel, won the SCBWI Crystal Kite Award for Europe. Her next novel for teens – HALF LIVES – is a story told in two voices from a pre- and post-apocalyptic time. She also writesa new funny magical series for young readers – MAGIC TRIX. Sara is part of a team of editors and writers – called Book Bound – which is offering a weekend writers retreat in 2014. Find out more about Sara at www.sara-grant.com and Book Bound at www.bookboundretreat.com