Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Who Drives YA Sales?

It's been in a few articles lately about how much teen reading is up because of the booming YA sales that have been going on. But really, are the teens really the ones that are reading?

Out of all the YA book bloggers out there, how many of them are actually teenagers and how many, like the rest of us, aren't? How many more adults are getting over the supposed "shame" of shopping in the YA section of the book store and realizing that there are some awesome books to be read over there? Just how many teens are really buying those book and how many of them are adults?

I can tell you, of the YA book bloggers on my blogroll, only a handful are actually teens. So how are "those people" supposed to accurately gauge teen reading if us adults are muddling those numbers? Are they polling high schools and middle schools? Wouldn't that be a better representation of the numbers than just counting sales? Should the buyer give their age when purchasing young adult books so the Nielson of book stores can count the numbers? I pity the clerks that have to ask that question.

So are YA sales really up in the teen market? Or are adults just getting wise? What do you think?

7 comments:

Steph Su said...

Hmm, I never thought about it that way, but you're right. YA is booming not only because more teens are looking into books (and we have to thank the likes of Stephenie Meyer for that, much as you are loathe to admit), but because adults are also flocking to this genre. Maybe YA is like another "guilty-pleasure" genre to some adults, kind of like how they'll read romance, thrillers, and mysteries. Me, I grew up on YA books and never moved to adult books, but I think that the growing acceptance of YA as literature compells more reluctant adult readers, who've previously not read as much because they can't get into the often sluggish or overwritten adult book (it's totally true), to find comfort and satisfaction in YA. So yay!

Steph Su said...

Oh, and about YA book bloggers: I think the reason YA blogs run by adults are more prominent is because adults are simply more articulate than teens. I'm not saying that teens aren't. Heck, I was one only several months ago (in terms of numbers, anyway. Mental age-wise, well...). But ya don't hit your prime eloquence time in your teens, thank God, so it's the adults who are passionate about YA that really drive the hobby and the genre. Again, yay!

Barbara said...

I think adults are probably the ones getting the books since there are a lot of us out there. The whole YA thing always strikes me as silly because it stands for Young Adult. Looking at it like that I could consider myself exactly that although it is typically used for teens. They probably don't have an accurate way to keep track of who happens to be buying the books. I have no problem going to that section for books at all but of course the bookstores around here suck and I'm not getting bags of cash to support my book habit.

I Heart Monster said...

I always thought that adults drove sales because adults have the moolah... i dunno. even if they're buying it for a teen, most teens I know don't spend their money on books because that'ss something their parents buy for them to encourage literacy and stuff... just the ones I know...not saying its that way across the board.

Shalonda said...

I agree that adults are driving the sales. It may be that so many adults are like me and enjoy YA more than typical adult novels. It may also be because adults are purchasing the books for their teenaged children, family members, students, etc. Either way, I'm just glad to see that the industry is booming!

Donna said...

Yeah, I'm right up there with adults feed the market too. Granted I think teens are fully capable of buying their own books but at the same time, I don't think too many are actually doing it. One way or another, the adults are fueling the boost.

Debbie's World of Books said...

I think it's a combination. I think books like Harry Potter and Twilight have really engaged more teens in reading than before. I also think YA books have gone to a new level that is also attracting a lot more adults as well. I definitely notice the difference in today's YA books and the ones I read when I was actually a teen (I've gone back to reread several).

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