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Except, unfortunately, that book never arrived. More New Adult books were published, and the traditional market shaped New Adult into the niche it is today: a romantic subgenre.
There's nothing wrong with that, of course—there are some great NA romance reads out there, like my favorite In Focus series. But as I've continued to see writers who want to traditionally publish ask about non-romance NA and pitch their Sci-Fi and Fantasy books as New Adult, I think it's important to talk about the realities of New Adult books in the traditional marketplace.
The truth is, if you want to traditionally publish a non-Contemporary Romance manuscript with New Adult aged characters and themes, you'll have to do one of two things:
- Age the manuscript down to Young Adult.
- Age the manuscript up to Adult.
Both are perfectly fine options, and in the latter case you may not have to change too much, because twenty-something or (late) teen characters in Adult books are totally okay (just look at the Shades of Magic trilogy by V.E. Schwab). Unless, of course, the voice and themes, pacing, etc. doesn't fit Adult, in which case with some adjustments you can make the switch down to YA, or revise so that it does fit Adult.
The simple truth is you're not doing yourself any favors by calling your non-Contemporary Romance manuscript New Adult—the market has shown those other genres don't sell as well as they needed to to survive, which means nowadays those other genres often don't get picked up to begin with. So if you find yourself in this position where you have a non-Contemporary Romance manuscript that would be New Adult if New Adult sold non-romantic genres, then you may want to start considering whether aging your manuscript up or down would better fit the manuscript and your career goals if you have your heart set on publishing traditionally.
What do you think?
Have a non-Contemporary Romance MS you want to traditionally publish? @Ava_Jae says you may want to do this first. (Click to tweet)