Monday, 21 May 2012

Why don't e-publishers want Young Adult books?

I've just finished writing the first of a three book of the young adult fantasy and am now in a quandary about what to do with it. In order to send it to a mainstream publisher I need to acquire an agent and they are as difficult to find as a publisher.
This leaves me with two alternatives: one - self publish or two - offer it to a digital first publisher.
I decided to investigate both routes in my usual haphazard, nonscientific way. My research is as follows.
There are very few  digital first publishers still running a young adult line. The ones that do I checked the Amazon rankings of their books and they were all far higher than for my Regency romances. This puzzled me - I thought teenagers were buying more books and that YA was a growing market.
I browsed various forums and message boards and to my astonishment most seem to be saying that teenagers, in fact, have not embraced the digital reader. They prefer to read print books and Smart phones/iPad etc are used for communication and game play - not reading. It is adults that are reading on the Kindle not teenagers.
I also read in many places that those that are buying for digital readers in this genre are mostly adults who like reading crossover fiction.
I know that Hunger Games, Twilight, Harry Potter and Amanda Hockings's books have sold in their millions but they seem to be the exceptions.
The general consensus of opinion is that YA digital fiction is not selling well enough for the publishers to continue stocking them.
If this is true then I might as well self publish  or put the book to one side until things improve.
What do you think? Do teenagers prefer print books to digital? Are the main buyers for YA e-books adults?
Looking forward to hearing your opinion.


  1. Great question! I don't know! I self-pubbed my YA time travel romantic thriller - The Messenger's Handbook - after not finding agent representation. Several tiny presses offered to publish it, but imho, unless they have great connections and distribution, I can do more for this book on my own. I currently offer it as an e-book, but am working on a print version.

    Keep us updated!

  2. Interesting. Pamela. Do you have a website? I just think there would be so much promotion etc. But you're right - why pay 65% of the meager royalties we get to someone else?

  3. Fenella, I did a review on A suitable Husband not too long ago on my book blog for your wonderful novel and I was wondering I'm looking for A Debt of Honour pub in 2009 but I cannot find it in paperback. I got lucky and purchased A Suitable Husband in Lprint wondering if you would have a copy I'm not looking for a freebie but I really love your books and would love to review more! Thanks so much Krista link to my review
    5 Stars Thanks again:)

  4. Krista
    Thanks so much for the %8 review. Most of my books are available as Kindle downloads.Have a look on Amazon.

  5. Thanks Fenella I enjoy reading paperback/hardback I have a hard time reading from my Kindle but I have downloaded A Debt of Honour just wondered if there was somewhere I could get paperback/hardback having on my shelf. Thanks I will just keep looking I was lucky enough to find some other titles just not that one. Thanks:)

  6. I thought maybe I could purchase directly from another site or you. I know about Amazon as thats where I have looked but thanks so much. :)