Young Adult (YA) novels don’t look like YA books anymore. Walk into any bookstore and you’ll see the books becoming bigger, thicker, and with beautiful covers.

The marketplace for Young Adult books is changing. Two reasons:

1) Harry Potter & Tolkien Books
2) The Economics of Trade vs. MM Formats

Harry Potter & Tolkien Books

First let’s think about the Harry Potter effect. Prior to H.K. Rowling’s blockbuster success with the Harry Potter series, conventional wisdom was that young adults wouldn’t read books over 200 pages. Harry Potter books are thick, almost Bible-like in size.

Now things have changed. Youngsters have voted with their pocketbooks to purchase books in the 300 to 400 page range. The Lord Of The Rings movies then rode on the coattails of Harry Potter to sell 400-500 pages books to a YA audience.

To be fair, this is really a change in the older YA marketplace. The 10 to 15 year old crowd has blossomed into a distinct buying group whose demand publishers are now rushing to fill.

Tomorrow we’ll talk about the way economics is shaping the market.