Monday, April 29, 2013

[Linkage] Y is for YA, NA, adult, etc. (Categories)

Note: My A-Z theme is linkage. Every day (at 7:00 a.m. EST), I'm going to list three helpful industry links per letter, and then I'll ask for suggestions in the comments—that way, we can pool our resources! :)

Y is for YA, NA, adult, etc. (Categories):

Where do you stand on the category debate?

P.S. I've got a homemade infographic on the topic scheduled for May 20th at NA Alley. ;) Speaking of which, our blogiversary week starts today!

www.naalley.com
Monday: Agents on NA
Tuesday: Editors on NA
Wednesday: Authors on NA
Thursday: #NAParty Twitter Party (with Prizes)
Friday: Rafflecopter Giveaway Day

34 comments:

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I agree. NA is a category. NA contemporary romance is a genre. That doesn't mean I don't sometimes call NA a genre. Same deal with YA. Everyone knows what you're talking about when you say genre. Less so when you say category.

The confusing part comes with subgenres. We can't really use the term in YA, MG, and NA, because our subgenres are really genres.

Can't wait for the blogiversary!

Nick Wilford said...

Yes, it makes sense to define YA as an age range instead of genre. I've had the mistake pointed out to me before.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Category works for me. I just never know how many subgenres existed until I wrote a book that fit in one.

Melissa said...

I don't *get* this whole genre/category argument. If MG, YA, and Adult are categories, and Romance, Horror, and Fantasy are genres, then it would seem only logical to say NA is a category. It defines a target age group, and within it can be included novels of all genres, so long as they meet New Adult guidelines.

Woot for NA Alley! :D

Nancy Thompson said...

Of course it's a category. You wouldn't call adult a genre. It's just a differentiation, to separate the age groups: children, young adult, new adult, adult.

C. Lee McKenzie said...

This discussion pops up every so often--tempest in a teapot, but I'd come down on the side of category. That's logical.

ilima said...

I say category, but am surprised by how livid some people get when people call it genre. Chill out, we know what they mean. It's not like I haven't literally misused a word before. (See what I did there, lol)

Gina Gao said...

For me, category and genre are the same thing. I never got the difference.

www.modernworld4.blogspot.com

Mark Means said...

I think 'category' and 'genre' are just simple ways to classify certain types of stories and shouldn't be all encompassing.

Great links, as usual :)

Sheena-kay Graham said...

Either way you rocked with the links this month Carrie. YA and NA forever!

Carrie-Anne said...

I'm not really a fan of pigeonholing books into categories based on the protagonist's age, but I understand the general reasoning for it. Sometimes a book might have a character in any given age-based category, but the voice/theme/subject matter is more in tune with an older or younger category. I remember reading books like that all the time growing up, like adult books with teenage characters, or books marketed to teenagers in spite of having preteen characters.

JeffO said...

The problem, of course, comes when agents and/or editors start referring to it like it's a genre. The same thing happens with literary fiction, which is not really a genre, but gets treated like it is.

Jocelyn Rish said...

I come down on the category side. With the recent Amazon Breakthrough Novel competition it was slightly frustrating because they had different "areas" to submit: Romance, Mystery/Thriller, Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror, General Fiction, and Young Adult. And while I'm grateful they pulled out YA as its own area, I almost submitted to the Mystery/Thriller one because my book has more in common with books that would be submitted there than it does to the melting pot of everything that could be submitted to YA just because the protagonists are teens. A YA mystery has as much in common (or different) with a YA romance as an adult mystery and an adult romance.

ericmussbarnes said...

I have a rant on the same topic on my blog but my opinion will not be popular:
http://www.inkshard.com/on-the-stupidity-of-book-genres

Carrie Butler said...

Soon, it'll be like ordering a drink at Starbucks. "Yeah, I'll have a skinny, grande caramel macchiato..." *grins*

Carrie Butler said...

Same here. It was like discovering a whole new world!

Carrie Butler said...

You, my friend, get a gold star! ☆

Carrie Butler said...

It seems like most people are on the same page today. That's always a good thing. :)

Carrie Butler said...

The devil is here!

Oops. I mean, the devil's advocate. *grins* Welcome, Eric!

Eric Muss-Barnes said...

Thanks.

The Devil, huh?... Okay. I'll run with that. After all, who is a bigger "bad boy" than the Prince of Darkness himself? ;)

Carrie Butler said...

And it makes things so much easier to find. :D

Carrie Butler said...

I can appreciate your logic, Lee. :)

Carrie Butler said...

Haha! Oh, Ilima, you troublemaker... :P

Carrie Butler said...

As long as you're finding what you want to read, I guess it doesn't matter. :)

Carrie Butler said...

Thank you, Mark! :)

Carrie Butler said...

Thank you, Sheena-kay! :D

Carrie Butler said...

Yeah, there are elements besides age to take into consideration--kind of like how we count some historicals as NA. :)

Carrie Butler said...

Mmm... nothing like conflicting industry information. ;)

Carrie Butler said...

Whew! I bet. Hopefully, Amazon will revamp their categorization options--especially now that they've acquired Goodreads. :)

What? A girl can dream!

Carrie Butler said...

Well, they say there is no negative publicity... :P

Connie B. Dowell said...

I also think age range is more category than genre. When many people think of genre, they think of mystery, fantasy, romance, etc. The idea is about the type of plot and events they might expect, not the age of the characters.

Carrie Butler said...

Exactly! :)

Heidi Mannan said...

Genre just boggles my mind. A story is a story and if it's good, it shouldn't matter how it's categorized. Sighhhh.

Carrie Butler said...

Things have a tendency to get complicated in this industry, don't they? It can certainly be overwhelming!