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Archive Self Promotion > How much is too much? YA/NA/A

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message 1: by J.D. (new)

J.D. Wright (everealm) | 15 comments In your opinion, what is an acceptable level of sex or violence in a fantasy series for each: YA/NA/A?

I am about to release the second book of my fantasy-romance series. The first book has received pretty good reviews, but I have had trouble deciding who to market the book to. The first book has a moderate level of sex and violence. The sex scenes are not 50 shades, but they are more descriptive than Nora Roberts. And the violence is not Game of Thrones graphic, but it certainly is not Harry Potter. My sex is sex and my bad guys are bad guys (you are supposed to hate them... it's kind of the point). There are wizards, fairies, imps, kings, queens, castles. I've tried to include everything that I like to read about and I have so much I want to do with the series, but I worry that if I market it to the wrong crowd, I may end up with a lot of bad reviews when they probably shouldn't have read it in the first place. Does that make sense?

Some YA readers like it, but I worry that many may not realize what they are about to read because my synopsis is a little soft. Should I beef it up with more intense phrasing? I don't want to scare anyone.. :)

At the same time, NA is such a misunderstood genre, that I'm not really sure if most readers understand what to expect from books in that genre. Then again, I've found that there are a lot more people who consider themselves to be YA than NA or just A.

I am running a review query and book tour through YA Bound and have had great success, so far. But the fact that they are YA readers (hence the name YA Bound), I hope the readers read the "Adult content" warning before signing up. From my understanding, most YA readers are late teens/early twenties? Granted, I was reading Nora Roberts and Terry Goodkind in high school, but I realize that not everyone does.

I once heard about a website that rates books based on their level of graphicness (is that a word?), but I don't remember what site it was.

So I'm curious, what do you consider to be too dark or graphic for YA and is there really a market for NA?

P.S. I'm so sorry to have practically written a novel, above!


message 2: by J.C. (new)

J.C. | 16 comments Hi J D,

This is a tough one! I would say take a look at some other books which are similar to yours in content (sex, violence) and check what category they are in, it might help give you an idea. Also check out YOUNG ADULT READS (How much sex and swearing is okay?) here on Goodreads, I think it is lengthy topic on this subject.

All the best
J C Rimell

message 3: by Wendi (new)

Wendi Wilson | 20 comments In my opinion, YA can have sex, but it shouldn't be too graphic or descriptive in nature.
I write YA, and though my characters haven't had sex yet, they have had some make it scenes. When and if I do let them "do it," I'll probably skip the details and lead the scene right into the afterglow.
I'm marketing my book to 16+.

message 4: by Farren (new)

Farren (mmmcookies) I don't know if you've ever read the Sookie Stackhouse series, but I consider that the border. If it has more sex and violence than those books, it should definitely be listed under adult.
The problem is that many "young adult" readers are actually like 15 years old. They aren't really adults yet. Books just market better (and sell to more adults) listed as young adult rather than "teen". So while you think you are selling your book with its sex and violence to a 23 year old, it's likely someone who doesn't even have a driver's license yet is reading it. Not your fault, of course, it's just that people tend to ignore the "adult" part of that category and then claim to be offended by the mature content. To be on the safe side, maybe you should label it NA. Honestly, I don't differentiate between the two much, other than expecting more explicit sex scenes in NA. I'm sure others will feel the same.

message 5: by J.D. (new)

J.D. Wright (everealm) | 15 comments J.C.- Thank you! I will definitely do that.

Wendi- I thought so. I have had someone tell me that the 'first kiss' scene in my prologue was too racy. Huh? I'm glad that reader decided not to finish the book! :)

Farren- I haven't read the Sookie Stackhouse series. I've watched Trueblood and know there are plenty of graphic scenes in that, but it's probably played up for tv. However, I may read it now, just to see what you mean.

I was one of those high schoolers who read mature novels, but I really liked them and chose to read them on purpose. I think erring on the side of caution may be my best choice, even if the market isn't as easy to sell in...

message 6: by Biate (new)

Biate You can not compare the True blood TV series with the Sookie Stockhouse books. The books are so much better. I read the books first and then tried to watch the TV series, seriously I felt way to young to be watching it (Blush) and Im almost 30 years old. He he. Books are definitely Adult though, but the series...I think that goes a little further and is way more erotic and violent (It needs a whole new classification.)

Anywho I was also one of those high schoolers who read mature novels. basically because when I got to age 14 Ive read all the kiddie and young adult books in our library. What Iv'e seen alot lately is that books have age restrictions on them as warning. Example this book is 17+ and ... I think this makes it clear that the book is not intended for younger readers. If they then read it it's their choice and not the authors responsibility.

I love YA books, but seriously I want at least a real kiss. Im all for skipping over the sex part and moving on to the afterglow, but still a kiss is not too much to ask.

I'm especially hooked on NA books. Just the right amount of sex, dirty words and violence to keep your attention and make you fall in love and feel with the characters. Nothing to over the top and graphic. If your looking for something more than this then search for thrillers or erotica.

Good luck with your book. I think Farren is right, to be on the save side classify it as NA.


message 7: by J.D. (new)

J.D. Wright (everealm) | 15 comments Biate- Thank you! I completely agree! I want a little sex and danger in my reading, too. :) I have an adult content warning in the synopsis' of the books. I didn't put an age on it before, but I think I may now.
P.S. I checked out your profile. I am a Nora Roberts fan, too! If you're ever looking for something to read, check out my series. My love scenes are just a bit more descriptive than Nora's are, but I think you might like it. :)

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