It has been five years since I first started my job at the library as the Young Adult associate. I've been 'retired' for three years now, but during my two years on the job, I grew to enjoy YA books and became quite intrigued by the rapid development of this segment in the publishing world. I still scour the YA shelves looking for good things to read and it is the one section in Barnes and Noble that I spend the most time browsing.
I was in the store yesterday having a coffee with my friend Kim. She has a YA book coming out from a new small publishing company and has received her first round of edits. We looked through the current YA titles and discussed how much has changed in the tone of those books over the past five years. I'd say 90% of the book covers are dark in tone. I'm talking color choice, graphic choice etc. Fantasy reigns supreme whether it be fairies, vamps, weres or ghosts. Of course the tone of the stories has changed too. YA books can be gritty, dark and full of many 'adult' themes.
The market has grown. The shelf space given to YA in the bookstore now is double what it was five years ago. Our library added shelf space to YA as well, something that was planned before I left my position.
I've also noticed several books located in YA that were once kept in the Adult sections. Some books are being released and are automatically marketed for both segments of readers.
It was fun to look at the covers yesterday, read the jacket copy and wish I had my old job back so I could buy those books and get them on our library's shelves.