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Claire Ormsby-Potter
Finally made it to for this evening's discussion on YA after some adventures with google maps!
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Claire Ormsby-Potter Jun 19
Replying to @KenilworthBook
There are many age groups reading YA - an informal survey conducted by found it was being bought by women between 18 to 45!
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Claire Ormsby-Potter Jun 19
Replying to @okyeahbut
The term "uplit" used a lot with adult fiction, as big trend, not usually applied to YA and children's lit but that is a theme in them generally.
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Claire Ormsby-Potter Jun 19
Replying to @okyeahbut
There are so many genres within YA, but there is perhaps a trend to put things in YA which are difficult to categorise, i.e. dealing with race etc. But also age of protagonists - assumption that only teenagers want to read about teenagers.
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Claire Ormsby-Potter Jun 19
Replying to @okyeahbut
Of course this means books like Nicholas Nickleby and Pride and Prejudice would be categorised as YA because the protagonists aren't older than 22!
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Claire Ormsby-Potter Jun 19
Replying to @okyeahbut
Interestingly there was a gap in fiction of protagonists aged around 14 - children's books were a year or two older than intended reading age, and YA usually older teens. There was a real space!
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Claire Ormsby-Potter Jun 19
Replying to @okyeahbut
Interesting point - visiting a library with an adult as a teen means you would likely read different books than you would necessarily choose with your own money in a bookshop!
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Claire Ormsby-Potter Jun 19
Replying to @okyeahbut
Is YA being used to substitute genre? Is it an easy sales place to put books? Are they considering customers, instead of thinking where books should sit?
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Claire Ormsby-Potter Jun 19
Replying to @okyeahbut
Books labelled as YA can have surprisingly low sales! Even high profile YA books, and getting awards, can sell poorly.
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Claire Ormsby-Potter Jun 19
Replying to @okyeahbut
Perhaps content warnings would be better than age groupings, allowing people more ownership over the content they see, because some people would be happier with more content than others!
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Claire Ormsby-Potter Jun 19
Replying to @okyeahbut
The discussion has turned to content warnings, and whether it would be useful for parents and librarians as well to know whether books are appropriate!
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Claire Ormsby-Potter Jun 19
Replying to @okyeahbut
Concern over whether this might make publishers more controlling over content to avoid warnings, but personally I think it would give more freedom as it gives more control to the reader to make informed decision rather than being surprised by content!
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Claire Ormsby-Potter Jun 19
Replying to @okyeahbut
Feeling is that a lot of adults in the book industry are unaware of the content and power of the books, and that the way they're labelled can restrict their audience.
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Claire Ormsby-Potter Jun 19
Replying to @okyeahbut
We would like a revival of "teen" alongside YA! Something lighter, aimed at a younger crowd, something fun and different from the things they're studying!
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Claire Ormsby-Potter Jun 19
Replying to @okyeahbut
When do you lose readers? Many children come out of primary school as strong readers, and then they drop off in high school. Is that because they can't find literature for them? Perhaps that age gap at 14?
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Claire Ormsby-Potter Jun 19
Replying to @okyeahbut
Perhaps also a loss of guidance - as a kid there can be impetus from parents, but as they get older it becomes more their own job, and maybe this is where they lose momentum.
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Claire Ormsby-Potter Jun 19
Replying to @okyeahbut
There's a wonderful discussion happening about how English is taught - did it stop being about the love and art, and more about the nuts and bolts, analysing works to death? How do schools foster enjoyment in reading now?
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Claire Ormsby-Potter Jun 19
Replying to @KateMallinder
would love to see books with content warnings and stop books being based on age, giving readers more control and expanding audiences!
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Claire Ormsby-Potter Jun 19
Replying to @okyeahbut
Off subject a little, I did write a blog about how content warnings could be really valuable for books, here:
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Claire Ormsby-Potter Jun 19
Replying to @okyeahbut
It's not about restricting readership but expanding it! Books not labelled as YA are read more widely, and it would stop great YA books being overlooked.
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