Nathan Bransford, Author


Friday, December 7, 2012

The NY Times is Creating New Middle Grade/Young Adult Bestseller Lists


When I tell people outside of the publishing world that I write middle grade fiction I usually get a blank stare. When I say I write children's books, even children's novels, people's minds go straight to picture books.

So, needless to say, it was with great interest that I saw the NY Times' announcement that they will be splitting the children's bestseller list into middle grade and young adult. Whew! Hopefully this will raise awareness for the wonders of middle grade, which, if you aren't familiar with the term, is for children roughly 8-12 years old.

What do you think of the change?






35 comments:

Amanda P. said...

It's a logical, necessary adjustment that fits accordingly with the times. No pun intended…seriously. :D

Alan Tucker said...

About time! Amazon has finally created a "teen" category out of their children's section as well.

Now if I can only get on that NYT list! :-)

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

Awesome!

Natalie Whipple said...

I love the change! What I think is even more telling is the idea that the ebook format will now be included in the equation—it feels like the list will be much more reflective of what is selling.

Bryan Russell said...

I like it, as they can be very different types of books. But there will be some interesting calls to make. I mean, the first part of the Harry Potter series are middle grade novels, while the latter books are basically YA. Do you split that sort of thing up in the lists? Place them in one or the other? Both?

Kevin McGill said...

I saw the teen section pop up in Amazon but can't find it for KDP. Any clues?

marysuttonauthor.com said...

As an author in this age group I approve

F.T. Bradley said...

Progress, I hope! I'm a MG debut, and it's been an uphill battle just to get people to understand what MG means, let alone get noticed.

Cate Hart said...

Yay! Maybe now there will be better awareness. I get the same blank stare and it makes my toes curl when I have to say "I write YA....yanno like....Twilight or Hunger Games." But the lightbulb finally flickers on.

Cindy Lou Who said...

It seems such an obvious thing; like it shouldn't be a new listing at all and that the separate lists would have been around a long time. Sure, there's some overlap between MG and YA (as there should be), but two lists for two quite different groups just seems something that should be automatic.

My only concern, as ever, is people inside the industry cooking up requirements for what should and should not be in MG or YA; trying too hard to enforce dubiously justified differentiations. I would like to think that the large numbers of adults that read YA books causes industry professionals to take pause with restrictions and requirements on category or genre. Overlap is inconvenient, but eliminating it makes for lesser books.

Jenna St. Hilaire said...

Verrry eeenteresting. I'm curious whether title competitions were involved, like the earlier split of the bestseller lists due to Rowling's domination, but nothing's on my radar there.

I write on the upper MG/lower YA borderline, so I wonder if the split will cause the categories to widen further and make things harder for those of us not working very clearly in one or the other. But eh, the industry is always in a whirl. And I'm all in favor of more awareness of the wonders of middle grade. ;)

Also, I'm with Natalie Whipple on the ebook point. It'll be especially interesting to see how much the ebook market affects children's lit.

Will Overby said...

That is fantastic for those of us who write MG! Thanks for the heads-up, Nathan!

Natalie Aguirre said...

I think that's fantastic for middle grade authors. We don't get enough attention and hopefully this will help spread the word for middle grade authors. More will be able to say they made the New York Times Best Seller list too.

Shell said...

That is totally wicked! And hopefully I will be on that MG best-seller list someday...

Christina Baglivi Tinglof said...

great idea...love a good list

Caroline Starr Rose said...

Necessary! Wonderful! About time!

Caroline Starr Rose said...

The next thing that needs to happen is a debut award for MG, like YA's Morris.

April Henry said...

Old way: Up to 10 authors on the list.

New way: Up to 30 authors on the list (because they are expanding to 15).

What's not to like?

Mirka Breen said...

When I tell people (non-writing civilians) I write middle grade novels, I get asked if I mean that I write "so-so books." You know, not top-notch and not bottom of the barrel.
This category used to be known as "chapter books" a term which is now reserved for very young middle grade.
Anything to raise awareness.

Debra Feldman said...

Yay! I am writing middle grade and am glad for the distinction. Thanks NYT (and Nathan for posting the news).

Lisa Ahn said...

I love that idea, mostly as a reader. My daughter is 8 and it helps to have the distinction. She is NOT ready for the themes of YA. MG is perfect. (And she loved Jacob Wonderbar FYI)

James Duckett said...

While I doubt it will help with public perception of MG, I think it is a great idea!

Tracy Edward Wymer said...

about time... funny how we praise people for doing what should've been done a while back....

Kai Strand said...

Great news! MG rocks. I get that same blank stare.

Whirlochre said...

I think we should just split the children — particularly the annoying ones.

Seriously though (because, of course, the idea of splitting children, particularly with an axe, is just a joke) this ought to bring clarity to the situation.

LinWash said...

Finally! This is a great change!

Kristi Helvig said...

As the parent of an 8-yo boy who is an avid reader, I think it's an awesome change and can't wait to see it!

wendy said...

I wonder if this reflects a trend towards greater sales in the YA and MG categories?

J. T. SHEA said...

Interesting how little the general public, our ultimate customers, care about the hair-splitting distinctions that can preoccupy us writers.

Hillary said...

This is such welcome news for middle grade books! Woot!

Anonymous said...

I think it's wonderful for both MG authors and that the NYT is keeping up with changes in books and publishing. It's a good sign.

Peter Dudley said...

A non-writer asked me a few years back what I was writing, and I said, "A middle grade adventure story." She looked horrified and replied, "Oh come on, you're more talented than that. You should show more confidence in your writing."

It was several minutes after the conversation was over and we'd parted that I realized she had misunderstood "middle grade" to mean "mediocre."

Is this change at NYT a good thing or not? Eh. It's a thing.

Anonymous said...

I just hope it doesn't turn out like another Amazon bestseller list. Those things amaze (and entertain) me. There seems to be a bestseller list for everything over there...and don't ever think those things are truly depicting sales. They don't mean a thing. So I hope the NYT keeps it real.

Maureen McGowan said...

Great! A little late, perhaps, but great!

As a YA author, I have similar issues... When I tell people YA or teen, they think middle grade.

Okay, they don't think the words "middle grade" unless they are in the business, but that's the kind of story they think of....

max said...

Anything that helps raise awareness of middle grade fiction is a positive development.
Middle grade action-adventures @ mystery fiction are primarily what I write. Kids say reading one is like being in an exciting movie. Ten books are published and I have contracts for 13 more. In my case, middle grade is alive, well, and getting stronger.

Amazon Author Page http://www.amazon.com/Max-Elliot-Anderson/e/B002BLP3EE
Blog http://booksandboys.blogspot.com

Related Posts with Thumbnails