10th February, 10:35
Hi lovely readers!
Welcome to another BTS of ‘Beyond’ blog post. Today I thought I’d give an insight as to how I did (or did not!) figure out a target audience for my novel – how I adjusted aspects of my work to reflect this, and the pros and cons of limiting a book to a specific reader range.
Thanks for reading!
So, I knew pretty much as soon as I started writing my manuscript that ‘Beyond’ was going to fall into the Young Adult genre; I mean, it’s written from the point of view of a young adult. So that made things pretty straight-forward. YA novels generally revolve around the protagonist/central characters finding themselves, learning their way in life, experiencing typical trials and tribulations as a young adult would. Despite this, YA books don’t just appeal to young adult readers; adults often enjoy them too.
What next? Well, once I’d sent my manuscript off to the publishers, I realised that the language and story needed to be tailored ever-so-slightly to be more young adult friendly. Like I said, even though lots of adults enjoy YA work, young adults also enjoy YA work. So that meant no offensive swears, no heated scenes of passion – nothing inappropriate for the average teenage reader, basically. No massive changes needed to be made, to be honest. I wrote from the p.o.v of 14-year-old Alex, so a lot of the content was appropriate for Alex himself to read.
So, there is is: ‘Beyond’ is a YA novel. But wait: is it just a YA book?
No, I don’t think it is.
There are many layers to my work, as with most. Elements of romance, comedy, philosophy and grief all crop up in ‘Beyond’. Which means, if you’re someone who isn’t a keen YA reader, but you’re into the real deep questions about life, this may just be a good fit for you. Or, if you like a good love story, ‘Beyond’ might just float your boat. And so forth.
The thing is, there’s no certain way of saying who will love what. It’s all well and good to label a novel a mystery, or a sci-fi, but the truth is, these are very very general terms. They may give a vague indication of the format/subject of the story, but won’t hint at the laughs or tears, twists and turns, that lie inside.
I’m a big fan of the phrase ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’. And, ‘don’t judge a book by it’s supposed genre.’
So, to sum up this ramble: books are for everyone. ‘Beyond’ is for everyone. Whether you’re young, old, a parent, a student; whether you’re into writing that makes you laugh, makes you cry, makes you think, makes you feel; whether you’ve lost someone, miss someone, love someone. My labelled genre may be YA, but my target audience is everyone.