Monday, September 24, 2012

Why YA according to Susan and other bright ideas

So yesterday, just about 20 minutes before heading out the door to go to church I decided to check my email. Why? You may ask. Well, I'll tell you . Because I can't seem to go a whole day with out knowing I didn't miss my opportunity to save the world via my computer. It was then I saw the email from my friend Scott Cramer author of Night of the Purple Moon. If you don't remember I reviewed it a few months ago. (yes, we are friends now. If we ever meet in person I'm sure there will be toenail painting and we'll braid each others hair.) He pointed out that despite his book being in the Young Adult genre the majority of his reviewers/readers were not teens but youngish mothers. So since he was pretty certain I fell into that category, he asked me to maybe lend my ideas on how he might go about appealing to that unexpected audience of his.
So me being the person I am.....Never missing an opportunity to help out...I thought,  "Uhg! I have to go! I'll think about it and write back later"....5 minutes later I realized if I didn't write something I'd forget what I was thinking about and then feel bad that I didn't write it down. So this is part of what I came up with 10 minutes before running out the door. (then I came home, made dinner and then finished it)
I"m not a marketing genius but I do know a little something about why I and some of my other mommy friends read YA. And as G.I Joe says. "knowing is half the battle" here's what I know...

The Why according to Susan 
As mothers we cherish the quiet time no matter how brief and with it comes the story/escapism. Books provide that. Unlike TV were you feel you have to watch all the way through in one sitting. One can stop and start and even reread if you missed something or even loved something. (sans TiVo that is) That way if our kids need us we can immediately stop and then just pick up where we left off...We are drawn to YA because in some ways it's "safe". It's easy to read. Not that many big words our post baby brain can't figure out even with context. Speaking of words, it usually doesn't have as many bad words either,so we don't have to work to edit the way we talk (let's face it, if one is constantly bombarded with F bombs all day it's hard not to use them when you get mad at the kids) It doesn't make us feel under qualified as women like some Adult books do with characters that have relativity exciting lives and achievements that we currently do  not(and at times feel we never may) have. YA lets us go back to a time when we didn't have responsibilities and pretend that this "could" be us...does that make sense? Also reading YA helps us to stay connected to the younger generation. And not to mention the fact that (at least me personally) most mothers would rather not have their children see them reading books with half naked people on the cover.("What are they doing on that book mommy?" "He looks cold") Also we want books that we can share with our children. I know I can't wait until my kids get older and I can hand them a book and say..."You will LOVE this!" (while secretly knowing that I've already read and approved it, I'm sneaky that way)
Another reason it's read by mothers is that we talk! (and thus the book club was created) Dystopian stories are in right now. And YA stories are usually not nearly as complicated to retell. 
(I had to stop writing this and go away for a while. During that time I had a whole lot more to add but now I can't think of what it all was)

Also, you had a good start with changing the cover. Those who say they don't judge a book by it's cover...Lies! We all do it. 

And scene....

I talked with my husband and then I wrote a bit more about why boys read (if and when they do) and then prattled on about a few other ideas that popped into my head. But that pretty much summed up the meat of my response.

So, what do YOU think? Why do you read the books you do? What would make them more appealing? Do you have any feed back or ideas to help out Scott? What was it about the books you loved that made you want to pick them up and read them in the first place? Was it the cover? The title? The description on the back? All that and more? Or was it more just word of mouth from a friend? Feel free to leave a comment on Facebook or in the comments below...who knows maybe one of my friends is a marketing genius!