As with erotica and paranormal genres, much of the talent for NA books is being cultivated from digital self-publishing. "[This is] because until recently not many editors wanted to see NA, and even now, some still don't," says agent Suzie Townsend, who represents Cora Carmack. "And of course there wasn't—and still isn't—a section for this age group in the stores. But there's clearly a market for well-written and engaging NA books. I think we'll see more of them selling to publishers."
While the lack of an NA section in bricks and mortar stores has been a drawback for publishers in the past, Entangled publisher Liz Pelletier predicts that stores will inevitably have to recognize the bestsellers in this category and start making shelf space within a year. "Everyone is seeing this as an untapped market and there are hundreds of authors out there who have written spectacular NA books that have never seen the light of day. For publishers, that is very exciting."
The readers are already there. Goodreads has noted that the number of readers identifying, reading and rating New Adult books has spiked in recent months. The blog NA Alley was created last year to promote the genre's offerings. "In September, Publishers Weekly reported that over half of young adult sales come from adults. The 'over-18' crowd makes up a significant portion of the YA audience, and from what I've seen, makes up a significant portion of the NA audience, as well," says NA Alley blogger and author Carrie Butler. "What's interesting about the rise of NA is that its success can be attributed to the most powerful tool in any marketing campaign: word of mouth."