YALSA’s upcoming YA Literature Symposium will explore the future of young adult literature. The symposium begins on November 2nd, but we wanted to get a head start here at The Hub, so we’re devoting October to 31 Days of the Next Big Thing. Each day of the month, we’ll bring you forecasts about where YA literature is headed and thoughts on how you can spot trends and predict the future yourself.
I was sitting around a table with about 12 teenagers at my library. We were going around and telling each other what books we were reading or had just finished reading — when, to my utter astonishment, two girls started talking about YA books that I hadn’t heard of. What?! This can’t be! Seriously, I go to the YA section in bookstores and libraries (even in other countries — see photo below) and scan the shelves … then I think to myself, “Yep. Yep. Seen it. Bought it. Own it. Read it.” This is because I am lucky to work for a medium-size library with a generous budget for teen materials. I spend around $500 a month selecting and buying all the latest and greatest! So, what, pray tell, were these girls talking about?
They were talking about self-published ebooks they discovered online. Yep, it’s happening already. Then one of them proudly declared, “I’m writing a book.” And her friend nodded vigorously and said, “Yes she is, and it’s really good.”
The next big thing? Books written and published by young adults. More books will gain popularity and readership through self-publishing, and more and more of them will be written by teens.