November 19th, 2011, 01:39 PM
Very useful overview, Kat. Thanks much.
So we have a general definition of YA as bildungsroman: coming-of-age stories. And we have a specific system: a collection of publishing financial and organizational mechanisms. Into the meshing gears of which every writer with a YA product to sell must venture.
The Internet marketing and ereader phenomena complicate matters because categories can overlap. A book can simultaneously be "on" the YA shelves, and "on" the adult shelves. Because there are no physical shelves, only database categories.
But a writer cannot be in two places at the same time: speaking to a classroom of high school students at a writing class. And sitting on a panel at a convention for adult writing. S/he has to timeshare, and time spent on one activity takes away time spent on another.
To selfishly return to my situation, I can place THE SUPER OLYMPIAN online in the YA category, and switch it to SF at some future date with few problems. It is not going to be published as a print edition and placed on bookshelves until at least a year in the future, and it may never be. I'm a writer just starting out, as far as the world knows, and there are no expectations good or bad for me.
Also, Amazon and B&N have several mechanisms to lead customers to other books they might like, such as the "Customers who bought this also bought this" and Package deal gadgets. And the Author Page which includes a photo, short bio, and a list of your books. That last lets readers interested in one book explore the others.
So I'm still seriously considering putting up OLYMPIAN in the YA category. I'll know better when I have a cover for it, which will take at least a week to create. Then it takes a day or two to convert to the Kindle and the Nook formats. So meanwhile my subconscious will be working on this question.