Young Adult : Sold Separately
Reading a young adult series today is like getting Barbie and then having to buy her friends, accessories and Malibu Dreamhouse. Authors and publishing houses tempt readers between book releases with extras such as; e-novellas, graphic novels and bonus content for their favorite series. Sure, the extras open up the world
created by the author but at what cost to the readers ?
Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices series are all around champs at creating extras. First published in 2007, this popular YA urban fantasy has it all; graphic novels for both series,The Shadowhunter Codex— an in series reference book, acollection of essays about the seriesand even ashort story collection about a side characterwritten by other YA authors. This doesn’t include bonus scenes Clare posts on her website and the characters tweets.
And most of these extras are not cheap. The Shadowhunter’s Codex, the book based on a book the character own in the series (INCEPTION !)–is being released as hardcover for $19.99 and the graphic novels come retail at 15.99.
Not all YA books have the density to expand like Clare’s series can. The trendiest extra in the YA world is the e-novella; short stories sold solely in digital format that generally tell a side story from the original novel. Seriously, look at just about any YA imprint and you are bound to find a e-novella or two.
Harlequin Teen’s Iron Fey series included three novellas and their newest series, Blood of Eden just released a prequel novella in January. Penguin’s Neil Shusterman released Unstrung, a novella of his book unwind to prepare for the sequel release. A big example is Bloomsbury. They sold four prequel novellas to Sarah J. Maas’Throne of Glassto help readers better understand the plot and world of the novel.
In other words novella = hype. It gets readers excited about the series again.
This trend that clearly isn’t going anywhere, if anything it’s growing. HarperTeen recently announced HarperTeen Impulse, a line of e-novellas from popular series and original short stories. The website encourage readers to “be impulsive and read them all”.
Yes, the YA readers have disposable income and sure, these extras are about $1.99 here but at some point it has to add up. How much will it cost to have a complete reading experience ?
I’m a lifelong reader who started blogging about YA books in 2011 but now I read in just about every genre! I love YA coming of age stories, compelling memoirs and genre bending SFF. You can find me talking all things romance at Romance and Sensibility.