Much akin to the advice do not say that your target audience is everyone, do not include in your query or pitch that your novel is a crossover. Crossover novels are a cultural phenomenon that cannot be predicted (at the very least, your agent or editor will decide to target a wider audience if applicable).
In case you don't know what a crossover novel is, it's a novel that begins either as an adult novel but appeals to young adults, or starts as a young adult novel but appeals to adults. Lord of the Rings (adult to young adults), Harry Potter (middle grade to young adult to adults), The Hunger Games (young adults to adults), are only a few.
To me, there is no such thing as crossovers. I see so many adults reading YA that it's becoming a pointless term, and of course young adults have always read adult novels. But we do need our labels and it makes organizing a library much easier.
Tell me dear readers, your favorite crossover novels? Do you aspire to write the next great crossover?
I write what some people call New Adult, which is exactly between YA and Adult. I hope that means young adults and adults will read it =)
Would you really consider the later books in the HP series middle grade? I would say really on the first was. The second was maybe just on the younger side of YA.
Ender's Game is a crossover but oddly enough from Adult to Young Adult. The Golden Compass Trilogy another good crossover but the usual YA to Adult.
By the way for anyone querying out there. I am running a query critique series on my blog.
Everyone sends in their query they get posted one at a time to receive everyone's critique and when each query has gotten a sufficient amount of feedback I post another.
I agree- the lines are blurring. A year ago, if I brought up YA at a grown-up party... crickets chirped. I'm finding that less and less the case. When my eleven-year old niece was visiting this summer she was reading Mary Higgins Clark!
I agree with you that there's no such thing as crossovers. I'm an adult but I love reading middle grade! And I know a lot of other adults who enjoy reading what their kids are reading.
To Kill a Mockingbird is probably my favorite "crossover" novel. I think of it as more of an adult book, but a lot of kids are assigned to read it in school. The first time I read it was 8th grade for school.
I'd like to think that my MS will be a crossover someday, but like you said, only the readers can determine that.
Totally agree though. Many of my friends read all over the board.
As someone with a degree in Library Science, I fully agree with this post. A librarian is going to categorize the book, even if a writer/agent/publisher doesn't. So, in the end, it is not going to be placed in the "crossover" section.
Sarah Joy, an associate agent-in-training
I have to agree that the Golden Compass series was a crossover series. I have also found that many young adult or middle grade series make the jump toward the end of the series (later books). I think this must be because of the evolution of the characters. Using this series as an example the characters started out as little kids trying to survive in their own world, but by the time the series ended they were forced to mature and deal with very adult situations. Thus, in dealing with these situations adult readers could identify with them and therefore enjoy the work.
Another series that comes to mind is Eragon. This series started out as young adult, but like so many series the characters had to deal with increasingly serious and adult issues caused them to mature quickly and more adults were able to identify with them and the story.
As an adult this kind of series is fun to read because when is starts out you can easily identify with the character as you were young once too and remember seeing the world so simply, but your quickly pulled into a world where there are more serious issues you can relate better to and the hard choices the characters make relating to the impossible life as an adult and how the mistakes you make are far reaching and sometimes even unbearable.
The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare is a huge YA to Adult crossover that I loved among with others already mentioned.
I agree that the line between adult and young adult is too hard to pinpoint. (As a note, when I was a YA, I read whichever adult fiction my mother forbade me to read!)
Yes, yes I do. Oh, wait you asked a couple of questions there didn't you. :)
I've loved the crossovers you mentioned, plus Ender's Game that Alex mentioned. Harry Potter being my favorite from those.
As for aspiring, yes, yes I do. I've enlisted adult and young adult betas and so far thumbs up. (and not all of these are personal friends)
The reason I think its possible with my current wip is because it started out as a YA, but I got stuck. The ending just didn't work for me until I aged my MC. So my YA grew up (still is really), but I think the YA appeal is still there. At least I hope so.
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