The YA Market

Now that I have finally finished the third Ursula Marlow book, Unlikely Traitors, I’m turning my attention to a few ideas I have for a young adult novel and I need help! This is pretty much an entirely new area/market for me. I confess I’ve always been a sucker for children’s and YA books – I’ve devoured Harry Potter, guiltily polished off the Twilight series, relished the Luxe books and when it comes to TV and movies I have been known to have more than a passing interest in all things high school. I guess I just never grew up…so now I want to indulge my passion for history, mythology and mystery in the YA market – but where to start in terms of looking at the YA market? Here’s where I need some help.

My first question is the state of the YA mystery market…Is there even such a thing? It seems from my initial research that the YA market is dominated by paranormal and fantasy books. Even in the historical context what I’ve read has a decidedly paranormal bent – either that or it’s Gossip Girls for the 1900 set. So does anyone have any recommendations or insights into YA mysteries? Are there any that you would highly recommend? Is there even a market for YA mysteries anymore (most seem designed for a younger more middle grade or elementary school readership…)

The second question is – does history totally suck for most YA readers? This is another concern I have – that history equates with deadly dull – do you think that’s true? What about recommendations – any really cool historical YA books out there that I should check out?

Finally I have to wonder, am I actually thinking about a YA book or is it an adult book with a young protagonist??? At this stage it’s difficult for me to tell. I guess what I’m really wondering about is voice and which authors out there have a strong grasp of what I’d call the YA voice…Again any recommendations?

I’m at the research phase at the moment so any insight or recommendations you could provide would be greatly appreciated. It’s my first foray into the YA market but it feels right…Of course, writing the next Twilight series would definitely feel very, very, right…but at the moment I’ll settle for just gaining some insight into this market and (hopefully) writing the best book I can…
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