Monday, June 27, 2011

Convincing Your Friends to Like Young Adult

Some of your friends are a waste of time. Some of mine are too. They believe everything they read in the New York Times, they worship Jonathan Franzen, and think that the topics in YA are too simple for them. But the rest of them have a chance. Here are my most successful techniques for converting people into YA nuts:

  • Give them a book – Duh. This will work for about 15% of the population who read a lot and listen to NPR.
  • Target the product - Think about what themes your friend likes, then choose a YA book with a similar message. Tweeting a link to the e-book is a good technique for this.
  • Needle them – People who read adult fiction are tough. Persistence pays off. Keep gently reminding them that YA has crossed over, that the themes are timeless and that the books are really fun. Even the snottiest people like to read a good trashy drama sometimes.
  • Back into the book from the video – Moviegoers usually know which movies were books before and most of them like to talk about books versus movies. The visual art crowd is also pretty open to the book trailers that have been posted on YouTube. Some of them are beautiful and can spark an interest.
Have you ever used a technique like this to get your friend into YA? Tell us about it in the comments section and you could win a copy of Forever by Maggie Stiefvater.


  1. My technique has been to choose friends who already read the books I like in the first place!

  2. Sam, I am one of these people (although I don't worship Jonathan Franzen). I have a friend who writes YA fiction and although I have bought her books, I have not yet read them, something I feel incredibly guilty about. So I am thinking of taking them on holiday this year. We are going to do a vacation that involves a lot of 'down time' AKA 'reading time' and perhaps the holiday feeling which translates into the desire to escape all responsible things in adult life will help me to finally read them! I'll keep you posted.

  3. I normally recommend books to friends and they recommend them to me and we read them. Normally we enjoy them too!

  4. Sometimes I'll say to people - you know, I know someone else who wasn't really into YA but tried it and fell in love with the story. Who knows what else you might find?

    Orr...I won't even tell them it's YA, and just that it's a book I loved. ;)