I happened to be at my local Barnes and Noble the other day and noticed that in creating their new floor layout, they included an actual, separate, stand-alone section for Teen Fiction. Usually, most of the B & Ns I visit have the teen section has been an afterthought, just slapped on the outer wall of the children's section. I was super impressed to see the Teen Fiction section, yet at the same time, it made me realize how small it was. Once separated, it looked like there were actually very few teen books. Funnier yet was the fact that there are so many books, series, etc. by the same authors, that I realized how few YA authors there really are out there. I know there are tons of us eager to break into the YA fiction market, and yet from browsing the bookshelves, you'd think there were only a handful of authors that write YA. So are we all really that bad at writing or are the publishers still playing catch- up with the demand for YA books? Perhaps what is slowing us down isn't so much lack of story or talent, but lack of money being spent publishing books.
In some info out of the BEA conference relayed to me by the awesome Michelle Sussman was pretty sobering. Apparently, 7% of books published make up 87% of book sales. 93% of all published books sell less than 1,000 copies. I would be curious to see how much of the 7% is YA. Come on people, time to pony up and buy some more books!!!