Genres Classification System Irrelevant to Next Generation of Readers?

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For the next generation of readers, the genre classification system might be a tad out of date.

“The genre classification system is becoming irrelevant to teens,” said Elizabeth Perle, editor of the Huffington Post Youth Network speaking on a panel at the Publishing Perspectives YA: What’s Next? conference at Scholastic headquarters in downtown Manhattan.

As more people are discovering books online and through ebook retailers, the “teen” section of the bookstore and its commensurate sub-sections are becoming less important to how teens discover books. And the idea of what is young-adult literature is changing as more adults are reading books like The Hunger Games and kids have more access to adult books.

“There is very little that YA can’t cover now,” said Dan Weiss, a Scholastic veteran and current publisher at large at St. Martin’s Press, a division of Macmillan. He added that teens are “probably” reading Fifty Shades of Grey.

The key to the YA market might not be building books that fit certain genres but exposing literature that has universal appeal to both children and adults to the right audiences.

“Reaching teens is a marketing challenge, not an editorial challenge,” said Weiss.

Related: Parents Primed to Buy Devices and Ebooks for Their Kids This Holiday Season, New Study Finds

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