An annoying problem that is faced by all young adult writers

So, I’m currently revising a book that’s intended for an adult audience (but it could also be read by teens and children if they wanted to, because it’s not like it’s a porn book or anything). For most writers, that’s what they’d call ‘a book.’ But when you’re a writer of young adult novels, people assume that every book you work on or talk about is a young adult book. Which is totally fine. But there’s still this urge to clarify. However, there’s no simple way to say that you’re working on a book’s intended for an adult audience without making it sound like porn.

I mean, try it.

“I’m working on a young adult novel” sounds totally natural.

“I’m working on an adult novel” sounds natural too…if you’re talking about porn.

So far I’ve been saying, “I’m working on an adult-market novel.” But that still sounds like porn!

It is a perplexing conundrum.

Comments (



  1. BlackHoleExtinction

    Try the negative “I’m working on a novel that’s not in the YA genre.”
    Or “I’m working on a novel that’s not targeted towards teenagers.”

    Maybe saying “I’m working on a literary novel,” will work since most people will assume that a literary novel is not YA (even if that’s not necessarily true).

    1. R. H. Kanakia

      Using the negative is the first good solution I’ve come across! Thanks. I guess literary works, but some YA authors will talk about ‘literary’ YA in a way that’s confusing.

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