Companies & Industries

Prediction: Young adult novel explosion in 2013

Reads like teen spirit

It’s a highly combustible, infinitely renewable natural resource, and folks are making a fortune from it. Meet 2013’s hottest commodity: teen angst.

With Harry Potter all grown up, Twilight fans heading off to college and The Hunger Games currently catching fire in a theatre near you, the race to find the next big “young adult” franchise is in full swing. YA literature has been one of the few growth areas for the notoriously gloomy publishing industry, and not just on paper. While print sales have kept up modest growth, e-book sales of YA novels have exploded. The Association of American Publishers reported that in May 2011 the industry sold US$7 million in YA e-books. A year later, the monthly figure was US$27 million—a 300% jump.

“YA books have become much more important” to the industry, says Noah Genner, president and CEO of BookNet Canada, which tracks book sales. “The biggest success that we’ve seen is in crossover novels”—the ones that transcend the tween audience to grab adult readers. One U.S. study found that 55% of YA buyers were adults purchasing books for themselves.

That’s fuelled a race to uncover the next breakout book series with just the right mix of romance, supernatural and dystopian elements that will win over readers (and movie producers). Here are the 10 most anticipated YA franchises of 2013.