I’ve been getting a lot of emails from authors with similar questions. They want to know how to write for a certain market. It doesn’t matter if you’re writing for any niche, you need to know the market you’re writing for. Here are my thoughts to someone who wanted to make sure her writing would work for Young Adult readers.
Dear (name withheld),
My first piece of advice is to approach people in your target market (i.e. teenagers) and ask them what they think of your idea. You could talk to their English teachers as well and ask their opinion.
Language and concept are two things to think about when writing for any group. Are you writing how they speak? Will they understand the concepts in the same way as you’re presenting.
The second thing to think about is what else is in the market. Is there a book ‘like’ yours in the market right now? Does it has a similar size or theme? What can you learn from it? What would you do differently?
That’s not to say you can’t do something new. Somebody somewhere has to be the trendsetter. I’ve done it often enough to say, “Unless you’re sure what you’re doing is going to positively impact your perfect prospect, stick to what they expect.”
Finally, think about how you’ll market to your target group. I don’t have current stats on teenage reading habits. Maybe texting a novel will someday be a great idea? Are they reading on smart phones, iPads, or printed books?
There’s somebody studying this. Here’s a link to one such study in the US http://www.frankwbaker.com/mediause.htm
Hope that helps.