What’s new in Secondary publishing?

July 10th, 2018

At Peters we read and review every book that comes in to our showroom. Here are some of the new trends in YA publishing that we’ve spotted recently.

Celebrity authors

Bloggers, vloggers, comedians, DJs and many more well-known people are branching out into writing books – some with more success than others! However, their high profile means that books and by extension reading for pleasure are once more being talked about. The rise of blogging sites reviewing books and creating a buzz about new authors as well as word-of-mouth approval is a real positive.


Fairy-tale retallings

Retellings and twists on familiar fairy tales is a genre that is becoming increasing popular with teenage readers. A return to the original darker material puts this genre way beyond ‘happy ever after’. With a nod to TV series like ‘Once Upon a Time’ and ‘Grimm’, and with a rich source material, this has the potential to keep going.


Graphic novels and Manga

Graphic novels and Manga titles are becoming increasingly popular, with many teenage readers choosing to read these as something a little different. The illustrative style doesn’t suit all and some are more sophisticated than others. Popular novels (Artemis Fowl, Alex Rider series and Rick Riordan), simplified versions of the classics (Shakespeare, Dickens, Edgar Allen Poe) and prize winning non-fiction also appear in this format. It is also ideal for film and TV tie-ins – Riverdale, The Flash and other Marvel franchises.



Thrillers continue to be a popular genre, with new titles regularly published as well as additional titles being added to popular series. Edge-of-your-seat spy stories, ‘mild peril’ contemporary set pieces and psychological thrillers where everything gets turned on its head.


Award winners and shortlisted titles

There are many prestigious book awards and titles that have been nominated for awards are always popular with readers. YA novels tend to dominate these lists, however their suitability for all audiences is not always guaranteed. Examples of these awards include Carnegie, Costa, UKLA, Waterstones and the YA book award.


Health and well-being

Both fiction and non-fiction titles that cover important, pertinent themes make for popular reads with many of today’s teenagers. Issues covered include mental health (both male and female), eating disorders, suicide, body image, self-harm, disabilities, afflicted romances (John Green et al.), and how to cope with life in general.


Hot Topics

Autumn 2018 will see a return to World War I for both fiction and non-fiction as we commemorate the centenary. Publishers love a bandwagon and will try and capture the zeitgeist to varying degrees of success.


What next?

If a particular author proves to be popular, publishers often follow with other books on similar themes or written in a similar style, which encourages readers to widen their range. The examples below are recommendations for fans of John Green, and are based on our John Green ‘What next?’ book pack.


Leisure non-fiction

Covering a range of topics and presented in a variety of ways, non-fiction books make popular browsers for readers of all abilities. There is an increasing emphasis on the visual, with more diagrams and often quirky illustrations. Different types of presentation will appeal to different students with varying levels of literacy.


Recommended Reads

Each week, when reading and reviewing new publications, we highlight a range of titles to become our Recommended Reads. These are titles that we feel stand out as worth promoting. Some have mass appeal and are set to be the next big thing, others are excellent and we want to promote them as they may be otherwise overlooked – debut authors, for example.


Peters are delighted to be offering 30% off these fantastic titles. Click here to take advantage of this offer.

If you use Junior Librarian or Eclipse, please visit the bookshop on your library management system to take advantage of this offer.

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