How do you find and mark books for older adult readers?

The first 20 years are the hardest.

The next 20 years are built on the first.

I’m not sure what happened to the last 18 years. Still trying figure out where they went. LOL

3 Likes

Feeling the same… somehow, from 40 onwards, everything rushed by at an incredible speed

3 Likes

@JE-Glass1 and @StuartCampbell5 Hi! We recommend the tag #grownupreads as well as #adultfiction :slight_smile:
It’s a funny thing though, when I go to my library, the books are grouped as “Adult Fiction” “Teen Fiction” or “Childrens” and no-one seems to expect the Adult Fiction shelves will only contain erotica or Mature books lol Don’t know why it should be different here!

4 Likes

Exactly, but somehow it seems different here. The reason might be that in the library, it’s the librarian’s decision what ends up on which shelf. While on Wattpad, it’s the author’s choice. In the end we have so many mislabelled stories it becomes tough to find the correctly tagged ones in the swamp

3 Likes

It does. Life tends to hit harder and knock you on your butt more often.

But I’m okay with that - I’ve taken my Hard Knocks and will keep going forward.

Nice to meet another graduate from the school of hard knocks.

1 Like

We are everywhere. Nice to meet a fellow alumnus.

Do you use some of Life’s Lessons in your writing?

I suffered some “mild” abuse as a budding teen, and I incorporate some of it into my one werewolf book. My other werewolf book is about a man becoming the first alpha king, and I incorporate a lot of life lessons in that one.

2 Likes

Marking books for older readers.

The hashtag, or lookup suggestions are already given. I’d note that the older members here are in the minority. I would also hope that the readers under twenty did not feel constrained to read only titles branded (which is insulting) for “Young People” as if they were not fit to read “Real” books and literature. Its a goofy idea based on sales statistics weighted by book sales to adults that were bought as gifts for children, and the conception that until well into the mid twenties, “Young People” are only interested in the schoolyard and their playmates. Heaven forfend any would,all on their own, pick up and read a Michael Critchon book that did not feature a pair of ten year olds, or a standard rack novel. Absurd.

1 Like

I gave up on that a long time ago - the system of labels, and writers who put their stuff in the wrong category because ‘the right category is too full’ don’t fool me.

I now find stories here by following the works of people whose posts are literate, witty, inventive, creative - so I expect their books will be, too. I’m not disappointed. Even when they are not mature as writers, their ideas and the way they convey them shine by comparison.

3 Likes

Yes, I’m feeling the same.

1 Like

Most of my readers (according to the stats) are 45 and older. Not sure what they see in it. I write straightforward synopses and make my own covers, avoiding the generic airport rack pulp/Wattpad gloss. The appeal is not obvious, but p’raps that’s what some people like.

2 Likes

I’m 54 or maybe 55. I tend to lose track. That slant to YA does seem to be part of Wattpad. I was aware of when I started posting a book which I’ve tages as New Adult. Sometimes I see these age categories as related to Erikson’s stages of development. YA 12-18 is identity vs role confusion. But I think it frequently has the earlier stage, industry vs inferiority.
20-40 is intimacy vs isolation. So I see New Adult as being about intimacy with some left over role confusion. The next two stages are generativity vs. stagnation and integrity vs. despair. These stages are where I think Wattpad falls short. I never have liked midlife crises stories but I did see if midlife works as a Wattpad keyword. It doesn’t. Instead it brings up more YA. #Midlife might be a good label for generativity vs stagnation stories. Writers in the last stage >60 tend toward memoire but I see that they often like to read about younger characters set in the time they grew up. They like to look back on their lives.
I suspect that there may soon be more older writers showing up on Wattpad as they become disillusioned with professional publishing platforms. Generally >60 writers aren’t concerned about earning money, since they are often retired. 40-60 also isn’t motivated all that much by money. According to Erikson they want to make a contribution. So I predict both these demographics might be migrating to Wattpad.

3 Likes

There may be something do that. I gravitated to your books. I also make my own covers. I’m looking for books which are unusual and which are a result of the author’s passion, not something coming from an effort to make money or please the audience. Definitely not something that seems to have come from a focus group or a seminar on how to make get rich quick as an author.

Huh, that explains why YA often leaves me cold. It focuses on conflicts that I resolved a decade or two ago. While I like the idea of character transformation, it’s often brought on by external factors, not the way teenagers emerge into self-identification. I’m more intrigued by adults who’ve settled into a role but realize they may have to change to achieve a new goal – which may be to replace isolation with intimacy, or stagnation with generativity.

I just followed your profile.

1 Like

Could be. I’ve been writing about children in the last year, but these aren’t children’s stories. Same with when I write about young adults. I suppose that with Erikson’s stages, we don’t always successfully resolve a stage and so have to revisit it in order to move on. An adult who has settled into role might face a crisis which forces them change how they view themself.
I think the archetypal mythic hero is immature. He (it’s usually a he) feels he must save the world to please a parental figure. This seems to be the motivation of a five year old. It can set up an interesting conflict for an adult who comes to realize they don’t have to save the world and that they won’t ever please that parental figure. I guess the stuff I get tired of is the wish-fulfillment. The story ends happily ever after but the underlying crises is never addressed.

3 Likes

I see this thread has gone quiet, but if anyone is still out there, I’m interested to know what tags and covers people have found work for this.

I’ve recently hit ‘complete’ on my first story on here which is definitely not going to interest readers who don’t care about normal 30/40-somethings (no werewolves/vampires, no billionaires, no fanfic, etc.).

I added the tags when I first started posting it based on what it’s about, but now I’m going back to review the tags and don’t want to be misleading. I don’t really care about number of readers or publishing, I just want people who would enjoy it to find it. Quality over quantity.

Similarly, now I’ve finished my first story I’m having a break to do more reading. The best way I’ve found to discover books worth reading is to connect with those who are reading mine as they tend to be writing similar things. Any other ideas?

2 Likes

Trying out the ‘grownupreads’ tag, and we’ll see how it goes. The central conflict is definitely shades of integrity vs despair with intimacy vs isolation, which doesn’t resonate with the ‘save the world’ crowd even though it’s a fantasy story.

You’ll miss a lot of the grownups here if you mostly read people who read you.

The community has in common that we are writers, often with grownup tastes and a wide reading experience behind us, but we don’t necessarily write in the same genres. I’m not sure how people end up choosing the genres they write in, but, as a reader, I read omnivorously when younger. I planned to write mysteries and some minor SF when I retired, but life dealt me a curveball and I have ended up writing mainstream - and there isn’t a lot of that here.

I just need to be around other writers! Nobody else understands us. Not really.

1 Like

That was already answered in this thread though you may have to scroll up a lot for it. If memory serves, #adultread #matureread and #grownupreads . Note that the singular and plural of these phrases – -read and -reads – are the same in the system, so only use one. Otherwise, you might waste some of your 25 available tags on redundancy.

1 Like