Every YA/teenage writer wants her book bought and devoured and loved by adults. Of course. Every adult writer wants the increased sales that would come from having teenagers buy and love her book. Obviously. And certainly some books genuinely deserve the label. But by pitching it as cross-over, you are failing to recognise two things:
- That the marketing of a book as cross-over requires three marketing prongs: marketing it to teenagers, marketing it to adults, and marketing it as cross-over. It's expensive. And therefore risky. And therefore rare.
- There are specific things that make a book a teenage/YA book. The fact that many teenagers rightly read books that are "meant" for adults, and vice-versa, is irrelevant to this.
- If you feel yours is a teenage book (and you know why it is) pitch it as such. If the publisher wants to promote it as cross-over, lovely, but you'll sound naive if you suggest it.
- If you feel it's aimed at adults, pitch it as such. Lots of teenagers will read it anyway. Fab.
So, over-keen writer, do yourself a favour and ban the word "cross-over" from your submission.
I call it the C-word.