Blogger: Mary Keeley
A client forwarded a link to a guest blog that’s been circulating, titled “Is Baby Boomer Lit the Next Hot Genre?” by Claude Nougat. You can view it here. She lays the groundwork by summarizing how this audience opportunity was first seen by Hollywood. Writers and publishers in the CBA market should pay attention to them as well.
Claude recounts that movies such as RED, The King’s Speech, and The Descendants, among others, were produced in response to recognizing this substantial audience opportunity. She urges publishers to “cater to them” and supports her argument by paralleling Baby Boomer Lit to YA lit, which had its beginnings in the 1970s when Boomers were its audience. That was the first transition of this post-WWII generation. The YA genre has continued to grow ever since.
These 77+ million people are transitioning again as they enter retirement.They have more time to read, and according to Claude, they once again are looking for nonfiction subject matter and story characters with whom they can relate. I encourage you to read her entire post. The points she makes are compelling. She has started a Goodreads Group that discusses Boomer Lit. As of mid-March there were 273 members, and it is growing fast.
As I read the post I noted that most of Hollywood isn’t interested in promoting Christian values and faith, at least in a positive way. And we can’t expect anything different from general market publishers, who are already alert to this audience and consider 2013 “a ‘magic’ year for the birth of this new genre.” Oh…and these Boomers buy print books.
It’s up to us in Christian publishing to offer books that present Boomers with real hope for their future. But CBA often lags behind the trends. Still, 77 million people comprise an impressive potential audience that should get our quick attention. What will it take to help Christian publishers to risk embracing Baby Boomer Lit?
How about some outstanding manuscripts for this audience? It’s a challenge for you as authors and for the agents who represent you to show Christian publishers that these books are marketable. I hope the creative side of your brain has begun to brainstorm as you’ve read Claude’s post and this one. If you haven’t thought about writing for this generation before, there are obvious obstacles as well as opportunities to address. If you have an established audience, is it possible for you to incorporate topics of interest (retirement, health, purpose, the future) or main characters in your novel without threatening the loyalty of your current audience? Perhaps this could be a viable alternative to switching genres. If you’re as yet unpublished, you are in a position to seize this opportunity with a superb manuscript.
Yes, Boomers are aging. But they aren’t “old” the same way as in past generations. As a whole they’ve had to keep up with technology and culture to maintain competitiveness in their jobs and with their families. They’re savvy and they’ve grown in wisdom. The main differences are they’re entering retirement and they don’t have the physical ability they once had. These present situations specific to their generation and material for your nonfiction and novels.
What are your thoughts about addressing this huge audience? Do you see it as an opportunity for you? How do you think you can attract Boomers to your writing?
Baby Boomers comprise a huge audience, and they’re looking for books relating to them. Click to Tweet.
A new opportunity for authors: Write for the Baby Boomer audience. Click to Tweet.
Do Christian publishers recognize the opportunity in producing books that relate to Baby Boomers? Click to Tweet.