Producing young adult literature in the 21st century
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The book publishing industry experienced a period of drastic change during the final decades of the twentieth century. Small publishing companies consolidated and were purchased by large, profit-minded media conglomerates. The widespread adoption of digital media technologies prompted many questions about the very future of the book itself. Yet at the pinnacle of these changes, the American young adult publishing market gradually began to experience not a decline, but a renaissance. In this report, I explore ways that changes in book publishing have manifested themselves in contemporary young adult literature through two case studies. Are today’s young adult books works of literature or commercial products? Is their increased popularity due to widening readership or more savvy marketing? Are the companies producing them more concerned with the public good or their own profit margins?