5 YA Marketing Tips from Publishing Professionals

By Maryann Yin 

Given the sheer number of YA books being published each year, it takes a lot of promotional effort to effectively market these titles.

At BEA last week, Albert Whitman & Company marketing director Michelle F. Bayuk moderated a panel called “Beyond The Hunger Games: Young Adult Book Marketing & Public Relations Strategies.”

The experts included ABA president Becky Anderson, Susannah Greenberg PR president Susannah Greenberg, Harlequin senior PR manager Michelle Renaud and Sourcebooks Fire and Sourcebooks Jabbawocky publicity manager Derry Wilkens. Below, we’ve collected some of their advice.

5 YA Marketing Tips from Publishing Professionals

1. Give authors “social media” training; make sure they become invested and actively involved with maintaining their social media pages.

2. An in-person book tour is no longer enough; the blog tour has become essential. Similarly, group tours (several authors touring together) really attract great turn outs at live events; it usually helps to augment book sales.

3. Word of mouth is a big part of building buzz; get everybody’s opinion within the company and then make sure as many people as possible are on board to give marketing support. Even a short conversation at a random party could lead to something.

4. Pre-publication buzz can be crucial; partner with independent bookstores (that have the space) to coordinate small events prior to the publication date. At those events, invite educators and librarians and the fans/readers to attend. This can really help to build buzz.

5. Mother-teen daughter readers are a great market to tap into because both of those age groups really love YA fiction. Remember that “teens do not want to be marketed at…they don’t mind being marketed to.”