Young Adult book market has been booming since the release of Twilight. Young adult audience are more open-minded compared to children and are well-connected through the internet. They are also open to reading e books and admire freebies. Here are eleven ways to reach your target audience-
1.) Social networking- Young adults are on almost all social networking sites like MySpace, Facebook, Twitter etc. MySpace works better for musicians and young adult audience. Social networking is a great way to reach your young adult audience. They admire authors who personally connect to fans. Facebook has a targeted marketing programme which advertises your product (book, in this case) to appropriate audience. This would cost money though.
2) Blogging- Teens read author blogs a lot. Internet is one of the most effective promotion tools where teens are concerned. Create an author blog and have activities such as polls, giveaways etc. which involve your readers. You can create a free blog with Google’s Blogger or WordPress. A personalised reply to certain queries and comments can help build your reputation in your readers’ mind. Small things count a lot. You can also follow blogs made by teens.
3) Author interviews, giveaways, reviews etc.- Young adults have access to the internet and book lovers love browsing book blogs, reading author interviews (especially the ones who aim to become writers) and reviews. Since your readers do not have the time to read every book that is published or the money to buy it all, the read reviews and testimonials to help them decide which book is worth their precious pocket money. Author interviews help readers get a picture of the author’s personality.
4) Free!- The word ‘free’ is a magical word which is much more powerful than traditional magical words like ‘Thank you’. Since young adults have limited spending capacity (they do not earn on their own), they would definitely like value for money and something free with it. A sample chapter of the book on your official site or free bookmarks, giveaways and other special things can attract readers. However, beware that most readers are looking for something absolutely free. Book and music piracy is high because people want things that are absolutely free. The content of your book will decide if readers want to read it completely free or buy it. Reference books have greater chances of being bought because readers need them by their side for reference. If a reader reads your book free and it touches him/ her, they would still buy it but if they happen to read it free and do not like it, they will not buy it.
5) Ebook- In this era of computers, it is absurd to think that a book which has no information on the internet will sell. With amazon kindle, i pad and many other devices being invented, readers are slowly shifting towards ebooks.Unlike NDS, these support files that are downloaded form the internet for free. Young adults are the first ones to be affected by trends. Therefore, it is necessary for YA authors to sell their books in eBook format with the price lower than that of the hard copy. It is human nature to believe that a hard copy book is worth much more than a soft copy eBook which can be downloaded for free (just like people think for music). To discourage free downloads, you need to price the eBook reasonably so that consumers who are left with a few dollars or cents after making their purchases on internet sites (like amazon and e bay) would be willing to spend the remaining money on ebooks.
6) Games, TV serials, radio shows etc.- This is an extra type of marketing which can be skipped because it requires too much effort or money but it can be useful. A game of your book can introduce it to gamers who would never consider reading books. Young adults are avid video game players who would love to see a game of their favourite book. BBC and many other channels accept scripts. This is however, a hard step as chances of rejection are high. Getting yourself interviews on radio shows etc. can help too.
7) Target sites- For this, you will have to make a list of all the sites and places teens are probable to visit. Fashion and blogs rank high for girls and games rank high for boys. Advertising on these sites can help as it directly targets your audience.
8) Flyers, posters etc.- Works better for younger or older audience though. Teens do not even read posters or flyers carefully. But if they see it in a bookshop (and it looks good and colourful), they might ask the shopkeeper for the book or give it a try.
9) Music, trailers etc. – This is a ridiculous idea but a song about your book can do it good. Teens love to listen to music and a catchy tune related to your book can help them discover it. People like to know your book has a face (cover) and a voice. A book trailer and audiobook is also a great way to promote your book.
10) Awards- Awards are great tools of promotion but they can be difficult to get. Teens don’t care too much about awards too (Harry Potter didn’t win a Nobel Prize).
11) Book signings, tours- For YA book fans, these are similar to music concerts. However, be sure that the signing is going to be profitable (air ticket, cab charges etc. cost a lot). This method effective where YA audience are concerned.
I would like to mention that YA audience are not as faithful as children but are definitely more faithful readers than adults. At this age, they are carried away by trends so any promotion method that taps this spot has a high success rate. Also, young adults love freebies and piracy is highly probable where they are concerned. However, if they read your whole book for free and love it, they would consider buying it because it is a memory. Another thing I would like to mention is that make your readers feel comfortable. Sometimes people send outrageous mails but don’t be rude and snappy. YA audience don’t like it. Be polite and to the point. They will buy your book sometimes if they like you as a person.
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