Breaking into the YA market with a little help from my friends
by Leandi Cameron
Young adult paranormal romance/fantasy has become one of the largest book genre’s within the last five years and, that, is a challenge in itself.
Young girls everywhere are dreaming of that hero that would whisk them away and take them to a place where their world will be turned upside down, and magical things will happen to them.
Even when we grow up, we still love to believe that magic really exists and that the worlds created for us by authors could, somehow, one day become a reality.
Mostly, when it comes to vampires, shapeshifters, ghosts and other fantastic or otherworldly creatures, what attracts us most is the mystery and the dangers that we, as readers, are free to explore – in our minds, these characters become real and we come to love them.
Therefore, there is no doubt that the young adult market is steaming, and very, very, attractive to many authors who are racing towards biting off a piece of the pie.
Herewith lies a great problem, however.
As the young adult book industry grows, so does the amount of books that are badly written and cheaply sold, and these books are overcrowding an industry that includes so many authors that are “true” writers with brilliant stories to tell – these beautifully crafted tales wash away within a slush pool of badly written novels that are unedited and badly thought out.
However, true writers would know that the significance of having a unique take on the paranormal genre is the most important part of making your book stand out – or that is what I keep on reading on blogs, highly acclaimed websites and from marketing experts. This, is what I did with A Tale of the Other Kind: A Therian Novel, which is the first in a series.
But, as an author and a qualified journalist and editor, there is one thing that still eludes me – marketing and driving sales. For myself, as I believe with many authors, I have the uncanny inability to know how to get my book noticed. I confess – knowing how to be a saleswoman isn’t my forte.
If you are not on the bestsellers list, you can kiss getting reviews by highly acclaimed reviewers goodbye, and getting bloggers to respond to your emails is a nightmare. You are simply invisible, no matter how well your book is written, or how unique your story is.
Marketing, marketing, marketing, the bane of my existence, yet the most important part of making a book sell. Therefore, when I realised that my abilities simply consist out of being a creative spirit, I decided to leave the marketing and sales driving to the experts.
It is important to find good avenues to market your book – yes, you are going to have to invest some money into getting this done, but if you find a marketing expert that understands your book’s genre, and is dedicated to finding you the best platforms to display your work, then, within time, you will start seeing growth with that book you slaved away on for many years. Your baby will grow, and soon it will become the stable and impressive young adult you hoped it to be.
For me, I found that Bookbuzzr, Goodreads, LibraryThing and Quora are great platforms, among others, to help increase exposure for your novel. Then there is Twitter and Facebook Fan Pages – yes, the list goes on and on. This is a lot of hard work! Especially if you have a full-time job, and need to get started on your second novel, before you start getting screaming emails from those who have read your book and can’t wait to see what happens next.
However, I cannot stress enough, the importance of enrolling the help of a book blog tour marketer. I use Orangeberry Book Tours, and without Pandora’s help, I would never get through all the work it takes to get my book’s name out there.
Hopefully, in time, continued exposure would bring about change and a climb in sales – I know I have a unique book and soon someone will notice that it isn’t “just another paranormal romance/fantasy just like all the others”. Therefore, I will continue working hard at it, and dedicate time to my novel’s success on a daily basis – with the help of others – of course.
Leandi Cameron is a South African award-winning journalist and newspaper editor. She is also co-owner of multi-disciplinary company House of LeaVik. Her debut novel, A Tale of the Other Kind: A Therian Novel, was released in October 2012, and is available on Amazon in paperback and ebook format. For more information, visit www.leandicameron.com.
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Genre – YA Paranormal Fantasy
Rating – PG13