I’m honoured to have the wonderful Natalie Wright join my blog today with a guide to marketing for a teen audience!
Natalie is the author of The Akasha Chronicles, a young adult fantasy trilogy. When not writing, blogging, Facebooking, Tweeting, Wattpadding or eating chocolate, Natalie nurtures her young daughter, feeds her dog too many treats, and can’t resist watching Ancient Aliens, no matter how absurd the show becomes.
Natalie enjoys travel, good wine, and excellent food shared with family and friends. She was raised an Ohio farm girl, now lives in the desert Southwest, and dreams of living in a high rise in a big city.
“Books are my friends, ideas my passion.”
3 Tips for Marketing your Books for Teens
From time to time, people ask me if there is a difference between marketing books to a teen readership as opposed to adults. I think the answer is partly yes, but partly no. The top tip in marketing to any audience is to first write a good book (more on that in a moment). But marketing to children and teens is a bit trickier than marketing to adults. Most people under the age of eighteen do not have unfettered access to money and thus are not free to purchase whatever they want, whenever they want. And children and young adults aren’t necessarily hanging out in the same social media spots that adults are (or not engaging with them in the same way).
I’m not an expert on book marketing, but since I published my first book in 2011, I’ve learned a few things (often the hard way!). Here I share my top three tips for marketing books written for teens:
1. Go Visual: The medium in which the author works is a jumble of black sticks, circles and dots on a white page. We create images through language.
All well and good. But in order to get the word out to teens about the book, authors need to think visually. Even teens who love to read respond favorably to visual media. If you haven’t done this already, create a YouTube channel specifically for the purpose of posting videos about your books. Create a short author video and pin it to your page introducing yourself and your work. With each new project, create a book “trailer” and post it on your YouTube channel. Create videos to announce giveaways and contests. What kind of video can you create that shows readers something about you and your work?
Did I mention to keep it brief? People will stay with you for two or three minutes, maybe five if the content is crackin’.
Spice up your blog posts with photos and post or re-post funny or interesting photos on your author Facebook Page, Instagram and Twitter. Use your social media in a visual way to appeal to young readers.
2. Blog to Engage the Reader: What is the purpose of an author blog? If you are blog exclusively about writing tips, then you are blogging to reach other writers. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing if that’s your intention. Maybe a few writers will even buy your books. But most of them won’t.
Consider your blog as an opportunity to reach new readers and enrich the experience of your existing readers. Produce blog content that speaks to readers, not writers.
The purpose of all social media is to gather around you a community of readers who are in love with your books – and you. Write blog posts that reveal inspirations for your work, a humorous photo essay of a trip gone wrong, something funny you came across while researching for your latest book. And don’t limit yourself to talking just about your books or your writing. Reveal interesting things about yourself or talk about your passions. The main thing? Be interesting. The possibilities are endless.
3. Write a lot of Damned Good Books: You can spend twenty-four hours a day on marketing and all the effort in the world will not help a weak book to grow legs of its own. And that is ultimately what your marketing effort is all about. The point of marketing is to get your book into the hands of readers in your target market. If the book is exciting to readers, they will spread the word for you.
A book with a tired premise and/or poor or so-so writing won’t gain traction in the market. The absolute best marketing you can do happens before you write the book. Think about your target audience. Who are they? What age? Gender? Where do they hang out? What do they like to do?
Read books written for your target audience. Then come up with a premise that is fresh and write the best damned book that you can. And when you think it’s good enough, send it out to beta readers and an editor. Write, edit, repeat.
Write books with unique plots that are well written and well edited. Write your heart out, edit your fingers off, and then begin again. And again. Because the best form of marketing is a happy reader who tells their friend, “You’ve got to read this book.” That friend buys your book, likes it, and goes back to Amazon to discover that you have six other books for sale and buys them all. Now that’s excellent marketing.
There you have it, my top three tips for marketing to teens and young adults. Now excuse me. I have to edit my manuscript, create some fresh blog content, and post a video or two on YouTube.
Natalie’s books, from the Akasha Chronicles are available from Amazon (Click the cover to be taken to Amazon site.) Or, you can follow up with Natalie at the following sites: