The YA market has grown considerably in the last few years. Some say it’s because of the Harry Potter effect; with the original readers of the series becoming enthusiastic book lovers who then wanted books suited for their ages. The bookshops then gave much more space to YA and some great authors were discovered and published. The books spawned series and the series spawned film and TV adaptations, and the YA book world exploded. This is thrilling and I wish when I was a teenager I had this choice of books. Years ago children’s books were published for kids up to the age of 9 and then you were expected to read the classics or nothing until you felt it was the right time to enter the Adult department of a bookshop or library.
Bloggers are a key part of the YA world. The enthusiasm and knowledge they share is crucial to the life of the book. The hardest thing to do is to market books to teens: as publishers, we don’t inhabit the same world, and we would be seen as patronising if we tried to. This is the first time when this age group actively buys their own books and so they want advice from the (a) the same age group and/or (b) bloggers they admire and trust. The really good booksellers are either actively blogging themselves or taking notice of what is going on and buying in the books on that recommendation. It is what we used to term ‘word of mouth’, but now carried out on a quick and efficient medium.
Illuminae has been really successful for this reason. The bloggers have loved it and very importantly they have had a lot of interaction with Amie and Jay–the authors–on social media. Authors need to be out there too, getting their books known and read and creating fans for the future.
–Kate Beal, Head of Sales