How to market young adult fiction (and get more book reviews)

I’ve recently realized that I have way too many websites; I haven’t posted anything on this one for awhile – I continue to post most of my book marketing case studies and experiments on my main site, www.creativindie.com. Things are getting more exciting now, because – while previously I only helped other authors market their books – now I’m publishing and marketing my own (including fiction!).

A lot of fiction authors say that what most people consider as book marketing doesn’t work as well for fiction writers.

Not true.

And I’m writing in young adult, a genre many authors feel is particularly frustrating (how do you reach teenage readers?).

I’m having fun learning and doing book launches, the first of which (January, 2016) is for Shearwater, a young adult mermaid romance. I built a YA email list to almost 10K with book giveaways, and I expect to have over 100 reviews the first week… but that doesn’t necessarily mean it will “stick” or keep earning money long term.

I know some books that have 300 reviews and still struggle to sell, and others with 20 reviews that make $20K a month.

Likewise, I know authors with 20 books that barely make $100 a month, and authors with 1 book that make $10K.

It doesn’t seem fair.

But this much is true:

1. You need to keep driving traffic so people find your books.

And this doesn’t have to mean getting on Twitter or doing promotions. With a handful of well written posts, on popular website, with keywords people are searching for, you’ll be able to bring in constant, long term traffic.

(This post, for example, is one of many that will bring new traffic to my novel – and I’ve linked my anchor text, “a young adult mermaid romance” directly to my Amazon page, so that it will rank well in Google search results).

2. Your book page needs to convert.

That means, when people find themselves on your Amazon page, they buy the book. That’s a combination of reviews, description and summary, editorial reviews and the about the author section, as well as the book cover. All that stuff helps them make a purchasing decision.

If you can drive traffic, and most of that traffic feels a thirst, a need, to actually buy and read your book, you’ve won.

That’s what I’m trying to make happen with my books. It will take some experimentation, but I’m doing a lot of things right, and by the end of 2016 I plan to have at least 10 books published and be making a living as a writer.

If you also write young adult and want some help, I’ve set up the Alliance of Young Adult Authors, and I also made a book review site just for YA books that authors can use to boost their traffic and visibility.

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How to market your young adult fiction

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