How to successfully launch a YA print novel.

How to successfully launch a YA print novel

Guest Post by Cindy M. Hogan
I have people ask me this question all the time after coming to one of my launches. Here’s
the answer:

First, invite authors who write different genres to come and participate in your launch. I write YA, so I get a picture book author, a middle grade author, a cookbook author and a few adult fiction authors to take part. I plan a game, get a local business to bring a treat for the first 100 customers and get people to donate lots of prizes for door prizes and drawings.
Now, you need to get the word out to the schools.

The great thing about being a YA author is that you can easily promote your book to teens through the schools. How do you do that?

First, get some professionally looking posters made up. Photoshop does amazing things. Print up the posters at Costco or somewhere similar. The posters only cost $3 each. Take them to Jr. highs and high schools in the area of your launch. Tell  the school office it is a literary event and make sure you have all authors at least listed on the poster. Do this 2 weeks before the event.

Second, create a teacher packet.

Make fliers that advertise the event. Use Photoshop or something like it. If that is beyond you, hire someone. Make one 8X10 and then make the same flier divided 4 per sheet. Find a place that prints on the cheap when you print large amounts of the same thing. Do black and white copies. I used this for my first launch and for the second, I found a sale for double sided 3X5 cards and made them into a cool invitation to give out for about 1/2 cent each.

Next, write a short and to the point letter to the English teachers of the schools. Every kid is required to take English every year of school, so you’ll hit them all. This letter should explain how the teacher could benefit from telling their students about the event and encouraging them to go.Offer a big prize for the teachers. Give something that the teachers won’t be able to refuse. A Nook or something. Tell them that each student that comes to the launch and tells you the name of the teacher who sent them, will earn them one entry to win the prize. The more of their students that come, the greater the chance they will have to win the prize. Ask them to hand out the fliers to their students and hang the 8X10 of the announcement you’ve created, by their door, where all the students will see it.
PUT an elastic around the small fliers and put a sticky note that has the teacher’s name on it on the letter.

Take these packets to the schools. Make sure you look nice and presentable. Ask if you can put the fliers for this literary event in the English teachers’ boxes. They will usually let you do it on your own. Sometimes they want to do it, though. Be respectful and kind and they will help you.

Thirdly, you need to make it a fun event. Go early. On my first launch, I had people there a half-hour early. I was the third highest selling author at an author signing ever at that Barnes and Noble. Not bad for a debut author.

Those are the basics of getting the schools involved. If I wrote about all of it, this post would be way too long. Here is a short list of more things to do to help you be successful.

  • Send a press release to the newspaper. They reviewed my book and told about the event.
  • Talk it up with everyone
  • Take fliers around your neighborhood the day before
  • Hang some fliers around town, wherever they’ll let you
  • Have all your peeps blog and Facebook about it.
  • Make a Facebook event for sure
  • Put the event on your author central page for Amazon
  • Make sure you have a tab on your blog dedicated to it.

Start early! There is a lot to do to be successful, but it will be worth it.

Find out more about Cindy HERE

Buy her books.    Barnes and Noble Watched on  Amazon Protected on  Amazon

Have you ever been to a debut author’s book launch? What would make you want to go?

Check out yesterday’s blog post here at Angela Carlie’s.

And tomorrow be sure to stop by Susan Kaye Quinn’s for another fantastic post!

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12 Responses to How to successfully launch a YA print novel.

  1. Louise March 28, 2012 at 10:57 am #

    These are great tips! Thanks for all the suggestions. I especially appreciate all the ideas for getting teachers on board with the launch; what a great way to bring in young people.

  2. Creepy Query Girl March 28, 2012 at 11:22 am #

    What a fantastic idea! Sounds like so much fun and very effective!

  3. Alex J. Cavanaugh March 28, 2012 at 11:25 am #

    Wow, those are some really great ideas!

  4. Laura March 28, 2012 at 12:09 pm #

    I agree. What terrific suggestions! Thanks, Cindy for sharing! And I can’t wait to read your series!

  5. Cherie Colyer March 28, 2012 at 12:22 pm #

    Great advice! Thanks for sharing!

  6. Ansha Kotyk March 28, 2012 at 3:35 pm #

    This information is awesome! Thanks for sharing!
    Off to check out your books.

  7. Patti March 28, 2012 at 3:43 pm #

    Great advice. I love all of those suggestions.

  8. Angela Ackerman March 28, 2012 at 4:37 pm #

    Wow, this is a great collection of ideas on how to launch and promote to the target audience, especially how to get into schools. Thanks so much for posting what you did Cindy and big thanks to Laura for bringing you on the blog!

    Angela Ackerman

  9. Donna K. Weaver March 28, 2012 at 7:21 pm #

    Cindy’s a dynamo in person, too! I’m copying this and keeping it in mind. I never used to think of myself as a shy person, but Cindy’s go for it attitude makes me feel like one. lol

  10. J.L. Campbell March 29, 2012 at 2:28 am #

    Hi, Laura & Cindy,
    Lots of useful information here. I like the idea of engaging teachers and of making the event fun. Thanks for sharing these tips.

  11. Traci Kenworth March 29, 2012 at 10:03 am #

    This will be useful in the future. Thanks!!

  12. Helen Ginger April 8, 2012 at 7:04 pm #

    Really great outline of how to do a launch party! I’m not writing YA, but loved reading what you do to get your book noticed.

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