10 key learnings from the YA and Crossover Masterclass

POSTED ON: 05/09/19 TAGS: BMS Masterclass YA and crossover

by katie


Last month, James Spackman hosted the latest BMS Masterclass, focusing on YA and Crossover. With presentations from Naomi Berwin of Hachette Children’s Group, Roisin O’Shea of Hot Key and Piccadilly Press, Sanne Vliegenthart of Books & Quills and Kat McKenna of Macmillan Children’s Books, it was a fascinating insight into some of great YA and Corssover marketing campaigns.

As always, James hosted a round-table discussion after the presentations, allowing people to bring their marketing challenges to the wider group. Here are a few of the key things that came up on the day…

  1. Adult and Children’s publishers can have very different definitions of success. Week one chart position remains key for adult firms, whereas kids’ lists have tended to have to look more long term.
  2. Sometimes a strategically minded author can help a global campaign come together. Leigh Bordugo, for example, insists on coherence between her global publishers, which means assets are shared and there is more noise around key launches.
  3. The YA community is still thriving but with so many books being published, you can’t just rely on a core of influencers to make your launch talked about.
  4. There’s no substitute for meeting readers. Don’t assume you know what readers want from your authors of your list. How do you know if a jacketless hardback is the wrong choice? A stream of keen fans at YALC will tell you …
  5. In a time where getting commitment from retail chains is hard, YALC is a precious thing: hundreds of keen readers who buy multiple editons at full price and give you invaluable insight.
  6. YA authors’ passion for their books and their community is a huge asset – make sure you use it.
  7. Look outside the book community to see who’s excelling at communicating with users. The Netflix instagram is A1.
  8. Look and feel is a critical judgement for YA social channels. Colour, and a blend of high production and authentic/homemade does the trick.
  9. Don’t try to talk like a teenager if you aren’t actually one yourself.
  10. A YouTube channel can be a great way to reach the YA audience, but involves a huge commitment and breaking through takes a long time. Not for the faint of heart!

Our next BMS Masterclass will be on non-fiction marketing. You can find out more and book your tickets here.

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