Despite its current popularity, Young Adult fiction hasn’t always been the household name it is today. In fact, it’s only over the last couple of decades that Young Adult, or YA, novels have truly made their impact in the world of literature.
Typically defined as a category written for those between the ages of 12 and 18, Young Adult fiction has expanded beyond tweens and teens, reaching adult readers on a daily basis. But what is it that draws readers to this genre, and how can you implement this in your work as an author?
As an author, while your novel may be dealing with intense themes, it’s important to allow your readers that glimmer of hope as you draw your novel to a close. Life is difficult, but tomorrow is a new day. This is a theme you must ensure to incorporate as the protagonist prepares to face their final hurdle and overcome the challenges that lie ahead.
TikTok is taking the world of publishing by storm. With over 7.2 billion views, the hashtag #BookTok is gathering book-lovers on this platform. Young content creators are breathing new life (and video content!) into the world of publishing.
Used by around one billion users, TikTok is a platform where short music videos, lip-syncs, microblogs or comedy videos are uploaded. Here, influencers review books in minutes, driving book exposure and increasing sales. If you’re new to TikTok and are keen to see how it can help you develop a wider reader following, check out our suggestions below of the best BookTok accounts to get started!
Abby Parker is a TikToker from the UK with an amazing 425K in followers. She creates entertaining meme videos that every book fan can relate to. If you’re looking for funny videos and advice on fantasy books, she’s the account to follow. Abby also posts weekly updates and reviews of the books she has read that week.
Cait regularly publishes book recommendations, reviews of individual titles and videos in which she groups books together to make reading suggestions like this one. Cait also set up the Bookington Book Club, an online book club where participants join weekly to discuss a book they have voted to read.
Camille's profile is ideal for infusing us with the positivity we need on a daily basis. Her videos and reading suggestions are entertaining and give off a positive vibe. Let yourself be carried away by her humour and recommendations for your next book to read.
Great Valley High School Library
Ms B is one of the few librarians on TikTok and creates a lot of entertaining content for Pennsylvania's Great Valley High School account. She makes fun of librarians and students, but always to entertain and create a sense of community among those who attend the library, be it physically or virtually.
Kevin Tyler Norman
Kevin is a BookToker who, during the pandemic, decided to start a TikTok channel and share his passion for books because he wanted other people to be inspired by the stories he read. As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, his suggestions highlight books that deal with such topics, with genres ranging from fantasy to poetry. Kevin has also recently published his first book, Shelter.
Sydney's profile is full of book recommendations for every occasion. Her videos include books tailored to your mood, themed reads for each month and even videos reviewing underrated books.
Jaysen is a graphic novel writer from the United States and also a famous BookToker, as well as a Bookstagrammer and Booktuber. His books can be found on his personal Goodreads page. His funny reactions to the books he has read will make you smile, and he shares many tips on how to diversify your library. His main interest is fantasy novels.
Brontë is a BookToker from South Wales. She creates aesthetic content (including book shelves and bookish getaways). Her profile includes reading tips and gift ideas for every occasion.
TikTok is a great place to watch other people review books. Approaching TikTokers with a free reader copy may incentivise them to review your work, but if you’re having trouble generating interest in your novel or manuscript, our ARC and BETA reader service might interest you.
We currently have a pool of over 160 readers and are adding to this pool every day with motivated and interested individuals who are looking for new titles to read and review. Reviews help a book get noticed on Amazon and provide social proof to other readers that the book is worth buying, which considerably helps when readers are choosing between one book or another. They also help the book stand out amongst many other competing titles.
Since Amazon is the largest bookseller in the UK, selling your book on their online platform is a great way to ensure that it reaches a wide audience and secures better sales. However, the default settings for product descriptions on the site are cluttered and generic, making the features of your book more difficult for a customer to navigate. So, how can you make your book stand out when selling through Amazon?
This is where A+ content comes in.
What is A+ Content?
A+ Content is a premium feature on Amazon that allows sellers to change the descriptions of their products and market them in original ways to boost their sales. This means that the description of any branded ASIN (or ISBN for books) can be altered and customised if you have access to A+ Content.
Who can use it?
Any professional seller on Amazon can use A+ Content as long as they are an approved or emerging brand owner or part of a managed selling programme. This makes it easily accessible by almost everyone selling on the site!
What are its main features?
A+ Content allows you to add a variety of custom features to your product descriptions, including unique image and text layouts and custom headers and paragraphs to create a more streamlined product page that is easier for customers to read. It also allows you to add other features such as product comparison charts and links to other products of yours, ensuring that the buyer understands every element of what you’re selling them. Combined, these features result in a more interesting and informative product description that will ultimately lead to sales, as Amazon itself reports that products that use A+ Content in their descriptions have 10% higher sales on average.
How does this relate to book sales?
Since book marketing tends to be very visual, using A+ Content can be key to securing sales. Use of custom image layouts can draw more attention to your book cover, particularly if it’s eye-catching, and make it stand out from other titles. Similarly, custom text layouts also lead to better advertising of the blurb or description of your book, as the structure of the text will likely be much more user-friendly and easier to skim. When combined with more detailed author information, the combination of better text and images will likely secure your book more sales.
Basic access to A+ Content is free to Amazon sellers and the opportunity to create a clearer USP for your book is obvious when you consider its features. Therefore, by using A+ Content to your advantage while marketing your book online, you have a greater chance of securing a high number of sales by crafting an original and interesting page for you and your book.
For more assistance with publishing your book on Amazon, check out our KDP Publishing Package. Additionally, if you are still confused about selling your book through Amazon, check out our blog posts on all aspects of the process from using keywords to sponsored ads.
An example of A+ Content on Amazon (Amazon KDP)
Comics are undeniably art. However, they are much harder for readers to get into when compared to other art forms such as books or movies due to the sheer volume of issues in ongoing series. Thankfully, that’s where the graphic novel comes in. Instead of long, sprawling epics they are more self-contained stories, and although they are dominated by the likes of DC and Marvel, you’ll be excited to learn that graphic novels exist in every genre!
Perhaps you’re hoping to find a new art form to appreciate, or maybe you’re an experienced reader looking for a new classic to fall in love with. Either way, read on to discover our top five picks.
Writer/Artist: Majane Satrapi
An autobiographical graphic novel about Satrapi’s own experiences growing up in Tehran, living through the Islamic Revolution and her time bouncing between Iran and Europe, Persepolis walks a tightrope between humour and heartbreak. The graphic novel explores our global search for an identity whilst shining a light on political and cultural beliefs that are mostly unknown in the Western world. Although Persepolis was adapted for film in 2007 – with Satrapi herself as co-director – the graphic novel remains the definitive edition of the story. Persepolis shows that not all graphic novels have to be about costumed heroes punching each other through buildings, fun as that can be. They can also tell quieter, more personal and heartfelt stories.
Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea
Writer/Artist: Guy Delisle
Another autobiographical graphic novel, because who doesn’t love those? Guy Delisle wrote this in response to his time working as an intermediary between a French animation studio and the North Korean studio working on an adaptation of the Corto Maltese comics. Set in the titular capital of this isolationist nation, Delisle’s novel offers a rare look behind the curtain. From details on mundane life in the country to more disturbing images, like the fact that he saw no disabled people in his time there, this travelogue is filled to the brim with unease and paranoia. A must-read for those interested in North Korea or unsettling real-life stories.
Writer: Alan Moore
Artist: Dave Gibbons
Although arguably responsible for the ‘gritty’ phase of superhero comics, Watchmen remains a touchstone in the maturity of the superhero genre. Loosely basing their characters off heroes from Charlton Comics, which had been recently acquired by DC, Moore and Gibbons commentate on the nature of superheroes and what superpowers would do to normal people in the ‘real world’. Though attempts to expand the world of Watchmen has led to a dilution of these themes (the 2019 HBO series being a wonderful exception) and the creator has tried to publicly distance himself from the work, taking Watchmen as a standalone story leads to an intriguing and thought-provoking experience.
Crisis on Infinite Earths
Writer: Marv Wolfman
Artist: George Perez
The grandfather of superhero crossover events. Crisis on Infinite Earths began as an attempt to streamline the DC comics continuity and expanded into a large-scale cosmic story that saw DC heroes and villains across multiple worlds unite to face an incredible threat. Though some characters may be lost on those not caught up on the wider DC canon, as Perez is well known for creating dense artscapes peppered with characters, Crisis on Infinite Earths is an important milestone for the superhero genre. Within these pages, worlds are born, worlds die, and DC comics, and superheroes as a whole, would never be the same again.
Judge Dredd: The Apocalypse War
Writers: John Wagner/Alan Grant
Artist: Carlos Ezquerra
Judge Dredd: The Apocalypse War is a masterclass in worldbuilding. When writers Wagner and Grant figured their world of Mega-City One was getting far too sprawling to effectively tell stories, they hit the reset button in the grandest way possible: all-out nuclear war. In both expanding and destroying their world, they managed to write a story about the human ability to persevere, even in the darkest moments. Though some moments only resonate properly with context, Apocalypse War and its prequel Block War are must-reads for anyone interested in dystopian crime stories.
If you or someone you know has a story that’s just itching to be turned into a graphic novel or any kind of story will illustrations, we can give you a hand. Rowanvale has a plethora of graphic design services that may be able to help!
While you’re here, why not check out a few more of our blog posts here.
Alternatively, if you’re interested in the services we offer, our plethora of packages can be found here. Feel free to contact us at email@example.com or call us on 029 2128 0200 where we are more than happy to answer any other questions.
A new and exciting opportunity has recently arrived for all US-based Amazon and Kindle sellers to help you up your ad game in the new year. The Sponsored Brand placements now available to KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) authors are actually nothing new. The only catch with them was that they were previously available to almost all Amazon sellers, apart from indie authors.
In this article we’ll be covering the what, the why and the how of Sponsored Brand placements to help get you started!
What are Sponsored Brand placements?
Type, for example, any book genre into Amazon and the Sponsored Brand placements are the three ads that show up first, right at the top of the search (see the highlighted red box on the below image). They shouldn’t be confused with the first two products in the search, which are Sponsored Product ads.
Why should you use Sponsored Brand placements?
Hopefully it’s clear from how prominent they are in an Amazon search that these ad placements can prove highly valuable to any Amazon seller!
They’re particularly perfect for series writers – in order to access them, you need at least three ASINs (Amazon Standard Identification Number) in a single KDP account, aka three different products. This means you can display three books from your series in one single ad banner! However, they can of course also be used to advertise just one book in three different formats, as a paperback, ebook and audio version of a book each have individual ASINs.
Since this feature is still relatively new, there is still only low competition for each ad placement. There’s only one Sponsored Brand ad for each Amazon search, so the sooner you make a start at securing yours, the better!
How do you use Sponsored Brand placements?
In the ad, you get a customisable headline of 50 characters. Try and think of a tagline you know will appeal to your target audience specifically, not just to anyone and everyone. Perhaps you’ve already got something from your marketing strategy you could use, to help build a cohesive brand. If you’re publishing with Rowanvale Books, you can always contact a member of our marketing team for help if you’re low on inspiration!
Amazon will use your author photo by default in the image for the ad. However, you can choose to customise the ad with your logo or a section of your book cover instead. Again, don’t hesitate to message a member of our team if you need any help or a second opinion in choosing the right photo.
For more information on the Rowanvale’s services head over to https://www.rowanvalebooks.com/ or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.