Wednesday, March 9, 2016

YA in the Alleyway~Getting Ready For Your Young Adult Book Release

YA in the Alleyway is my revised meme to give young adult literature the spotlight it deserves. It also gives YA authors the opportunity to share their signature with the world! Feel free to join me any Wednesday. 

Please welcome today's featured YA Author Vicki Weavil as she shares her wisdom on book releases. This is an awesome post, so make sure you bookmark it or share it with others!

Hello Alleywalkers,

I have been asked to talk about the steps to getting ready for a YA Book Release. Since these vary significantly from author to author, I thought I’d discuss this in a rather “tongue-in-cheek” way, based on my own experience – traditional publication with an independent publisher.

  • Step One: You’ve Sold a Book! Now the Real Fun Begins.
Okay, the book has sold. It will be published – hurrah!! But, before it is actually released, you will be revising that manuscript. Not once, not twice, but as many times as it takes to whip it into shape. Somewhere in the middle of this process you will decide that you cannot write, and that you are, in fact, the worst author in the entire universe. Do not allow this knowledge to destroy you. Remember that you have a publishing company (and maybe an agent) depending on your pitiful excuse for a book. So carry on, despite the night terrors that whisper to you that your lack of talent will soon be as exposed as a starlet on the red carpet. Carry on, and beat that manuscript into something that vaguely resembles a book. 

  • Step Two: The Cover Reveal.
At some point, while you are still adrift in the sea of revision and self-doubt, you will be shown mock-ups of the cover for your book. You may love the cover immediately – or not. (I’m fortunate in this regard, as my publisher puts out gorgeous covers). Negotiating over the cover may occur (or not, depending on your publisher). At any rate, once the cover is finalized, there will be a cover reveal. This will usually take place on various online venues, such as blogs, Facebook, or Instagram.  There may also be a blog tour for your cover reveal. 
Your responsibility at this point is to promote that cover reveal like you have just received another set of stone tablets from Mount Sinai. Tell everyone, more than once.  (Also, thank all the people who help with the cover reveal because they put their time into promoting YOU).

  • Step Three: Promotion and Marketing, or – Building Your Platform Without Scrambling    Your Brains.
This isn’t really a separate step, because it begins before the book is sold and continues… basically forever.  You need to create a social media presence as an author, based on whatever platforms you feel comfortable using. (Don’t use something just because it is out there, because that’s too much. Use what you feel works best with your marketing skills and personal style). 
Also don’t use your platform just to sell – you want to connect with people on a real level. Engage in online groups that interest you, promote other authors, tweet about topics you find fascinating, etc. Sure, mention your book(s), but don’t overdo it. No one wants “Buy My Book” shoved at them ten times a day. Bear in mind that different promotional strategies work better for different types of books, so study what is successful for other authors in your genre.
Not long before the release, your publisher will probably ask you to answer interview questions, or write guest blog posts (like this one!) for your release blog tour. There may be a lot, so pace yourself and make sure you give each the proper time and attention. Also, meet your deadline for the posts so the (very helpful) bloggers have plenty of time to work with your material.

  • Step Four: The Book Release! 
This is the step where you need a good support system, lots of (insert vice of choice here), and maybe a paper bag to breath into every once and awhile. 
There will probably be a blog tour promoting your release (or some other type of release promotion organized by your publisher). Perhaps you will arrange a book release party with your friends, or through the auspices of your favorite bookstore or library. Or perhaps you (and some friends, if you are lucky) will set up a Facebook release party.  There are a lot of options – just remember to do what makes you feel comfortable, and don’t force yourself to do things that will turn this into a terrible experience rather than an exciting one.
Also remember to thank anyone who has helped with your book release, including your publisher, agent, publicist, bloggers, author friends, family, and so on. But most of all – celebrate! You have published a book, and that is a major life achievement.

Vicki L. Weavil was raised in a farming community in Virginia, where her life was shaped by a wonderful family, the culture of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and an obsession with reading. She holds a B.A. in Theatre from the University of Virginia, a Masters in Library Science from Indiana University, and a Masters in Liberal Studies from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. After working as a librarian at the NY Public Library at Lincoln Center, and the Museum of Television & Radio (now the Paley Center for Media) in NYC, she is currently the Director for Library Services at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

Vicki loves good writing in any genre, and has been known to read seven books in as many days. She enjoys travel, gardening, and the arts. Vicki lives in North Carolina with her husband and some very spoiled cats. A member of SCBWI, Vicki is represented by Fran Black at Literary Counsel, NY, NY.  Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Tumblr | Goodreads

by Vicki L. Weavil

Publication Date:  March 8, 2016
Publisher:  Month9Books

For a ticket to Earth, seventeen-year-old Anna-Maria “Ann” Solano is willing to jettison her birth planet, best friend, and the boy who loves her. Especially since all she’s required to do is escort Dace Keeling, a young naturalist, through the wilderness of the partially terraformed planet Eco. Ann‘s determination to escape the limitations of her small, frontier colony never falters, until Dace’s expeditions uncover three secrets. One offers riches, one shatters Ann’s perceptions of herself, and one reveals that the humans stranded on Eco are not its only inhabitants.

Ann’s willing to sacrifice friendship and love for a new life on Earth. But when an entire species is placed in jeopardy by her actions, she must make a choice – fulfill the dream that’s always sustained her, or save the planet she’s never considered home.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Care to share any experience you've had with a YA book release or have a question? Vicki would love to hear from you, so comment below!
 photo Sheri2.png


  1. Great post! I know authors who hated their covers, but they didn't admit this until a few years later. With one of my publishers, my agent had it written into the contract that I could refuse the cover if I didn't like it. Fortunately I didn't have to do that. It's my favorite cover so far. :)

    Congrats on your release, Vicki!

  2. Luckily, I've been pretty fortunate with covers. I did have one series where I had no say in the covers and I hated them. I ended up taking the series back because the publisher wouldn't budge. I'm much happier now and sales improved with the new cover. :)

  3. Excellent post and oh boy are covers important! Congrats to Vicki!

  4. Great post. It's helpful to see a step-by-step that's manageable on what to do once you sign a publishing contract. Congrats to Vicki on her book!

  5. Excellent tips. It's important to manage things timely.

  6. Wonderful information here. Thank you so much for this. I've entered, followed, and commented and shared on social media. Thanks for this opportunity.

  7. Great step by step tips and advice. Thanks so much for putting it out like this. Wonderful information.

  8. Excellent tips and advice for all the steps!

  9. The good support system is so important. I've been fortunate I have an amazing one. And fortunate that my publisher also creates awesome covers.

  10. Doing the cover reveal on multiple platforms is a good idea, because just on Blogger or on Facebook and it becomes repetitive.

  11. lol Love her advice on the 'I suck' phase.

  12. Thanks for the super advice. I'm promoting my soon to be released book now and this helps. Good luck to you.

  13. Great post & I love the cover! I'll plug this page and the giveaway on my Friday Freebies blog feature tomorrow (Mar 11).

  14. Great cover and congrats to Vicki. I believe in engaging with people on social media. It's not just about selling books, but making meaningful connections.

    1. So true. And engaging in a meaningful way, too, not just to 'make' a connection.

      Thanks for stopping by!


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