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Articles - Business

Content Marketing for YA Authors

Sonal Panse,

YA Authors Should Avoid Being an Echo Chamber

As a writer, you probably know the very true cliche that there is nothing new under the sun, and you will find that most of the ideas that you come up with have already been written about. The key factor is, they haven't been written by you and from your point of view.

So, instead of rehashing something someone said, try bringing your own particular angle and opinion to it.

Why is it necessary to have your own opinion? Well, obviously, because you are your own person. Connected, it is true, to the human multitudes, and shaped and formed by forces not always in your control, but you have a spark of individuality that is uniquely you and you mustn't douse that to fit in with public opinion.

It is more important to be honest than to be politically correct. I once read an article that advised writers to not voice their opinions about social and political issues online. It could piss off customers, the advice-giver said. True, it could. But a lot of things could piss off your readers. For instance, what you write in your book could piss them off. Anything you do is going to piss someone off. Are you going to keep altering and shaping yourself then to make everyone happy? To a small extent, okay. But majorly? Not if you have any sense. You will keep on doing what you think is right, always keeping open the door that if you turn out to be wrong, you will admit it and change your course.

You should have your own opinion, well-thought-out and well-considered.

And well-expressed.

In your writing, please, please don't follow the trend of dumbing down and oversimplifying things. Don't make the mistake of assuming that your audience is stupid. No, assume they are on the same upward going graph of intelligence as yourself. This goes for the books you write as well.  I once had a review saying I needed to simplify my sentences and my paragraphs to make them more scannable. Thing is, I disagree. I've said this before, I'll say it again. Don't stoop, expect readers to rise.

People will not necessarily agree with your opinion, because they too have opinions that they also like to express. Some might even disagree with vehemence and rudeness. Be prepared for that. Learn to ignore if you chose not to argue. Don't waste your time getting into fights, unless, of course, it is absolutely warranted. Then, what can I say, fight tooth and nail and bask in the resulting publicity. Make yourself the subject of other people's content marketing strategies.

A Writing Schedule is Important for YA Content Marketing

How often should you write? That depends on how much time you have. Remember, content marketing is not your main job. You main job is to write YA books and you are using content marketing to publicize and market your books. So you will need to find an ideal balance that won't detract from your main writing time. Once or twice a week ought to to be sufficient, as long as you publish on a consistent basis and have something meaningful to say every time. Don't publish for the sake of publishing. There is already too much fluff around, and you are not going to build a solid readership by pushing more of that.

Don't be too salesy either. I mean, yes, you want to sell that book and all the others as well, and you do need to mention that now and then. Just don't drone on forever and ever about marketing funnels and everything that is jargony, and bore your readers further with graphs and pie-charts. I swear, I'm developing a deep-seated hatred for those blasted things. I skip them entirely whenever I encounter them, and I haven't missed much on account of it, so I doubt they are indispensable.

They signal a 'Look, I'm smart too' desperation that YA authors really shouldn't wade into.

It is off-putting. Many readers are intelligent people, and don't appreciate being treated as dupes to be ushered through funnels and psychologically manipulated. If that is your plan, do yourself a favor and don't broadcast it too much. Like I said, it is off-putting.

As an old saying goes: Why get a dog and bark yourself?

So, calm down, and tone down the 'Buy, Buy, Buy' ruckus.

Let the content marketing kick into gear and do what it's supposed to do.