Okay, you’ve done it! You’ve written your YA novel, and either sold it to a publisher or decided to self-publish it. Either way, it’s about to “go out into the world”! Congrats!
Now you just want to make sure that readers can actually find your gem out in the crowded marketplace. You must promote! But how? I’m going to tell you what’s worked best for me. Keep in mind that your mileage my vary.
First off, whether your book is available both digitally and in bookstores or just digitally, word-of-mouth is very important to your sales. You need to get people talking about your book–and the best people to get talking are bloggers. If your publisher’s publicity department isn’t getting ARCs (Advance Reader Copies) into their hands, then you should make sure they get copies–either ARCs or electronic galleys, or even finished copies. I’m not saying send out copies to everyone who asks, but you should definitely be out there on social media, building relationships with bloggers/reviewers, and giving some of them the opportunity to review your book without having to purchase a copy. And don’t worry–while I do think that blogger/reviewer love can actually “make” a book (i.e. bring it to the attention of readers who might have missed it, giving it unexpected success), I don’t believe that bad reviews necessarily “kill” a book. But, for better or for worse, you need to get readers talking about your book.