WNBA at BEA 2014

On Friday, May 31st the Women’s National Book Association – NYC Chapter had the honor of hosting their first ever panel at Book Expo America.  The panel was entitled, “A Conversation on Digital Strategies for Tapping the YA Market.”  We had a fantastic line-up of panelists, all offering a different perspective on how to effectively create, maintain, and develop digital communities in the YA world. We heard from 2 authors, 2 editors, 1 marketer and 1 librarian who all agree that connecting in the digital space is now more important than ever as that is where the YA readership is – whether they are tweens who explore various sites and platforms on their own, parents who are acting a filter and sharing with their children, or adults who truly enjoy reading YA on its own merits. Digital communities must also involve participation from the libraries and booksellers as they are on the frontlines of putting books into readers’ hands. All of this is to say that digital marketing is just another component of the tried-and-true Word of Mouth campaigns that publishers have been enacting for decades.

Moderated by WNBA-NYC’s  very own Manuela Soares, who is also a Pace University MS in Publishing Professor, she and the six panelists discussed how participating in the digital space is not dissimilar from the writing process itself: it needs to be honest, it needs to be cultivated like any other talent, and it should have a niche.

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From left to right: Arthur Levine, Vice President and Publisher of Arthur A. Levine Books, an Imprint of Scholastic Inc.; Alaya Dawn Johnson, YA author of The Summer Prince; Cheryl B. Klein, Executive editor at Arthur A. Levine Books, an imprint of Scholastic Inc.; Jeffrey Yamaguchi, Director of Digital Marketing at Abrams; Carolyn Mackler, YA author of The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things; Jennifer Hubert Swan, Librarian at the Little; Red Schoolhouse/Elizabeth Irwin High School;  STANDING: Manuela Soares

For further reflections on the panel, check out panelist Jeffrey Yamaguchi’s post on the event, or read about the event through the eyes of publishing students.

About Blog Editor

The Women’s National Book Association was founded in 1917 by female booksellers who weren’t allowed in the men’s organizations. Nearly 100 years later, the WNBA is still supporting women in the book industry through literary events, networking, literacy projects, workshops, open mic nights, book clubs, and many other entertaining programs throughout the season!

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