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Authors Turn to Twitter To Share What Their Books Are Actually About vs. How They’re Marketed


Mackenzie Reed tweets "tell me what you book is about and then tell me what your book is ACTUALLY about." (Image: screencap.)

When marketing a book, authors and publishers need to rely on the action-oriented parts of the story to really pitch it to readers, librarians, and booksellers. The carefully crafted elevator pitches are going to miss elements of the story like themes and tropes (except romance, because y’all get straight to the point).

This was likely one of the many things that prompted writer and blogger Mackenzie Reed to ask authors to share what their stories were actually about thematically (and personally) versus what their stories might be marketed as.

A lot of our favorite contemporary YA and adult Fantasy authors active on Twitter shared. These include the likes of Angeline Boulley (Firekeepers’ Daughter), Kalynn Bayron (This Poison Heart), and Ayana Gray (Beasts of Prey).

Sneak peek at upcoming books

In addition to learning more about our favorite books, many authors shared details of upcoming releases. For example, A Song of Wraith and Ruins‘ author Rosanne Brown gives a sneak peek at her swing at a Rick Riordan Presents book.

Independent authors, or those with debuts coming in the next year or so, also chimed in to simultaneously promote their books and give further insight into their themes and topics.

Here are some we have our eyes on:

We love a good story that forces us to challenge ourselves to view our real-life heroes as the messy (sometimes outright harmful) people they are. Pulido’s book, on the surface, looks to join the ranks of similar YA novels like John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars and Gabby Rivera’s Juliet Takes a Breath. (Now a graphic novel, too!) However, Chasing Pacquiao looks at how this plays in the Filipinx American community, with a focus on the experiences of young boys and toxic masculinity.

Removing barriers from authors

Often, newer authors have little-to-no say anything outside the bounds of the actual story—not just the book blurb, but also the cover, typeface, and more.

Outside of these more cosmetic elements, publishing houses will sometimes try to push authors to reformat for a different audience or add something big to the story to make it “easier to market” based on trends. For example, days ago, some authors were lamenting their YA books were being pushed to include romances.

This is why I love this trend rekindled by Reed. We get to know more about the book from the author’s perspective in a way that is safer for them to discuss (not disrupting income), and it’s short enough to entice us further. Usually found in author talks, interviews, essays (like this newest one), and panels, these broader thematic topics are discussed at great length. Half of those are not always accessible, and sometimes you’ve gotta meet the people where they are at (Twitter, in this case).

Even with a few more tidbits of information directly from the author, we found many new books to add to our TBR lists and books-to-watch coming on.

(via Twitter, image: screencap)

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