It’s less than a week to go until our event Children’s Publishing: Through the Age Ranges, so the latest of our #SYPchat events focused on YA. Lucy Powrie (@LucyTheReader), blogger, booktuber, and host of weekly chat #ukyachat was there to answer anything and everything YA!
So, let’s start at the beginning: why did she decide to set up #ukyachat? “I didn’t know of a Twitter chat at the time that talked about books,” Lucy explains. “I saw the gap and decided to fill it! Standing out from the crowd is important to me. I like to try new and innovative things. Growth will come with passion. If you love your idea and are passionate about it, other people will too.
“This year #ukyachat has really taken off. I didn’t expect it AT ALL! It still amazes me!” she adds. But what about the best and most difficult things about hosting the chat? “PRESSURE to get it right is always hard. I love watching friendships blossom between people that join in! Getting to know lots of lovely and amazing people [is] definitely [the best thing]! I have so many friends now through #ukyachat.”
The chat has grown so much that it’s gone beyond fandom – there’s a lot of collaborative work with authors and publishers; in #ukyachat, just after this one, they’re set to unveil a new book cover. “Sometimes I work with authors, sometimes with publishers. Usually they’ll email me with an idea and I’ll try to bring it to life as best as I can. I always stick to what I think people will enjoy. I like to work with authors – collaboration is key. I loved the chats with @LuWrites + @AnnaMcKerrow!”
Lucy is immersed in the book world, both blogging and booktubing, how does she manage it? “Balancing it is a HUGE juggling act. Sometimes you have to prioritise, no matter how painful it is! At the moment I’m studying for mocks, so I know they’re important. Reading has taken a back step!”
So, what does she recommend to those wanting to start out in the world of book blogging or Youtube? “Seize opportunities as soon as you see them. Always be professional, even if it’s hard! WORK, WORK, WORK.”
In a previous SYP chat, Sam Missingham tipped Lucy as the finest example of utilising social media – but does Lucy find areas of the book industry lacking when it comes using it? “[There are] SO MANY AREAS. We still have a long way to go with social media marketing. I want to work in publicity and marketing/social media consultancy, so it can be very frustrating!” As for where those issues lie, she adds, “Not just Twitter, but Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest used TOGETHER rather than just one.”
Now we turn to some quick fires!
How big a part does her chat play in finding recommendations? “[I’ve found] SO MANY! The majority of my recommendations come from #ukyachat.”
Which authors does she think are particularly good examples who connect with a YA audience? ” .@oneilllo’s signing queue at @yalc_uk made me realise the power of the teenage audience. It was incredible.”
If you love YA then you’ve probably already seen #ukyachat, but if you haven’t then do make sure to check it out! Lucy is a brilliant example of someone building a vibrant online community around their passion, doing so with professionalism and integrity! If you’re interested in YA publishing, or any children’s publishing from a lower age bracket, our November event Children’s Publishing: Through the Age Ranges, is next week. Get more info here.