I’ve been working with Elizabeth since I started hoarding Carolrhoda Lab books and she’s such a gem to interact with. Always sweet and attentive and super on top of everything, I’m always glad to help her promote something just based on her attitude alone. So of course she gets a spot this week to talk about her part behind the curtain and to throw some leads out to you all!
Promoting the experiment
When I first started working at Lerner Publishing Group, back before Carolrhoda Lab existed, we only published one YA novel a season—just two a year. Some of them were wonderful, and I truly loved helping to promote them. But we heard over and over again from our customers that people didn’t associate us with YA, and that made it difficult for us to figure out what our space was in the YA world. We worked hard to help these books get some attention, but they were such a small portion of our publishing program that it was very much a challenge.
So when Andrew Karre came on board as the Editorial Director of Carolrhoda Books and started talking about creating a YA imprint, our marketing and publicity team took full advantage of the opportunity to develop a brand for ourselves surrounding Andrew’s image of an imprint dedicated to publishing provocative, boundary-pushing fiction. When we launched Carolrhoda Lab in Fall 2010, we were able to create that space we had been looking for—a space where we could establish ourselves as publishers of distinctive YA. We’ve been pleased by the recognition we’ve received so far, and we were particularly honored when Blythe Woolston won the William C. Morris YA Debut Award for The Freak Observer, which we published in our inaugural season. We think we’re off to a great start—and trust me when I say there’s a lot more excitement to come in the future.
When it comes to YA, one of the most useful promotional tools is the modern-day word of mouth created by social media. The YA authors we work with are among the most savvy social media users I know, and we make a point of using our own @CarolrhodaLab Twitter handle to amplify our author’s voices. We also have some exciting developments in the works on Facebook, so be sure to keep an eye on facebook.com/carolrhodalab starting in March for giveaways and exclusive excerpts from our upcoming releases!