Traditional publishers turn to youth ambassadors for online marketing
Posted on November 01, 2021 | BY KATIE INGRAM | 1 Comment
Once upon a time, book publishers used only one storyline to market their products. Then they embraced the idea of youth ambassadors, and the rest is…To find a good book, all Newfoundland and Labrador’s Molly Powers had to do was look in her own, figurative, backyard. But it’s something she didn’t think of doing until recently.
“I didn’t prefer to read Atlantic Canadian because no one was really talking about it,” said 15-year-old Molly Powers, a youth ambassador for Digitally Lit: Atlantic Canadian Youth Read. She said she would mostly look to Chapters for the newest best-sellers and only would browse locally owned Breakwater Books’ store when she was in St. John’s.
“No one told me, ‘well, you should read this instead of this, but once I started working with Digitally Lit, I (started) preferring Atlantic Canadian books over mainstream ones.”
Launched in 2019, Digitally Lit is a youth-led community engagement initiative that aims to increase awareness of regional books in the 13 to 25 age demographic. The program has partnered with 20 youth ambassadors from around the region. Ambassadors are given a list of new and older releases and they choose which ones they’d like to read, both from their home province and others. They then take to their own social media and other platforms, like podcasting and YouTube, to discuss and promote the titles.
Digitally Lit strategy coordinator, Robyn Grant said the program has a few goals. First, they want to help “empower youth to shape their own stories and futures” and know that their stories matter. “(I want them) to take immense pride in not only who they are as people, or with their identities, but also where and what they come from,” she said.
“We come from Atlantic Canada; we will always be from Atlantic Canada, so we might as well support Atlantic Canada and be proud of where we come from…”
Molly Powers, Digitally Lit youth ambassador (above)
Since starting with Digitally Lit, Molly’s started to notice this. “We come from Atlantic Canada; we will always be from Atlantic Canada, so we might as well support Atlantic Canada and be proud of where we come from, through books, through social media, through just talking about our provinces amongst each other,” she said. “I think it’s super important to read the books we have here and at least try them out.”
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