Reaching YA Readers Where They Are: Online

Exuberant woman in red shirt cheering with a laptop on the floor.

As much as we love books, the old-fashioned type—you know, the one with a fabulous cover and pages filled with words. We have to be realistic and realize that when it comes to young adults, they are online more and more. As they say, “We are in a digital world” and competing with that when it comes to reading has both challenges and opportunities.

With the wide array of online options, reading has changed dramatically. We have everything from social media, ebooks, and audiobooks to digital libraries and reading apps. There has definitely been a shift towards what can only be described as a rapid consumption of content through screens, large and small, and the task of encouraging reading can sometimes feel rather daunting.

On the upside, the online world, where it appears our young adults are spending the majority of their time, offers some great ways to engage with them. By simply embracing these digital platforms, we can inspire a new generation of readers!

Joyful woman holding a social media-like frame against a yellow wall.

Social Media: A YA Bookish Haven 

Social media platforms have undergone a huge transformation—from networking sites to information-sharing and fun sites, bookworms everywhere can now share in all sorts of literary excitement. 

YA novels have become increasingly popular on social media and we don’t see this stopping anytime soon. If you think about it, social media has simply changed the way stories are marketed, consumed, and shared. 

And let’s not forget about those all-important hashtags! #BookTok and #YABooks go hand-in-hand with young adult book lovers and have led to millions of views and posts. Now we see enthusiastic communities of young readers and writers passionate about YA fiction everywhere.

Social media has given authors a unique space where they can share their journeys, give insights into how they write, and even engage with their readers on a more personal level. And for readers—well, it is a literary haven as they share book reviews, recommendations, and ideas. We might even go so far as to say that it has become a literary exchange.

Book Tok

We recently wrote a blog on BookTok - BookTok, Teen Readers, and the Rise of TikTok Literacies - here are a few snippets!

Technology is an incredible tool, and when it comes to digital communication and social media, TikTok has emerged as a fabulous platform for book lovers, with its own niche known as BookTok. We love how this online community has revolutionized the way teens engage with books, influencing reading trends and, as a result, creating a new form of digital literacy.

Young adult novels enjoy a special status on BookTok, and their popularity continues to grow, all thanks to the platform's very enthusiastic user base. From a visual and interactive perspective, TikTok is a wonderful complement to YA themes, characters, and storytelling. Ultimately, it has become the perfect relationship, boosting this popular genre's visibility and appeal among young adults.

The Role of Visual and Interactive Storytelling

Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube's visual content has given the bookish world a whole new spin. Now, authors and creators successfully use these platforms to share visual inspirations for their stories, character art, and book trailers. It is now a completely immersive experience and engaging with content in real-time is possible through interactive features like polls, Q&As, and live streams.

YA authors have started experimenting with storytelling directly on these platforms using serialized posts, interactive stories, and various multimedia elements. We happen to think it's wonderful how they are engaging with their existing readers, but perhaps more importantly, they are reaching young adults who previously weren’t that interested in the literary world.

Speaking of interactive and immersive experiences, you definitely want to check out our YA book subscription boxes—they may not be online, but they are packed with excitement, including the latest novel and surprise gifts that are renowned for bringing stories to life.

A tablet leaning against books on a wooden shelf.

Ebooks: Convenience at Your Fingertips

Ebooks have become extremely popular as they are easily accessible and convenient. With just a few clicks, you can download thousands of books to your devices. Let’s be honest; they are brilliant for taking on vacation with you—at least your luggage is lighter, and your bags aren’t jam-packed with books. Platforms like Amazon Kindle, Apple Books, and Google Play Books have a huge range of books with something for everyone. Ebooks aren’t only convenient and don’t take up space, but they come with plenty of extra features like adjustable text sizes and built-in dictionaries, which are always useful.

White headphones draped over a stack of books on a teal surface.

Audiobooks: The Joy of Listening to a Story

Audiobooks are fabulous, and listening to a well-read story is always a pleasure. Platforms like Audible, and Scribd have great selections of audiobooks narrated by authors, celebrities, and voice actors. 

They are also a great way to shut down distractions and let your brain relax. You can listen to them anywhere—while on the way to college, on road trips, or even when you are just taking some time out. Everyone needs a break from studying! Another benefit of audiobooks is that they are a great tool for anyone looking to improve their listening skills and pronunciation.

Online Book Clubs and Bookish Communities

Online book clubs and bookish communities are another area that allows you to connect with book lovers all over the world from the comfort of your home, coffee shop, actually no matter where you are. Sadly, you may need to forego those fabulous snacks most book clubs are renowned for.

These online bookish communities are vibrant and exciting—they are a hub of book recommendations and insightful conversations. Make sure to check out our fabulous Facebook community!


The online world has created many exciting opportunities to engage with YA readers. Social media, ebooks, audiobooks, and online communities have created innovative ways to connect with teens and make the bookish world more engaging than ever before.

YA readers have so many options and ways of engaging with literature and we can’t wait to see what will be next. What we do know is that in our world, you won’t find anything more exciting than the turning of a page or the feeling you get when you open a surprise gift! So from all of us at Once Upon a Book Club, happy reading, no matter where it is!

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.