Author Susie Day is hoping to promote YA books written by British and Irish authors through an online shop selling UKYA-branded merchandise.
The ‘We Have Crisps’ shop is currently selling tote bags, vest tops and t-shirts featuring the names ‘Patrick & Bali. Sarra & Non’, representing Patrick Ness, Bali Rai, Sarra Manning and Non Pratt.
The site also has mugs with quotes from UKYA authors, including Cat Clarke and James Dawson.
Day said she set up the non-profit shop with two aims; to “make the sort of merchandise I’d like to buy and spread the UKYA love.”
She said she is frustrated with the lack of visibility of UKYA in both the press and in bookshops. “There’s no regular mainstream review culture, and, understandably, UK publishers are keen to support US titles that arrive garlanded with big sales and glowing reviews. Most UKYA authors don’t have a big marketing push behind them.
“It can be frustrating to walk into a bookshop and see a table of YA with perhaps only one or two UKYA titles on it - when month after month I read phenomenal new books published right here.”
Day so far has signed up 50 authors who have agreed for their quotes to be used on mugs but is looking for more, both well-known names and debuts.
Around 10% of every item sold will go into a fund that will pay for UKYA promotional materials such as posters, or will go towards regional YA events, and Day will blog about where all the money goes on the ukya.co.uk website.
She said: “My dream is to walk into this year’s YALC and see those t-shirts and tote bags walking around Olympia. And a UKYA logo above a table in every Waterstones, piled with great reads. And that double-decker bus tour. But I’ll settle for the first one for now.”