What do the promotional requirements (or expectations, anyway) look like for YA authors?
Oh the joys of classroom visits! Writers of YA and books for younger readers often times promote their books with classroom visits. It can be really fun. It can also be slave labor.
YA authors also need a HUGE web presence. Expect tons of letters and the idea that you really will respond to most of them. Kids have no concept that 3000 other people are writing to you. They only know that YOU are their favorite person in the world and they want to tell you so.
Kids books hardly ever get media attention, but they are HUGE book store draws... and lots of fun. I always take my Dracula teeth just in case I need to enforce discipline in the line of people waiting. Talking to kids in line is such fun. Sometimes there will be a whole family, and I'll ask the youngest one "is this your sister?" The kid nods. I say "are you sure?". Takes a minute but then they just crack up. The parents don't think I’m as funny as the kids do but heck with those sticks in the mud!
YA promotion also involves going to library conventions and conferences. That's a HUGE market and those ladies are a hoot. I love librarians with a passion. Even the ones that look down their noses at my tendency to forget little things like due dates.