Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Ten Steps to Creating a Book Launch Team


Anita Higman
with guest
Anita Higman

 Perhaps you’re asking, “So, what is a book launch team or street team?” It’s a merry band of readers who like your work well enough to create buzz about your new books in exchange for free autographed books, prizes, and insider information about your latest releases. Your team’s buzz can be in the form of reviews, social media, blogging, and anything else that will get the word out about your new book. Okay, now that you know what this wonderful new promotion avenue is, you can begin to travel down this road with these ten steps.

1. Setting up an Online Home
Before you can invite your guests to this ongoing book party, you’ll need to create a special hosting site to house your private group. Since I am clueless how to pull this off I hired my webmaster to create a beautiful page on Facebook that would coordinate perfectly with my website as well as my Reader Page. If you’re clever and techno savvy, which I am not, you can set it all up on your own.

2. You’ll Want a Jazzy Title
I decided to call my book launch team Backstage Pass, and I call these amazing women in my group, Backstage Beauties. And believe me, they are beautiful in every way, not just because they promote my books, but because they really are nice people, and we’ve become friends.

3. It Shouldn’t Always Be About You
I discovered that for my team to spend all their waking moments thinking about me and buzzing about me, well, it was going to get a little strange. I was at risk of becoming a narcissist. So, Backstage Pass is also about the members too. Sometimes I post a “getting to know you question.” And they really do participate. Also, we share prayer requests, and that has also helped to foster a caring environment. We have built a community of women who not only like to read my stories but who also care about each other.

4. How Many Team Members Should You Have?
I have 78 members on my street team. There are some members who don’t participate, some who drop in once in a while to leave a comment or help out with some promotion, and then there are others who are committed to creating some serious buzz. I am grateful for them all. I feel honored that they would want to be a part of the group. But as far as numbers, I do think if you go over 100 members you would lose that intimate feel of community that makes this kind of group so special.

5. Make it Fun
There are lots of ways to have fun with your team, but here’s one idea. Perhaps each time you bring on ten new members you could celebrate with the group. You could ask a novel-related question and do a giveaway that is also connected to the book. One prize I gave away was a silver charm bracelet festooned with a tiny musical charm, because this type of bracelet was important in the book I was promoting at the time.

6. Ask for Input and Delegate Jobs
Your members will come up with some fresh ideas on how to create book buzz, so ask your team for input. And don’t forget to delegate. God really does give everyone special gifts, and it is awesome to watch those talents bloom in a close community. One of the women in my group acts as a team lead. She helps me bring in and welcome new members. She is also in charge of celebrating the birthdays within our group. Another member provides us with scriptures on Sunday morning. What a team. What a blessing!

7. How Do You Choose Team Members?
I started my team with friends and relatives as well as people from my church. That got me started, but then I branched out to include other women who liked my stories. Do remember, though, not to build your group too quickly. Make sure these are readers who like your stories, support your world view, and will help you with book buzz.

Click to Buy Summer's List
8. Share Your Heart, Not Just Your Books
Part of the reason readers want to be in your private group is because they will get an insider view of what it’s like to write books. But when you share your life, don’t just give your launch team the nuts and bolts of writing—offer them pieces of yourself.

9. How Effective is a Book Launch Team?
Unfortunately, I don’t have any numbers to show you concerning how many books sales came directly from the buzz created by my launch team. But I do know that a grassroots, word-of-mouth effort has always had a history of selling books when mere advertising might fail. In fact, I have appreciated their help so much that I dedicated one of my novels to them.

10. Here’s the Latest News About My Book Launch Team
After almost two years of having my launch team on Facebook, I decided to make some changes. It was a wonderful experience, and it was helpful in getting the word out about my books, but I recently chose to close Backstage Pass. Why? Well, one of the reasons was that it was requiring too much of my time to keep it running long-term. Because some of the members emailed me, wanting to continue to support my work, I decided to assemble a smaller, more focused and manageable group of about 20 to 25 woman who will review as well as create buzz around my books. I will stay in touch with these dedicated gals within a simple email loop. As I study the various angles of my book launch team venture, I would say that it is valuable. Give it a try. Keep in mind that some authors put together a street team for their new release and then when the book has been launched, they close the group. There is no one right way to make a street team. Experiment. Find out what works for you and enjoy the journey. Here’s to a great book launch!

Let's talk Street Teams. Any questions? Does anyone have one? Is anyone on one?
Leave a comment to get your name in a drawing for a prize.

A dying wish alters the course of a young woman's life.
Life hadn't been easy for Summer Snow. In acts of selflessness-caring for her ailing parents and running her grandmother's bookstore-she had forfeited her youth and dreams for the needs of others. And the only tries she had at love... didn't turn out. She had the bookstore, she had her beloved granny, but she was missing something-or someone.  
Opportunity strikes when Granny sends Summer on an unexpected adventure with one Martin Langtree, a kind but gangly young man from Summer's past. A childhood friendship is rekindled, a romance is sparked, and mysteries are solved in one magical Texas summer. Will Summer strike out on love again, or will things finally go her way?
With lovable characters and surprising twists, Summer's List is a simple delight.

Best-selling and award-winning author, Anita Higman, has forty books published. Her latest novel is Summer’s List through Moody Publishers. 
She’s been a Barnes & Noble “Author of the Month” for Houston and has a BA in the combined fields of speech communication, psychology, and art. Anita loves good movies, traveling to exotic places, and brunch with her friends.
Please check out Anita’s latest novel, Summer’s List, through Moody Publishers. Feel free to drop by her website at www.anitahigman.com or connect with her on her Facebook Reader Page. She would love to hear from you!





121 comments:

Tina Radcliffe said...

Welcome, Anita!

What a great topic. Especially since street teams have always terrified me!

How do you gauge the success of a street team?

And since you are tackling a tough subject for me, I brought chocolate chip muffins!!!

Jackie said...

Hi Anita,

When you expanded your street team from friends and family, how did you find these ladies? Did you select them from FB friends or Amazon reviews? Or did you put out an announcement and then choose?

Since you dropped down from 78 to 25 would you recommend 25 as the better number, or did having such a big group to begin with help build your career?

Thanks for sharing today.

Tina, I love chocolate chip muffins!

I hope you all have a great day!

Kelly Bridgewater said...

I'm on six different street teams. I love it. They announced they were looking for members. I only join the ones where I truly live their writing. One of them gives out a free copy of her book, either print or ebook, a couple of weeks before the book comes out. She also has a drawing at the end of the month for all those who review, tweet, or share on Facebook. Another team hasn't done much yet. But then again, she just started the team two months ago.

When I really like the author and the message they share, I love telling everyone about their books. I love building relationships with them. Plus, it is good practice for whenever I get my books published. I really enjoy street teams.

Anita Higman said...

Good morning everyone! Glad to be here. I've got my jasmine green tea and I'm ready to go.

Anita Higman said...

Hi Tina!
In answer to your question, success as far as book sales, well, that is always hard to know. But I guess if they are busy doing book reviews and social media, etc, then you know that you're on the right track! Wish I could eat one of your muffins!!

Anita Higman said...

Hi Jackie,

My team came from various places. Some were women that I knew liked my work. Some were the ladies at church who liked to read my books. Sometimes women on my team would bring in others who they knew were good at this sort of thing. Who knew how to be on a street team.

Anita Higman said...

Jackie, on your other question about the number of members, well, just make sure they are people who really want to do book buzz and they're not just people who want a free book. Some members will be more committed than others. Interviewing each member first is a good idea. Or at least make certain they know what will be expected. So, I'm not sure what the magic number is. Just make sure they love your work and they have time to do this. Being on a street team does take time...

Anita Higman said...

Good morning, Kelly!

Wow, you're on six street teams! That is impressive. Sounds like you're a real dream team member. Thanks for sharing with us!

Anita Higman said...

Tina, you said you were terrified of street teams. Can you tell us why? You've really got my curiosity levels up. Or were you just kidding around :)

Anita Higman said...

I was gone for a bit, making something wickedly chocolate in the kitchen. :) I'm back now if you all have more questions.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Anita, welcome!!!! And thank you for the delightfully upbeat post!

Anita, I've often wondered how you gauge the successfulness of the street team idea.

How do you make the assessment?

I'm sharing fresh bagels with schmear.... (which is cream cheese or flavored cream cheese or pretty much anything you want to "schmear" on a toasted Jewish bagel in NYC!)

I want a street team in every New York burrow!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Kelly Bridgewater, you sound like the ideal person for a street team. I love your descriptions!

Mary Hicks said...

Anita, your post is very interesting . . . in a way a writer has a built in street team with family and friends, so expanding the 'street crowd' to include others who love your writing makes good sense.

Thanks for sharing! I like your book cover. :-)

Anita Higman said...

Good morning, Ruth!

Glad to be here!

On that success thing, well, authors tend to think bottom line. You know, how many units are sold from each promotional effort. But sometimes that is hard to nail down. I see the street team as part of the promotional pie, along with other efforts. If you see that your team is indeed writing reviews and doing lots of social media buzz then you can assume it is helping. I'm just never sure how that translates into actual sales. Wish I knew. :)

Audra Harders said...

Anita, thanks for this really timely post. I just launched a book (best-kept secret EVER!) and am working on ways to get the word out. Your post has given me ideas.

I love how you started with folks close to you and your street team expanded as others became interested. That is very encouraging. I also liked how you offered bits and pieces of insight into your own life only to those inside people. Nice way to make them feel special!

Thanks for bringing your wisdom to Seekerville, Anita!!

Anita Higman said...

Ruth, I'd love to share a bagel and cream cheese with you. Love that sort of thing.
I have a favorite Jewish delicatessen here in Houston. Best. Food. Ever. :)

Audra Harders said...

Jackie, great questions about the number of people on the street team.

And Anita, you volley-ed back with an excellent answer! I will go to those trusted members first who I know what to get the word out rather than a free book.

This is a great topic.

Anita Higman said...

That's right, Ruth. I agree with you about Kelly. I wouldn't mind having her on my smaller email loop team now. But it sounds like she has plenty to do, being on six teams! Wow. :)

Anita Higman said...

Thanks, Mary, for your kind words. Appreciate that!

Anita Higman said...

Hi Audra,

Thanks for your sweet post. Congratulations on your new book. I wish you the very best with that. May the sales be with you! :)

Anita Higman said...

Hope this info helps you, Audra. Well, I hope it helps all of you, really.

I'm going to take a shower now, but I'll be back in a few minutes to answer more questions. So keep them coming. :)

Sandra Leesmith said...

Good morning Anita and thank you for posting in Seekerville. What a fun post and great topic. I love the way you call it a street team. That is very descriptive. I think its wonderful to have support from friends and fans. I know it has helped me a lot when I launch a book.

It will be interesting to see if you notice a difference with your changes. Come back and let us know. smile

Have fun today.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Kelly, You said you respond to requests. Where do you find requests? I've never seen them. That would be fun to be on them. Wow, I'm feeling I'm not with the times. Again. LOL

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Ruthy, When Amber used to do book reveals for me, I noticed a big difference in sales in launch parties versus not doing them. I would think they were similar to a street team in that there are reviews and buzz about the books.

So I think your teams probably made a big difference Anita.

Would be an interesting study.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Yumm I'll take bagels with cream cheese NYC style and I'll have a chocolate muffin for dessert. Thanks Tina and Ruthy.

Oh btw- I have a huge pot of chocolate velvet coffee I'll share. It goes great with chocolate muffins. smile

Okay, you tea lovers, I'll run quick to Teavana and get some flavored teas for you.

Now in an hour or two I will pour my coffee over ice cubes and have iced coffee. Yum.

Thanks again Anita for the great post. Have fun today.

Anita Higman said...

Thanks, Sandra. Yes, I would love to come back sometime and report to you all how things change with this new and smaller group of gals. I have the names and emails of all those who want to be on this special focused email loop, and in the next day or two I will be creating that loop. I'm hoping it will be stronger and less work for me to keep up.:)

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Anita, that's the BEST ANSWER EVER! Because I couldn't see a way to turn it into sales figures, etc, but I've learned not to care about that...

Because that takes care of itself if you can get people talking and get things moving!

So from that perspective I'm totally, absolutely on board because this is what I do on facebook and twitter. I don't worry about sales, I just have fun with people and that's the kind of end-game I can do.... I've always believed word of mouth is still, still, still and author's best friend.

So I think with a bunch of books coming out this coming fall/year, I'm going to do a street team! Which means you are totally my inspiration.

Or that I might come looking for you if it's an ultimate FAIL!!! :)

Glynna Kaye said...

Welcome, Anita! WOW! You're a real go-getter--and make it sound so fun. Thank you for the book launch tips. I have to admit, though, that at first all you were doing just about wore me out--so I was almost relieved to see you later decided to narrow the scope a bit. Whew. :)

Anita Higman said...

Man, you gals are making me hungry again. All this food talk. Can't wait for lunch. I'm having sardines again. I love those little buggers. :)

Missy Tippens said...

Welcome, Anita! What a fascinating look at street teams. For years, I've toyed with the idea of forming one, thinking it would be great fun. And this was very helpful!

Anita Higman said...

Hi Ruth,

Word-of-mouth is powerful. Yes. That is what I've always heard, and I do believe in it. Yes, and a street team does get things moving.

I'm glad I've inspired you. If it fails for you, please email me and we'll chat until we make it work. How about that? I'm at ahigman@msn.com. :)

Missy Tippens said...

Kelly B, it's great to hear about street teams from the other side! I love that you join them when you're really into the author.

Sally Shupe said...

This is such an interesting post! I am on at least 10 street teams and thoroughly enjoy it. I have to really enjoy the author's work and message because it is so time consuming. I post reviews and share them when the book comes out. As I'm reading to review, I'll have a few scenes picked out that I really liked and I'll talk about them. I share with friends and family what I'm reading, share on social media, share links and posts from the authors, among other things. One of the things I like most about being on a street team is the facebook group. We can talk with each other about the book, get to know other people that we wouldn't have met otherwise, and get first glimpses of the cover for a new book coming out. I enjoy getting the word out about a great book that has a wonderful message. A lot of people say they don't know who to read and seeing a post about a book and your take on it helps them decide to give that author a try. I love hooking up readers with books!

Julie Lessman said...

WELCOME TO SEEKERVILLE, ANITA!!

Excellent post, especially your insight two years after beginning your own street team -- it's great to see an actual example from start to finish.

As much as I have admired street teams and even coveted them from time to time (smile), I'm not sure I'm the type of person who should have one. I am the world's WORST delegator for one reason and one reason only: I hate asking people to do things for me and really struggle at it!!

Case in point: In high school, I was the head of the Penny Carnival team for my grade and since I hate asking people to do things, I tended to do most everything myself. Right after that experience, a friend asked me to be her publicity manager for class elections, and I went crazy with really fun signage that I put a lot of thought and anality into. Right after my candidate won (smile), Sr. Laurita, my teacher back then, pulled me aside to apologize to me. "For what?" I asked, somewhat alarmed. "Because I didn't think you were much of a manager on the penny carnival, unable to delegate, but seeing your efforts on this election, I now understand that you are a person who works best alone."

That really impacted me back then, confirming that I wasn't the slouch I thought I was, but a loner who has difficulty asking people to do things for her. In fact, just this week, my husband and I downsized from 5,700 square feet between our house and a rental lake house we'd furnished plus almost 40 years of memories and accumulation down to a less than 2,100-square-foot townhome with no garage and very little storage on a lake, almost completely by ourselves in nine days. Yes, I should have asked for help, but I just can't.

But right about now, I sure wish I was the type of gal who could do a street team -- both in my writing and real life -- and I sure admire those like you who do! :)

Hugs,
Julie

Anita Higman said...

Greetings Glynna,

Yes, you're right about being worn out. That can happen. We can chat back and forth about that too if you want to. In the olden days authors could sit back and let everyone else promote our novels, but in this new book biz climate...this wild wild west I call it...that won't work anymore. We have to think teamwork with publishers. However, it can lead to burnout. So, as far as promotions, choose what you love and what you do best. Don't choose every kind of promotion. It will be highly stressful and can literally make you ill. So, choose wisely and let the guilt go! :)

Anita Higman said...

Thanks, Missy! Glad it's helpful info!

Missy Tippens said...

Speaking of those who join just to get free books... I went to a workshop at RWA one year on street teams. One of the authors said she set up guidelines. If a member doesn't take part in at least some of the activities, she removes them from the team to let someone else join. I guess that's one way to make sure the members are there for the right reason. But I think that would be difficult to keep track of.

Anita Higman said...

Hi Sally! Wow, you're on at least 10 street teams? Oh my. Very impressive! Thanks for sharing such nice tips. I really liked the fact that you picked out some favorite passages from a book and then talked to readers about them. Great idea!!!

Anita Higman said...

Hi Julie,

Wow, what a story. Thanks for sharing that. Fascinating. I too hate asking folks to do things, but my publisher asked me to put a street team together, and I wanted to help out. I wanted to be a team player. :) So, I learned the "art of asking." Not easy, but it is doable. But like I said, I had to cut back and make some changes. Hugs back to you!

Anita Higman said...

Hi Missy,

Good input. Thanks. I know some people handle their team that way, and it is fine, but over those two years I really had trouble deleting women from the group. Sometimes women just get busy or ill and they can't perform. I understand that. Perhaps they would participate on the next book then. So, I would let them stay on. We bonded and we prayed for each other and became a community of women, so parting with any of them became difficult. And then when you do close the group...well, parting is such sweet sorrow. Truly. So, be ready for that emotion too when it happens.

Mary Connealy said...

Some of you Seekervillagers are actually ON STREET TEAMS??????

I guess I've never really considered starting one because, well, I just don't want to impose on people.

But avid readers would probably love to be involved.

Sally you're on TEN???!!!!!!! Can you tell us more? Are you EXPECTED to do things or ENCOURAGED to do things or do you just do whatever you want and no ones asks or checks or what?

Anita this is a great list. Thanks for being on.

Mary Connealy said...

What Julie said here..... am the world's WORST delegator for one reason and one reason only: I hate asking people to do things for me and really struggle at it!!

I'm this too and not because no one else can do things to suit me, but just because I hate to ask so I just do it myself, but of course I CAN'T do it myself, so then I do it badly or not at all.

Vivid memories of coaching softball and all the scrambling I did come to mind.
I was stocking the concession stand (smallest of small towns right) with my own money.
I was chalking the field. I was driving to kids homes to give them a ride to the game.
Anyone of the very nice parents with kids in the game would have helped, in fact they'd have taken charge. But I just couldn't stand to ask.

Marianne Barkman said...

I'm on a street team, but the post and comments help me to know more about what's expected. Getting a free book or Ebook definitely helps, cause unless I order online, I don't have access to them. And reading the book makes it easier to gush about it. Thanks, Anita.

Mary Hicks said...

Julie Lessman—you and your hubby sound like smart, busy beavers! You've embraced the freedom of less, and you'll find it's wonderful. :-)

But, remember next time you encounter a big project, it makes the people who love you, SO VERY HAPPY to be of service to you, in return for the (many ) things that people like you ( how do I know this . . . ) are constantly doing for them.:-) :-) :-)

Mary Hicks said...

You too, MaryC . . . ;-)

My daughter called me selfish one day—me selfish!!! All because I deprived her of the good fuzzy feelings it gives her to help me, she even threw in the spending time with me thing . . . taught me a lesson.:-)

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Aw, Anita, look at you thinking I was kidding about hunting you down, darling! And giving me E-MAIL too! :)

Thank you for that, I will probably do exactly that. When I decided to launch indie books, I found two successful indie authors (Virginia Carmichael and Cheryl St. John) to walk me through it because I've already made enough stupid mistakes in my life! I'm okay asking advice because authors should stick together.

Loving this!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Sally Shupe, you too????

I'M LEARNING SO MUCH TODAY! I LOVE ANITA!!!!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

MARY LEAVE THESE PEOPLE ALONE! I WANT THEM ON MY STREET TEAM.

OR WE CAN SHARE THEM!!!!!!!

:)

Anita Higman said...

Hi Mary,

Thanks for inviting me here today. This is a blast.

Mary, I hear ya. I'd love to be that way too, even now, but eventually exhaustion takes over. I did do more on my own when I was young, but I'm sixty now, and I need to delegate. So, I started asking folks to help. Some said yes. Some said no. But I did have to take that first step and ask...

Anita Higman said...

Hi Marianne! Thanks for your comment!

Anita Higman said...

Mary Hicks, thanks for that sweet comment about what your daughter said. I like that...

Rhonda Starnes said...

Thanks for the wonderful tips about street teams, Anita. I am book marking this post so I'll be able to reference it when I finally have a book to promote.

Anita Higman said...

Hi Ruth,

You are most welcome to hunt me down. I always email folks back. Over my thirty years of writing I've made every mistake known to man. Hopefully I can be useful in some way. To keep other authors from falling into some ravines I've fallen into.

I have to stop now and do a radio interview, but I'll be back soon! :)

Janet Dean said...

Welcome to Seekerville, Anita! Thanks for the tips on forming a street team. I do have friends who are strong supporters of my books and always come to signings. Perhaps that core group could be my street team. I'm scribbling notes!

Your story sounds great and I love the cover! Congrats on those 40 books!

Janet

Mary Hicks said...

Ruthy, I figured you already had a 'town teem'—forget that street stuff! :-))

Janet Dean said...

Julie, allowing others to help us probably is as much a blessing for them as for us. But I know it's not easy to ask. If we keep our eyes open--that mindfulness I'm trying to have--we can often see who needs a hand without having them ask for help. But some things like your culling out 40 years of possessions no one else can do for you. Enjoy your new home!

Janet

Janet Dean said...

Sally, I'm impressed with the support you give authors! How much time do you think you spend on being part of ten street teams?

Janet

Anita Higman said...

You're so welcome, Rhonda!

Anita Higman said...

I'm back. The radio interview went well...:)

Hi Janet,

Thank you for all your kind words. I think you're right. If you have a strong core group like that you already have your team ready to go. All you have to do is ask them and find a hosting site. :)

bonton said...

Thank you for your interesting and enjoyable post, Anita. I influence/promo, read/review books for several authors, and am also part of the Overcoming With God blog team. I felt God leading me to become an encourager of Christian Fiction authors about 3 years ago, and since then have spent much time online and off, on a daily basis - doing all I can to promote and encourage Christian Fiction authors, as a whole. I am retired, single, and feel it is God's plan for me at this stage of my life. It has been very rewarding to me personally, also - Christian Fiction and it's authors are such a blessing to me. I am honored to contribute, in a small way, in helping Christian Fiction authors reach readers with the inspiration God leads them to write.

Debby Giusti said...

Anita, an intriguing post and a subject that I know so little about...you've inspired me to consider a street team. Then there's the time issue.

Love that your group prayed for the needs of all. And shared the Sunday scripture! Lovely!

You have published 40 books! Congrats. A huge accomplishment. So glad you could be with in Seekerville today.

Debby Giusti said...

Waving to Rhonda!

We made our flight reservations yesterday for the Writers' Police Academy, to be held in Appleton, WI, in August! Scratch that off my to-do list! :)

Anita Higman said...

To the posting gal called bonton...I assume that is a last name?

Wow, you are such a blessing. I love how you've been called to promote Christian fiction. We need more of you out there!

Anita Higman said...

Thanks, Debby, for your lovely words of welcome.

Bless you!

Sarah Claucherty said...

How does a reader join a street team? I'm studying effective marketing strategies and writing at university, and this sounds like an awesome opportunity to support authors and get practical experience:)

Thanks for dropping in to Seekerville, Anita!

Helen Gray said...

Hi Anita,

This is information I really need. I love writing, but when it comes to promotion, I STINK AT IT.

There's fresh coffee a-plenty.

bonton said...

Hi, Anita!! I am the lady who wrote the post re: encouraging Christian Fiction authors. bonton is a nickname, my name is Bonnie Roof. I dearly love what I do, it blesses me as much - or more - than it does the writers/authors. I've been blessed with so many precious author friends whose friendship I treasure and am grateful for, especially their prayers. Thank you for your sweet comments and for your wonderful books - I'm saying a prayer for you and your writing.

Anita Higman said...

Hi Sarah!

I had to find a hosting site for my team. I chose Facebook and hired my webmaster to make a home (called a secret group). My webmaster decorated it to coordinate with my website and Reader Fan Page. It looked really pretty I have to say. Then when I found someone who wanted to be on the team I invited her onboard. Facebook made it fairly easy for me to do that. It would ask me to provide her email, she would click yes, and then I accepted her into the group. And poof, she was inside and a team member. I would then have the person introduce herself and then the other gals would welcome her in with cyber hugs, etc. Does that help??

Anita Higman said...

Hi Helen,

I hope I can help! :)

Anita Higman said...

Thanks for your prayers, Bonnie. That is always appreciated!

Anita Higman said...

I'm going to take a sardine sandwich break, but I'll be back! :)

Sally Shupe said...

MARY Conneally: When you sign up to be on a street team, you are expected to do certain things, usually the author will have a list and they will say do so many things off this list, like tell friends, write a review, request your library to get a copy, share bookmarks, etc. If an author has a bunch of people "apply" to be on a street team, I've seen this list before the members are chosen. Then there's a section that asks how else could you get the word out? Authors judge it on enthusiasm, posting reviews, if you've been on a street team before, and innovative ways to get the word out about their book. When I sign up to be on a street team, I email my review to the author when I finish the book. That way I know they know I did a review, and then I post it to Amazon, twitter, facebook, Goodreads, Booksamillion, Barnesandnoble, Christianfiction, or where ever the book is sold. Some authors have specific places for reviews. I'll also follow the author and any posts or tweets, I'll share. You are expected and encouraged to do what you said you would do. You did get a free book out of it, but I don't know if or how they would enforce that. That's why I send a copy of my review to the author with the links of where I posted it. I'll get emails to the street team group that say if you haven't posted your review please do so. I wonder if that's because some didn't? I keep a list, but if I get the book early, I like a reminder email saying the book is available now, go post your review.

Ruthy: If you and Mary start a street team, I want to be on it! Love your books! You both have wonderful messages and I love telling people about them!

Janet: I love to read. But, with being on a street team, I feel like I am helping the author and making a difference. It doesn't take long for me to read a book, and I do the review as I go so I don't forget things I want to say. You don't want to give the book away, but I like to tell how the book affected me or what I thought or did differently after reading it. With reading inspirational, something always speaks to me. That's the whole message of writing a book, I think. I don't think I could pinpoint how much time. The authors I am on street teams for, it only takes a second to share or tweet something they've shared, whether it's a blog they're on, or something they said about their book. I just enjoy it. Since I make sure I like the author /or the book before I sign up for the street team, it doesn't take much time from my viewpoint.

I've gotten to know several authors really well while being on their street team. If they publish multiple books, they will give you the option if you want to be on the next one. I've had some authors also ask from their street team if they'd like to be a beta reader-someone who reads to catch inconsistencies, plot holes, dangling threads, etc. I love doing that as well!




Rhonda Starnes said...

I'm waving back at you Debby! Counting down the days to WPA. I can't wait to meet you and Tina, analyzing blood splatters and crime scene data will just be icing on the cake.

Cara Lynn James said...

Great information, Anita! I've heard of StreetTeams, of course, but I never knew exactly what they did. Thanks for telling us.

Anita Higman said...

Thanks, Sally, for that super informative post. Great job!!!

Pam Hillman said...

I've got a lunch date with my mom, her great-aunt and some of the family, and I'm waiting on the call to rush out the door to go get her 94 yo aunt and her cousin who've driven from Florida to Mississippi ALONE, and my mother thinks they can't find her house on their own. Hmmmm....

All I've read is the TITLE of this post, and I want to read the whole thing and ALL the comments. A street team is on my bucket list right now, and I'm just not exactly sure how to gather my team or how to communicate with them. Can't wait to dig in to this post!

Anita Higman said...

Rhonda, I hope you and Debby and Tina have a good time on your trip. Sounds kind of grisly, but fun. :)

Anita Higman said...

You're welcome, Cara! Hope it helps!

Anita Higman said...

Hi Pam,

Hope you get to join us later today!

Sandy Smith said...

Hi Anita. This was an interesting post. I am just writing my first novel, so no need for such a group now. I'm not sure if I am familiar with street teams. I signed up for an author's public group Facebook Reader Page during the Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt, but I don't think I have to do anything for it. I am guessing this is different than a street team. I am actually thinking of leaving that group because I always get emails whenever anybody posts in it even though I have checked notifications off. So not sure why I still get notified. So sometimes Facebook can be annoying. :) I probably would not have time to be on a street team, let alone multiple ones like some people have mentioned today! I am also like some of the others who have said they don't like to ask people to do things for them. I am that way, too, so I would probably have a hard time setting up a group and asking people to participate. Please enter me in the drawing.

CatMom said...

Hi Anita!
Thanks for sharing this post with us today - - it's going into my Keeper File for *when* I'm pubbed. :)

Summer's List sounds wonderful---will look for it!
Another Anita Higman book to add to my keeper shelf. :)

But please tell me: Did you *really* eat a sardine sandwich for lunch?

Hugs from Georgia, Patti Jo

Sandy Smith said...

Pam, you will have to let us know if your elderly relatives made it to your mom's house! Sounds like a fun time.

Anita Higman said...

Hi Sandy,

I can relate to the thing about Facebook being annoying at times. It really can be. And sometimes I have had some serious social media burn-out. So this world of author promotions is not a perfect world. :)

Anita Higman said...

Hi CatMom!

Thanks for your post. Yes, I had sardine sandwich for lunch. And cauliflower. Sometimes I add seaweed to my sardines on millet. I know what you're thinking. I'm one of those health food nuts. Some days I am. :)

Keli Gwyn said...

Thanks for the great post, Anita. Lots of good things to consider as I look to future book releases.

Anita Higman said...

Thanks so much, Keli!!!

Jill Kemerer said...

This was so helpful, Anita! I've been on the fence about starting a FB page for a street team. One reason is it seems there are so many out there! I like the idea of having a simple email loop. Thanks for sharing this!

Anita Higman said...

Thanks, Jill. It is indeed a simpler way to go.

Mary Connealy said...

Sally that just sounds so NICE OF YOU.

I just feel like.........(trying to put this into words..hmmm....) The thing is, I just so deeply appreciate and am HONORED by anyone willing to read my books, and the kind things you all say in reviews or facebook posts and the great emails I get. That I feel like I should be on a street team for ALL OF YOU. Instead of asking you to do even more.

That's just a generous idea and a ministry of your own that you want to spread the word about books you love.

Anita Higman said...

Hi Mary,

I do feel the same way you do. I would not have started a street team had my publisher not asked me to do this. It's just not in me to do it. I don't like tooting my own horn. Or bugging people to do stuff. It just makes me sad and tired. But I knew my publisher was putting a lot of money on the line for me, and I sooo appreciated it, that I tried to do all that they asked me to do...and much more. :)
But I can relate to what you're saying...totally.

Bottom line for me...I'd rather write than promote. :)

Anita Higman said...

Things seem to be slowing down here for a bit, so I'm going to take a brief power nap. I'll be back!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Here's what I love about the street team idea: It's really reflective of what the big publishers do with authors by grouping folks together on influencer lists, facebook parties, rafflecopter giveaways to maintain contact.

So when we go to support other authors at facebook parties or cover reveals, etc., that's like a street team gathering to support.

I loved supporting my fave authors. LaVyrle Spencer, (who always gave us a glimpse of her life!) Jan Karon (I'm still half-in-love with Father Tim!), etc. Their work blessed me and I liked blessing them back!

Debby Giusti said...

I am so NOT a salesperson! Who knew an author needed to have that ability?

I'm with Jill about the yahoo loop sounding easier than a FB page. Still, I do like "chatting" with folks on FB. I get to find out how they are and what's happening in their lives. I can rejoice with them or pray with them. So why not celebrate book releases with them too? Still, I'm not sure I'd take the plunge and start a Street Team. That being said, I loved learning how they work and appreciate all you've shared with us, Anita! Truly!

Sending hugs and strawberries! To go with your sardine sandwich! :)

Anita Higman said...

I'm baaack...

Thanks Debby and Ruth. Good posts...

Hugs back to you both!

Sarah Claucherty said...

Thanks Anita!

Janet Dean said...

Anita, I'm getting excited about the possibilities. If I'm using a small group of core people, perhaps a loop would be just as effective. And way easier for techy challenged me. :-) Thanks for the encouragement!

Janet

Janet Dean said...

Sally, thanks for giving me the idea to take notes as I read a book I want to review. A simple but brilliant idea I hadn't thought of.

Janet

Wilani Wahl said...

I am on several street teams. I love the ones that have a private group on Facebook. For one of them 4 authors have formed it. They take turns hosting with a challenge and giveaway each week. This has encouraged me with my writing as well as reading.

Wilani Wahl said...

I am on several street teams. I love the ones that have a private group on Facebook. For one of them 4 authors have formed it. They take turns hosting with a challenge and giveaway each week. This has encouraged me with my writing as well as reading.

Anita Higman said...

Yes, Janet, a small core group using an email loop will work just fine. :)

Anita Higman said...

Hi Wilani!

Thanks for your input. That is a new angle on creating a street team. Great idea.

Mary Connealy said...

Anita classic words. "I'd rather write than promote."

And I agree with you that I want to do my part. Hold up my end of the bargain when my publisher is doing so much for me.

Anita Higman said...

Mary, sometimes it makes me wonder...I have spent so much time promoting over these many years that if I had used that time for writing instead, well, how many more stories would I have been able to tell? Don't know the answer to that one, but I do wonder. :)

Julie Lessman said...

Anita, I'm grateful my publisher didn't ask me to do this, but I can see how it would help me grow if they did. I admire you for taking the bull by the horns and doing it!

MARY SAID: "I'm this too and not because no one else can do things to suit me, but just because I hate to ask so I just do it myself, but of course I CAN'T do it myself, so then I do it badly or not at all."

Oh, THANK GOD I am not alone -- I feel so inept as a non-delegator, so bless you, Mary, for sharing your comment. And even with you doing all the stuff yourself, you STILL turn out more books than anyone I know ... except Ruthy. :)

Hugs,
Julie

Pam Hillman said...

Sandy, they made it. I just got home and told someone else that I now know how eccentric I'm going to be in 25-30 years. Goodness, I SO much like one of Mama's first cousins. Who knew?????

Julie Lessman said...

MARY HICKS SAID: "But, remember next time you encounter a big project, it makes the people who love you, SO VERY HAPPY to be of service to you, in return for the (many ) things that people like you ( how do I know this . . . ) are constantly doing for them.:-) :-) :-)"

Okay, Mary ... you just made me tear up, you sweet thing, which is not unusual I suppose for a CDQ in the throes of moving across the state and who is now staring at a rental house so full of boxes, it looks like a warehouse!

Seriously, thank you SO much for your kind comment, and I have to admit that I get so incredibly blessed and shocked at all the kind things some people do on their own without my asking. It brings to mind a memory of me going to my girlfriend's house when I was in grade school, and her mom would ask if I wanted something to drink or eat. I would tell her no over and over until finally my friend would release a great, big blustery sigh and say, "Oh, just give it to her, Mom, because she won't say yes and she really does want it." I just LOVED my girlfriend for being that sensitive to me because I really DID want it ... ;)

Hugs and more hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

JANET SAID: "Julie, allowing others to help us probably is as much a blessing for them as for us."

That's very true, Janet, because when people ask me to help out, I reallllly enjoy doing it, so you're right -- I never thought of it like that. :)

Hugs,
Julie

Anita Higman said...

I am loving all these comments. So sweet. :)

Cindy W. said...

What a great post! Currently I am on five street teams/influencers. I also have one author who reaches out to me for reviews but it's not an 'official' street team. I only accept the responsibility of being on a street team of someone who's writing I love. I love having the ability to make a small difference in promoting their books.

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.

Pam Hillman said...

Anita, I remember the first time you attended ACFW. I can't remember what it was (maybe you'd won a book or a door prize or something...I'm drawing a blank...), but Brandilyn said something from the stage and I believe you'd left for a moment. When you came back in, there's was lots of buzz. It was fun, and I still remember it, but I can't remember what it was.

But just know that the moment was memorable and you handled it beautifully!

Anita Higman said...

Hi Pam,
Yes, I think that may have happened, but the one I remember is when I won a big prize at ACFW for a hog calling contest. I had an advantage since I grew up on a farm. By the way, I won an Alpha 3000 word processor, and I used that thing until it broke. :)

Thanks for the memories...

Heidi Robbins said...

I've been on a handful of street teams and am a member of two long-term ones. It's such a blast! I love interacting with the author and others who are enthusiastic about reading. One author in particular is very generous with having a weekly giveaway for her influencers during the promotion period, of items related to her book content.

I don't think you need to be worried about asking those who want to be on a street team to do stuff- we're the type who are honored to be included and enjoy using our social media presence to share about a book and author we love. It makes us feel special :)

Anita Higman said...

Hi Heidi,

That is so encouraging to hear. Thanks for your very upbeat post!

Anita Higman said...

Hi everyone,

I will check in tomorrow morning a couple of times to see if I missed anyone's post. This has been such a fun time and such an honor to be on your blog today. I truly appreciate you inviting me here.

By the way, I hope it's okay to say this, but if any of you would like to review Summer's List I can make sure you get a free copy of the book. My email is ahigman@msn.com.

Once again, it's been a pleasure ladies! I hope my words have been helpful in some way. :)

Lyndee H said...

HI Anita,
I'm late to the party. Just recently I was part of Deeanne Gist's street team. The day Tiffany Girl launched, she had well over a hundred four and five star ratings on Amazon. The book also received early buzz that earned it exposure on blogs, catching recognition in USA Today and Goodreads. Everything snowballed. I tried to figure out how many were on the team. I'm thinking it was near 300. It was a fun experience! Thanks for your insights.

Mary Curry said...

Hi Anita,

Another latecomer here. Thanks so much for all the info you shared. I'm just gearing up for my debut launch so I'm taking in all I can.

Anita Higman said...

Hi Lyndee,

Thanks for your input here. That is interesting to know! Blessings to you!!

Anita Higman said...


Best wishes on your debut launch, Mary Curry. Hope my info is able to help you in some way.

And I hope I didn't miss anyone as we all chatted yesterday.

If you need me, ladies, you know where to find me. :)

Higman hugs!

Deanna Stevens said...

I am on quite a few author street teams & really enjoy helping with reviews and media blitz. I get to read wonderful books I would otherwise not be able to afford or even know about. Getting to read so many great books certainly make for a joyful retirement :)
toss me into the hat please, MOTO: I can always read 1 more book :)

Edwina said...

Anita.

Thanks for such an informative blog. I've served on several authors' street teams and loved everyone.

Do you think a street team would work or be as effective on a nonfiction book?

Throw my name in for the drawing!

Anita Higman said...

Thanks, Deanna! Will do. Your book goes out in the mail today.

Hi Edwina. Yes, in answer to your question, I do think a street team could help with a nonfiction book.

All of you ladies were a blast. Thanks again for having me on Seekerville. I wish you all the very best!