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.
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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?
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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!