Monday, July 10, 2017

Street Teams: Your Book Launch Secret Weapon

With Guest Misty Beller



Street Team, Launch Team, Fan Club—the name varies, but the idea is still a great one!

What am I talking about, you ask?

A launch team is basically a group of readers who are ready and willing (and eager!) to get the word out on the street about an author’s books. When I think of my launch team, I think of my first readers, my inside circle, my front lines, my most enthusiastic fans.

What does a launch team do?

Members are given ARC copies and asked to read the book before release. From there, the role may vary depending on the author and team members, but the common theme and single most important job of a launch team member is to post reviews—on Amazon, Goodreads, and anywhere else the book is available! Reviews help jump-start both Amazon’s algorithms and reader confidence in a book, so I work hard to help my books gain at least twenty-five reviews within the first few weeks.

Beyond reviews, some ideas for the launch team are to:
·       Talk about the books on social media sites.
·       Blog about the books.
·       Direct people to author’s website.
·       Write a review for their local newspaper.
·       Purchase copies to give away as Christmas and birthday gifts.
·       Pin the cover and book memes to Pinterest.
·       Share favorite quotes from the book on social media.
·       Suggest the book on reading forums, like those on Goodreads.
·       Like and share the book trailer on YouTube or Vimeo.
·       Donate a copy to a local library or church library.
·       Suggest the author’s latest book to a book club.
·       And the list can go on!


Who makes a great launch team member?

Readers who have read and are excited about the author’s books, and want to share that excitement within their sphere of influence. Enthusiasm trumps all. Time availability is important, too!

Often, authors tend to lean toward asking other authors to be on their launch team. After all, only a compatriot would understand the importance of the role, right? In my experience, though, readers tend to be more enthusiastic launch team members, eagerly reading the book and posting reviews as soon as possible. While it’s certainly fine to have both, when I open my launch team to new members, I try to post the memo where my readers will see it.


So how does an author find launch team members?


I recommend having a form on your website that asks basic questions, such as what genres the potential candidate likes to read, and whether they’ve read any of your books already. You could also go one step further and ask for the link to one of the reviews they’ve posted for your books. How much or how little is your choice!

You can see an example form at my website.  When I was actively seeking to grow my team, this page was front and center on my site menu. Now, I have it tucked in as part of the ‘About’ page so it can be found by readers who are really interested.

Once you have that form in place, you can direct people there from a variety of places:
·       Call-out on social media.
·       Post the request on your blog.
·       Send an email to your list. (Another advantage of growing your reader list! Just make sure you screen respondents to find those who really want to help with your launches, not just receive free books.)
·       A note in the back of your eBooks, if you’re feeling ambitious!



What should you give your launch team in return for their help?

Free ARCs (advance reader copies) are a given.
For traditionally published authors, your publisher probably already has a standard format for distributing ARCs. Some larger publishers send paperback copies directly to those on your launch team, and only need you to provide names and addresses for each person.

Other publishers will provide you with a PDF or eBook files to distribute to your team. Still others use services like NetGalley to send out ARCs. Make sure you know what your publisher is planning and what they need from you, BEFORE you contact your launch team about a new release.

For indie authors, there are great FREE programs out there to help authors convert and distribute ARC files in formats that make it easy for your launch team members to read. Calibre is a useful (free) software to convert a Word document to mobi files (for Kindles) and epub files (for iBooks, Nook, and most other ereaders).

BookFunnel.com is a helpful resource to distribute the ereader files to your team. It makes the process to download the file onto their ereader as simple as possible, and BookFunnel’s customer service is top notch.


Beyond ARCs, have fun with it! Here are some fun freebies to share with your team, if you have the opportunity and/or means:
·       Insider info, such as the first opportunity to see cover art for your upcoming releases.
·       Let them help name characters or choose settings.
·       I like to give my team the choice to receive either eBook or paperback copies (signed with a note to them).
·       Book swag created for your author brand, such as bookmarks, mugs printed with your book cover, etc.
·       Christmas ornaments engraved with your author or book name. Etsy.com has some creative options here!
·       Generally speaking, the more you connect with your team, the more they’ll want to promote your books.
A word of caution above, Amazon’s review requirements are strict about giving gifts in exchange for reviews, so you’ll want to be careful to avoid any language about ‘requiring reviews’ in exchange for any of the benefits received by being on your launch team.



Make it easy to share your book on social media

People are more likely to share your book when you make it easy for them! There are a couple of ways you can do this:
·       The simplest way is to create several Twitter and Facebook posts that people can copy and post to their respective accounts. (Make sure you include a buy link for your book!) You can simply include these in an email to your launch team, or paste them on a Word document you send out.
·       A more sophisticated method would be to create a share page on your website. Using a tool like sharelinkgenerator.com, you can create prewritten posts where people only need to click to post your message on any of the social media platforms you include. You can even add memes or other images for easy posting. People are more likely to share your message when you make it possible with only a click or two.

  Tips on Interacting with your Launch Team
·       Know your goals for the team and be clear up front about expectations. Do you want them to focus on reviews only, or is social media sharing important to you?
·       Send ARCs to your team at least 2-3 months before release, or as early as possible.
·       Include links for where to post reviews in your emails to your list. Don’t forget Goodreads!
·       Even if you haven’t made a big deal about your team sharing on social media, make it easy for those who choose to do so!

So now, I’d love to hear from you! As a reader, are you part of any author launch teams? What great ideas or best practices have you seen? Looking forward to hearing about your experiences! 😊

Giveaway:
Please let us know if you want to be entered. Winner's choice of either of the following: 




Misty M. Beller writes Christian historical romance, and is a hybrid author of eleven novels, as well as a non-fiction book for authors, How to Market a Book Release.

With over ten years working in professional project management and marketing, Misty uses her experience in the corporate world to develop best practices in her writing and book marketing efforts. It is her passion to help other authors on this same journey.


Misty teaches courses and workshops at writers’ conferences around the U.S., educating authors on effective book marketing approaches and helping them apply that knowledge to their own books.
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134 comments :

  1. I am on several author street teams and love every minute of it :-) Some authors require more than others (say do 6 or so influencing actions) while others simply want reviews posted on various sites. And they do make it super easy to share things on FB or Twitter! Since I am on so many teams, I don't always have time to do some extra stuff myself (write something for social media sites) so if I can copy and paste or share from the authors page, it makes it super easy for me to do so :-) Sometimes the authors publisher will make book quote graphics (meme's) and we can share them from there. I do like to make them myself as well...usually two or three will do. I request my library purchase a copy of the book and/or Overdrive digital library to purchase the ebook copy. Basically, I try to do what I can for the authors outside of posting reviews. Thankfully, the authors are pretty laid back and easy to "work" for :-) Love connecting with authors and other readers in this way!

    It's loads of fun and I really do enjoy helping where I can to get the word out about new books for my authors!

    I would love to be in the draw for all three of your ebook series, Wyoming Mountain Tales. Thank you so much for the chance Misty!

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    1. Trixi - thanks for sharing from a reader's perspective. This is something I'm just starting to think about and your comment was very helpful.

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    2. Trixi, like Terri, I really appreciate your input from a reader's view. It's good to know that the ready-made tweets and such are a help! Thanks for all you do to spread word of our books!

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    3. I love that you mentioned asking your library to order the book, Trixi! That's such a great idea! It sounds like the authors you work with are blessed indeed! :)

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    4. Trixi, this is great feedback from your experiences as a reader and street team member--thank you! And thanks also for being such a great "cheerleader" for authors of Christian fiction!

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  2. Welcome back to Seekerville, Misty! Wow, what great information. So much information. Do you do all this yourself or do you have a VA to help? Because I am seeing overwhelming in my mirror. LOL.

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    1. Tina, that's an interesting question! The amount of work has been what's stopped me from doing a street team in the past.

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    2. Hi Tina! So much fun to be back in Seekerville! Wouldn't it be nice to have a VA to help with all the details?

      The main thing I've found to help with the details is to plan my timing WAAAAYYYY ahead of time. I plug dates in when I need to send the ARC to my team, when I need to send them the social media links and memes, and when I should send retailer links for them to post reviews.

      2 other things I've found that help with not feeling overload:
      - I'm now using Mailerlite to send emails to my team. That way I have all the email addresses organized, AND I can write and schedule the emails way ahead of time.
      - With the launch of my marketing book last month, I added social media share links at the bottom of my book page, then directed my launch team there. Here's what that looks like: https://theambitiousauthor.com/marketing-books/

      The more I can do ahead of time (or all in one sitting), the better! That way I don't have to remember what to do when. :)

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    3. Misty, I switched over to MailerLite earlier this year and have been really happy with them for my e-newsletters. Very straightforward interface.

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    4. Me, too, Myra! I've mostly finished switching to them form Mailchimp and have been pleased so far. :)

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    5. I'm still with Mailchimp <-loser! Must look at this. Thank you.

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  3. Misty, welcome to Seekerville. Love this! :) And your post gave me an idea for something to do for my team. Yay! :)

    Since I write historicals, my team is called Pam's Calico Crew . They are amazing, and I am so thankful to have each and every one of them in my corner. The crew has a private/secret Facebook group where we communicate with each other.

    I've kept my group small, under 20 people, but I'd like to add 10 or so more, though. So if anybody's interested, go to Pam’s Calico Crew to sign up.

    And I'm with Tina. I need a VA! Especially one who's a Goodreads go-getter! lol

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    1. Pam, I had forgotten you have a team! I'm glad to hear it's working well for you.

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    2. What a neat name for your team, Pam! I love the idea of a private FB group, but I haven't been brave enough to commit that much time to it, lol. :) I'm part of Karen Witemeyer's team and we voted on the name Karen's Krusaders. That makes it so much fun, doesn't it! :)

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    3. Pam, I just applied for your street team. I didn't know you had one :-) I've not YET read a book by you, though I have read quite a few of the Barbour novella collections. So maybe they might have contained your stories! And I really love the name! I've helped vote for team names before, it's a lot of fun.

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    4. Thanks Trixi! Checking email now. :)

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  4. Misty, wow this post is so helpful. I have three published novellas and I'm just starting to think of ways to generate more interest in my books. Thanks for all the ideas.

    I'd love to be in the drawing for everything.

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    1. Terri, if you check out Misty's website, there's a tab for writers with some good information and links to blog posts.

      Misty came and talked to our ACFW local chapter and had loads of excellent information!

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    2. Hi Terri! Blessings on this writing journey! It truly is a journey as we all learn how to meet new readers. :) What genre do you write?

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  5. Welcome, Misty! So much great information here...definitely a post for my Seekerville notebook. Thanks so much for visiting. I'd love to be entered into the drawing.

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    1. Yes, Jill, this is definitely a keeper! I'm glad you stopped by.

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    2. Hi Jill! It's a pleasure to meet you and I love that you have a "Seekerville notebook." :) This website is a wealth of information, isn't it!

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  6. Misty, these are wonderful, concise tips for all authors to consider. I have a group of about 20 influencers, and I love these people... they aren't afraid to spread the word about books, about awards or sales, they jump in and help as needed, and they read the books when I send them, and post reviews... They are a blessing to me for every release, for every story I've told once I was smart enough to band them together!

    Thank you for this marvelous post!

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    1. Ruthy, I had forgotten that you and Pam both have launch teams. How do you keep in touch with your influencers? Do you also have a FB group like Pam?

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    2. I love the way you describe your team, Ruth! They sound like a WONDERFUL group of readers!!! :)

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    3. Missy, I don't have a facebook team, I use e-mails... and like Misty suggested, I try to send the books out early, but sometimes they don't get to me early!!! EEEEK! So then I'm mailing quickly and double mailing... But these influencers (many of whom are right here in Seekerville, or facebook friends and readers) are so good at getting word out... and cheering! I don't do a lot of extra with them, and I don't push them ever because I find that annoying when authors do point systems and credits, etc.... Mostly because I've got enough to keep track of. So that system wouldn't work for me, I keep is Simple with a capital S... :)

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    4. Thanks for the info, Ruthy! I like the idea of simple.

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    5. I wanted to chime in here about an email list vs. an email list. I researched this and asked others for their input. And, with their permission, I joined a couple of folks teams to see how their application process worked and to see how they interacted with their team. (So, if someone wants to shadow my team, fill out the app ... or just send me a message on FB.)

      The reason I opted to go with a private FB group was because the group makes it a two-way street.

      I can interact with my crew so much easier, post direct links to releases, sales, memes, videos, etc. and their data plan (nor mine), doesn't get maxed out.

      But, even better is that my crew can post to the crew. If they blog or post a review on GR or pin something, or are tweeting, they can send it to the crew, and those who can and have time can share. Quick and easy way to cross-promote and it's all right there.

      And, since I'm so visual, this works well for me. Hopefully as well for them. :)

      Here's another tip. On Facebook, you can create new lists for your friends. Not only do I have lists for local, family, fans, etc. I have a Calico Crew list. That way I can drop in to visit my crew and get tho know them on their on "turf" as well. I also send them birthday cards.

      So, to each her own, but I'm glad I opted for the FB group. I feel I've gotten to know my crew so much better than I would have through email.

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    6. Great feedback, Pam! It's always so helpful to hear other's experiences!

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    7. Very helpful, Pam! I'm really enjoying the FB group I set up the week I posted on the blog about fitness. So I can see how fun it would be to use a FB group.

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    8. Ruthy!!! I didn't know you had a team, if you ever open up spots I would LOVE to be on your team because I've fallen under the spell of your books :-) And I consider myself an enthusiastic reader.....lol!! And because I'm a really nice person to boot! Ok, seriously though, I really would love to be a part if you are ever looking to add to your team. I've loved your Double S Ranch books (and left reviews all over), though I still have to read "Peace in the Valley". It's been sitting on my shelf waiting for me to get to it. I have two review books first and then I'm all over it like butter on a hot biscuit!! I guess I put it off because I don't want to see the series end :-( Those Stafford brothers are something special!! Now I'm anxiously looking forward to what's coming up next for you.

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    1. Yay! I just finished my second cup and was craving another. Thank you!!! :)

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    2. Misty, coffee is clutch! #agreed!!!!

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  8. Misty, please enter me in the drawing for the marketing book.
    Thanks,
    Kathy Bailey

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  9. This is so important. I'm grooming some people now, but I wasn't sure what I'd be asking them to do. This helps.
    KB

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    1. Kathy, I'm glad the timing was good for you! I've had a lot of questions about launch teams, and Misty's info was very helpful to me, too.

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    2. Great, Kathy! Sounds like you're starting off right with your team!

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  10. Misty, all I can say is Wow! As an author who didn't have a launch team for my debut novel, I know its importance and have been forming one for the release of an upcoming novella and future works. Your tips here are great. Thanks much. I'd love to win How To Market a Book Release.

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    1. Elaine, good luck with your team and your upcoming release!

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    2. So glad this was helpful, Elaine! And blessings on your new release! :)

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    3. That was hard to type, wasn't it, Elaine! I've been typing Missy instead of Misty over and over! LOL

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  11. Misty, we're so glad to have you with us today! You've really helped me on a topic I've been very curious about. I'm seriously considering starting a street team.

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    1. Yay! Thanks so much for the opportunity to visit Seekerville again, Missy. You and the other ladies here are such amazing people! I'm always in awe of how much you get done and how much fun you have doing it! :) Blessings!

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  12. Misty, it's so great to see you here. Thanks for the great advice!

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    1. Hi Jackie! Thanks for the welcome! :)

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    2. Thanks for stopping by, Jackie!

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  13. I am on several street teams and this experience is so wonderful. It helps prepare me for the time when I will have a book published. I love helping the authors. If get an arc e-book I love when it is sent through funnel because it acts like a regular e book which means it will save my spot, The ones that come in as a document are not as easy to read.

    I just started a journal with each early book I read written at the top. Then each time I share a post or pin on pinterest etc I can jot it down. Then when the author wants me to tally up all the things I did, I know exactly what I did. If I were only on one it might be easy but I am on 15-20 teams so this way I can keep track for each book.

    One word of caution. For one author I was required to give a 5 star review. I contacted her and because I had some problems with the book and could not in good conscience give a 5 star review. I am no longer on that time. I am concerned that this is the kind of thing that would cause problems with posting reviews on Amazon.

    Thanks for posting this post. Please enter me in the drawing for authors which I hope one day I will be.

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    1. Wow, Wilani, what a great idea to have a journal of all your promotional activities! I'm sure it does help you to stay organized.

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    2. Wilani, I love your idea of a journal keeping up with your posts, shares, pins, etc. Brilliant!

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    3. Hi, Wilani! WOW! 15-20 street teams? What a blessing you are to the author community! And I agree that the journal idea is a good one. Blessings!

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    4. Wilani, I also appreciate the info on Book Funnel since I've seen authors asking on loops which service works best. I'm glad to hear it's easy for readers to get the books.

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    5. How can an author require you to leave a five star rating?? I've ran into a situation recently where I didn't particularly connect with a book by a certain author, though I had read other books by her. Even though I loved her other books, this one didn't appeal to me. So I simply left a lower rating and explained in my review why I did. Basically, I said I didn't connect with the story, but I would still recommend her book to readers who love her work.

      I don't think it's fair for an author to require a certain star rating. Not every book of theirs will necessarily appeal to every reader. I think if I would have seen that requirement in the application or if the author specified that up front somehow, I would have moved on!

      And lastly, about star ratings. I don't particularly like them, at all! I sometimes don't know what's a fair rating...say, all five star ratings. Or is it fair to throw a few four stars in there? If I give a three star, I state my reason in a fair & honest way without tearing the author apart. If I give less than a three star, I simply don't leave one. I go and email the author and explain why I feel I can't leave one. They are pretty understanding about it :-)

      Pretty long explanation, sorry!! I guess it sparked something in me when you said an author required five star ratings! That's totally unfair to me. Just had to throw my two cents in.

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  14. Misty, it's great to have you as our guest today! I have been hesitant to develop a launch team, but your explanations and ideas give me encouragement. "Keeping it simple" really appeals to me, as the very thought of adding one more commitment into my schedule makes me shudder!

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    1. Myra, I've felt the same. However after starting the fitness FB group, I've realized a group can be fun. So I might consider doing a launch team group in the future.

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    2. So glad the post was encouraging, Myra!

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  15. Hello Misty! I enjoy the fellowship of street teams that I am a part of.

    Please enter me in the drawing.

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    1. Wonderful, Caryl! Yes, street teams can be so much fun!

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  16. Misty, welcome back to Seekerville! Thanks for sharing the terrific tips for forming a Street Team to get the word out about a new release. Some of my loyal readers have wanted to help but have never posted reviews and were uneasy with the process. I've realized that I should've given detailed information on how it's done.

    Janet

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    1. Hi, Janet! How wonderful that you have loyal readers who want to help! Sounds like you have the makings for a fantastic team. :)

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    2. Janet, yeah, it sounds like you could come up with some instructions to use. And give sample tweets, etc. Might work well for them!

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    3. Even when readers love a story, some are uncomfortable with writing reviews. I'm grateful for readers who make the effort and are willing to try something new.

      Janet

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  17. Misty, welcome to Seekerville! Such tremendous ideas - thank you for sharing!

    I've been on launch teams and it's always a lot of fun. It's a treat to read ARCs and I enjoy dishing about great stories. I'm not able to do this as much as I'd like, but it's a fun experience.

    Best wishes on your continued success!

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    1. Cynthia, I agree that it can be fun to get in on advance copies!

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    2. Amen to that, Cynthia! It can be such fun to participate on a launch team!

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  18. Hi Misty and welcome to Seekerville. What a great post and so timely. The publishing paradigm has changed so much, it is wonderful to have ideas for present day promotion and marketing. I love the idea of street teams. I've been wanting to start one and now have a nice list to work from. Thank you. Have fun today and thanks again for sharing.

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    1. Sandra, you'll have to let us know how it goes with starting a team.

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    2. So glad you're going to start your team, Sandra! Blessings as you progress!

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  19. Hey, Misty, WELCOME TO SEEKERVILLE!! And THANK YOU for introducing me to BookFunnel.com -- I am ecstatic!!

    Every time I release a book, I have problems sending out arcs because most people don't want PDFS (myself included!), and I don't get a mobi made until the book is edited and ready to post on Amazon, so that ends up being too late. But with BookFunnel.com, it looks like I can purchase the $20 a year option (even though I am not a beginning author), which would give me exactly what I need. Question: just because the $20/year option is labeled "First-Time Author," that doesn't mean I can't purchase that option even though I am not a first-time author, does it?

    Also, I am very interested in using Calibre, but I am pretty tech-illiterate, so is it easy to use? And does the free download allow me to convert my Word docs into both mobi and e-pub files relatively easily?

    Thanks, Misy! Very helpful today.

    Hugs,
    Julie

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    1. Great questions, Julie! I looked at that first time option, too.

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    2. Hi Julie, yes! You can use that $20/year option even if you're multi-published. It's a fantastic option.

      Calibre is super easy to use once you've done it a time or two. It took me a little bit of trial and error to find the three or so buttons I need to use to convert a Word doc to epub and mobi, but I can now get it done in a minute flat (not counting processing time for the files). I imagine you could Google any questions you have and find lots of easy answers. :)

      Blessings!

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  20. Great info, Misty! Thanks for sharing. I need to read it all again and save for future reference!

    So glad you can be with us today in Seekerville! Hugs!

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    1. Definitely helpful info to save!

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    2. Thanks, Debby! It's always so much fun to visit the amazing folks here in Seekerville!

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  21. This is definitely important info. Thank you!

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    1. You're welcome! So glad you found it helpful!

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  22. Thank you for all this helpful information! Asking is usually so hard for me. (I like to hide behind the computer and write, lol.) But as a future book marketer, I'll have to get over my introvert nature. Please enter me in the drawing for your marketing book! Thank you :-)

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    1. Preslaysa, I'm the same way! It's tough to ask. I was a terrible saleswoman when I had a Mary Kay business. I loved sharing products but fretted over being pushy. I would say dumb things like, "This is my favorite product but I know it's expensive and you may not want to spend that much." LOL! It's a wonder I made it in that business for so long. :)

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    2. Ha ha! I love it. The sales person telling the potential customer why they shouldn't buy the product. I used to sell Mary Kay too. I loved getting the seller discount on product, but not the actual sales part!

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    3. Hi Preslaysa! I'm a total introvert, so I can relate! It's a lot easier to talk with readers from behind a computer. :) I still get all red and tongue-tied when I talk with readers in person.

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    4. Yep can totally relate ladies. A) I'm an introvert and B) I sold Arbonne and Creative Memories wayyyyy back in the day. And I was horrible at it. I was my best customer and that's not the goal.

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    5. The last couple of years in my MK business I just used the product personally and also occasionally ordered for one or two good friends. :) That was about the time I decided to focus on writing.

      I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one who is terrible at sales! It's a little easier online. Like you, Misty, I get a bit tongue tied when speaking. At a book signing, I can sometimes forget someone's name--people I know well! It's nerve wracking.

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  23. Hi Misty!!!! The amount of knowledge in your brain astounds me. Your a writing/marketing/organizing genius and I'm amazed and so honored to have you as a writing partner. I hope you have an awesome day!

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    1. Aw...You're so sweet, LeAnne! I can't imagine life (or how bad my writing would be) without my wonderful critique partners! Blessings!

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    2. How fun to learn you two are CP's!

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    3. LeAnne, I agree on how knowledgeable Misty is!

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  24. Love this post! I am on several street teams and love it. Getting to read a book before it's out is so much fun lol. I do reviews, share posts, share tweets, ask for a copy at my library, and share quotes. I like interacting with the authors, getting to see covers first, hearing about an upcoming story, and interacting with other readers who love the same author.

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    1. Sally, you sound like an amazing street team member! Blessings!

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    2. Sally, thanks for sharing your experiences!

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  25. Great info Misty!
    This is one of those posts I need to save since I'm not published and don't have a book to launch.
    I agree w/the making it easy for people. Sometimes a person will ask for support and I will try to do as they ask, but I don't want to spend 30 minutes figuring it out.

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    1. Amen to that, Connie! Blessings on your writing!

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    2. Yeah, Connie, the "job" needs to be simple and fun. Otherwise they'd probably just prefer to wait and buy the book later.

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  26. Oh, wow! This is a lot of great information, Misty. Thanks for sharing.

    As I'm one who is still trudging along the path to publication and I don't have a book to launch, yet, I will be saving this article to reference at a later date.

    Please, drop my name in the drawing for the signed paperback of your new book for writers, How to Market a Book Release. Thanks!

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    1. Keep plugging away, Rhonda! We know you can do it!

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  27. HI Misty!! Great information and yes please toss me in for the How to Market a book drawing.

    As a reader, I've been on several launch teams and love the chance to not only read an ARC but give the book a healthy start. It's super cool to be part of that.

    As a writer, I definitely see the value in a launch team. How soon would you recommend compiling a group before the book releases?

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    1. You'll be launching one before you know it, Sharee! I'm still grinning about that! :)

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    2. Great question, Sharee! When to gather the team depends mostly on when your ARC will be available. I'd say plan to have the team roster finished 2-4 weeks before your ARC is ready. Much earlier than that and people tend to get distracted. :)

      Blessings on your writing journey!

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  28. Thanks for this informative post, I had lots of questions about street teams and you answered them!

    I'm sick, so disappointingly I haven't gotten much writing done today. Mainly I've spent the day sprawled out on the couch re-watching Pirates of the Caribbean for the 150th time.

    Please enter my name for How to Market a Book Release.

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    1. So sorry you're under the weather, Nicki! At least you've enjoyed a good story. :)

      Blessings and good health to you!

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    2. Nicki, I hope you feel better asap!

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  29. Hi Misty:

    Thanks for such a comprehensive set of marketing ideas. You've given us a lot to digest here as would be the case with any very rich meal of ideas. I like all your suggestions and I'd like to also have you comment on two disturbing marketing trends I've noticed.

    1. Author newsletters that announced something like this: "You know that book you paid 9.99 for when it came out last month? Well now it's on sale for $.99 cents. Be sure to tell all your friends." Doesn't this teach your early adaptors to wait before buying your next book?

    (Greatest Management Principle: "What gets rewarded, gets done.)

    How about offering the fans getting your newsletter a discount on pre-orders that others do not get?

    2. Books that are won in various ways when a author does a guest blog are more and more being sent directly from Amazon with no note from the author. A wonderful marketing opportunity is lost here.

    How many autographed romances have you seen at used bookstores? I have not got one in over 1000 romances bought.

    Also, since the publisher is paying for many of these 'free' print books, only the paper copies seem to be able to be won. This is the case even though the kindle cost is probably less than the postage to mail a print book. (Note: A Kindle book can't be given or sold to someone else.)

    Now since a Kindle book costs less and can't be given away or sold, the reader may still prefer it because of a need for larger type. (This is a reader by the way who really wants to read the book.)

    I think a prize book should be signed by the author with a little comment. This 'touches' the reader, makes a valuable connection, and turns the book into a mini-collector's item. Not likely to be sold or given away and more likely to be escape from any TBR pile.

    I really believe that an author greatly increases her chance to become an auto-buy author by making a personal connection with a given reader.

    What do you think?

    Vince

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    1. Vince, I've had at least two people tell me they found my books (autographed to someone else) at used bookstores. And I've seen one that I had autographed in my own local bookstore! :) It was a common name, so I never knew who sold it. But it made me wonder! LOL

      I totally understand making books special and personalized. For years I sent my paper author copies, autographed. But in recent years I got so I would often send prizes from Amazon because of saving a trip to the post office (and also because the winner sometimes preferred e-books). But if someone specifically requests an autographed copy, I'll usually send it. :)

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    2. Hi Vince,

      I love your final comment, "I really believe that an author greatly increases her chance to become an auto-buy author by making a personal connection with a given reader."

      That sums up one of the principles I teach about how authors interact with readers, especially on a mailing list!

      I understand why some authors send books directly from the printer, as it eliminates one set of shipping charges (I'm guilty of this occasionally myself). But you're exactly right about that personal touch of sending an autographed copy!

      To address your other question, "How about offering the fans getting your newsletter a discount on pre-orders that others do not get?" I like the premise of that idea, however it would be hard to pull off because of ebook pricing logistics. Something I've done instead is to offer my newsletter subscribers a bonus, like a behind the scenes story, character profiles, deleted scenes, etc.

      Thanks for your well-thought comments, Vince!

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  31. Hi Misty! Thank you for sharing your knowledge with those in this post! One thing I learned from being part of an influencer group was to buy a book from the author's back list to offer as a giveaway with the review of the new release. Especially if the release is second or third in a series.

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    1. Wow, Natalie. So you give away an older book in a post where you post a review? Did I understand that correctly?

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    2. Natalie, I think you're probably talking about a review on a blog, right? And that's a fantastic idea! I always hesitate to giveaway a book I'm promoting when I guest blog, because I feel like it discourages readers from actually buying the book in hopes they'll win. Giving away an earlier book in the series is a great giveaway for a blog!

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    3. Hi, Missy! Hi, Misty! Yes, that's correct. I do this when I review on my own blog.
      I learned this a couple months ago, so now if I know I'm going to review a book, I'll keep an eye out for sales on the author's preceeding titles.
      It's eas for readers to think I'm giving away a copy of the review book, since that's so common, but at the beginning of the past I'll ask them to read the giveaway rules carefully.

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  32. As another member of several street teams, one of the things I love about them is the community. In several of my teams, we share prayer requests and lift each other up during difficult times.

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    1. That's wonderful, Suzie! Thanks for sharing that with us.

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    2. Oh, how wonderful! I love that idea, Suzie. :)

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  33. Such a helpful post, Misty, and truly interesting! I'm still unpublished at this point, but I'm bookmarking this for future reference. Thank you!

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    1. I'm glad you're bookmarking the post, Laura! I am, too.

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    2. So glad it was helpful, Laura! Blessings!

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  34. Misty, I've been checking out your website and it is definitely informative.

    My book is coming out next Tuesday, the 18th, and I am prohibited from sending out copies in advance. I won a contract through Amazon's Kindle Scout program and people who voted for me get a free copy. However, no one is required to write a review.

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    1. Walt, I got my copy! I can't wait to read it.

      How exciting that it's finally almost release time!

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    2. Missy: I'm reading it now and it is the best thing I've read from Walt yet. Wonderful start. High hopes for it.

      Vince

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    3. Thanks for the kind words, Walt, and congrats on the Kindle Scout contract! That's interesting about not being able to send out ARCs, although I understand why Amazon might make that choice and it sounds like they have a plan in place to make up for it.

      I pray you have great reviews from those who voted!

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  35. "It's not procrastinating if something's getting done."

    I don't agree with this. All my procrastinating involves getting lower priority stuff done that is less painful to do.

    "No matter what you are doing or how hard you are working, it's still procrastinating if your not doing your top priority work."

    I'm procrastinating right now! I should be working on my RPP book but at least I'm doing something that may help others.

    There are a lot of busy hands in the devil's workshop, too. :)

    Vince

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    1. Too funny, Vince! I'm also guilty of procrastinating the big things by doing busy work. Now, go get to work on that RPP book. :)

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  36. This is a great post! I am a part of the street team / launch team for a few different authors. I find that the ones I do the best job of promoting and not just reviewing for are the ones who have easy to share memes and things. I haven't figured out how to create my own.

    I would love to be entered in the giveaway. The series of 3 eBooks sounds wonderful. debbiewilder (at) comcast (dot) net

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  37. Misty, I've written quite a list of items that I need to do, culled from this post. I needed this! Thanks for sharing your knowledge and experience. I'd love to have your marketing book, and I promise to actually use it and post reviews. LeeCarverWriter at g mail

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    1. That's wonderful, Lee! So glad this post was helpful and I hope you win the book! :)
      Blessings!

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  38. I am blessed to be a part of several street teams, some have been good and others just so/so. I think interaction is key. There are a few street teams I've been on where it seems like the author is absent unless it's like the week before release day, and then all of a sudden they are posting Every. Single. Day. They don't really give me that warm and be fuzzy feeling lol. Sure, I know as a reader and blogger I'm there to help, but why can some authors take the time to talk to us weekly and others don't?

    A tip for authors - get a street team coordinator. This person can help you out in so many ways, both with keeping in contact with team members, keeping them in track, and making the group fun. I've got ideas as far as contests, keeping team members interested and involved, and tips for posting in the team group page too. It can really make the experience so much better, and lighten your load :)

    What a great post!! Thank you Misty for sharing with us.

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  39. Wow! These ideas are amazing. I'm almost excited about marketing now! I haven't gotten to the end of the comments yet to leave Misty a comment, but wanted to stop here and thank you, Pam, for mentioning FB groups. I have had some lovely private bible study groups on Facebook. I had never considered doing the same for a launch team! Thanks for the tips. ��

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  40. I have been both a Street Team member and an Influencer and I prefer print ARCs because I use a Kindle app on my Android phone. When the ARC is offered only as an ebook I love it when an author uses BookFunnel because these ARCs are so easy to get. I always consider being chosen an honor and I try to do my best to promote the book. Thanks for an interesting post!
    Connie
    cps1950(at)gmail(dot)com

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