By: Veena Kashyap
Independent record labels originally created street teams as a means of promoting bands and new records. Now, the concept is gaining momentum in the writing world.
An Author Street Team can be defined as a group of loyal supporters personally invested in the success of you and your books. An Author Street Team is a cross between a fan club and a marketing team
Why you need an Author Street Team?
– It’s an easy way to expand your fan base.
– An Author Street Team will have a wider social reach than you alone. (Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, NetGalley)
– An Author Street Team is influential and has clout (think power in numbers!)
– An Author Street Team saves you money on publicity!
How do you form an Author Street Team?
1. Create a landing page on your website for your team. This is a place where people who are interested can sign up to join your team. Include name of team, benefits and a signup form. Below is a list of comprehensive benefits you can offer your team:
– Invite to private Facebook group
– Free ARCs (Advance Readers’ Copies) of new titles BEFORE they’re available to others
– Awesome member-only giveaways
– Fun contests
– An opportunity to name a character in a future book
– Benchmark prize drawings
– Exclusive excerpts
– First viewings of my book trailers and book covers
– A blog button, identifying you as a member of the team
– Insider information about me and my upcoming releases
– Random details about characters or what you’re currently working on
– Other incentives, such as: signed books, cool swag, etc.
– Edit and proofread for all new books
– Getting early (and usually free) access to new books
– Sound-boarding on early book development for new books work
– Hold contests inside the Street Team for various team created promotions.
– Undying GRATITUDE!
2. Promote your team and recruit members.
– Create a blog post about the launch of your team with all relevant information. Be sure to link to your shiny new street team page!
– Share your blog post with your social media and reach out to your established community. Remember the street team is for your fans!
– Send an announcement out to your mailing list to recruit avid fans.
1. Create a secure Facebook group or other interactive group for your street team members to connect with one another and with you. The team can also grab your Book Profile Assets:
– Book details (title, pages, genre, publisher, release date, book blurb)
– Your social media links (Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, Bloglovin, Website, Google+ Instagram, Blog)
– Your bookseller information
– Animated GIF banners and buttons to drop on webpages and forums
– Graphics to pin on Pinterest (book covers, character pictures, quotes, etc.)
– Video posts from Youtube
– Avatars, Facebook headers, Twitter backgrounds, and HTML snippets
– Plot summaries, book quotes, and short synopsis
2. Do background checks on your members to checkout their social media reach.
3. Once you have established members for your Author Street Team, send them a welcome packet for joining your street team.
– Welcome packets should have a physical component such as a wristband (branded, of course), bookmarks, and other swag
– Include ground rules on what team members can and cannot do to help promote your book as part of your street team.
– Ideas on what team members CAN do:
1. Provide HONEST reviews on Amazon, Barnes&Noble, and Goodreads the FIRST WEEK the book releases, which can help it rise to bestseller stardom.
2. Share book news on social media outlets (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Goodreads, Tumblr, Instagram, Pinterest, Blogs, Websites, Forums, Book Clubs, etc…)
3. Word of mouth referrals / recommendations
4. Hand out free promotional items (bookmarks, pens, keychains, etc…) that you as the author provides ( library, café, or book store)
5. Ask local bookstore or library to order your book by sharing the name of the title, author, and publisher.
– Ideas on what team members CANNOT do:
1. Do NOT under any circumstances respond to a negative review on any of your books. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and be respectful of that.
2. Don’t be rude, negative, or pushy!
3. Don’t remain a member of the street team if you aren’t a fan of the work or do not want to participate in the group.
4. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
5. Don’t feel obligated or guilty if you can’t participate in every task.
6. As the author you reserve the right to remove any member from the team if they are unable to follow the rules above.
4. Schedule regularly checkins with the team, send out a newsletter of upcoming events and be proactive with your communications.
5. Have fun!