Street Team: Your Book Launch’s Secret Weapon – Part 1

by Misty M. Beller, @MistyMBeller

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.
  • Request that their local library or church library order the book.
  • Suggest the book to their book club(s).
  • 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!

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post where we talk about what to give your launch team and tips on how to interact with them to make it easy for them to share your book!


Book Marketing Group Coaching

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Through this 10-week course, you’ll receive in-depth training in five critical areas, along with actionable feedback on how to apply what you’ve learned to your books. And don’t forget the built-in accountability to help you succeed!

Topics include:

•Find your Target Reader
•Grow Your Email List into a powerful tool
•Build an effective Launch Team
•How to get more Amazon Reviews
•How to find and work with Influencers in your target audience to widen your reach

Who is this for? If you have at least one book published or on preorder, and are ready to take the steps needed to move your book sales to the next level, this may be exactly the right course for you. Whether you’re traditionally published or an indie author, the concepts in this course will apply.

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Misty M. Beller writes Christian historical romance, and is a hybrid author of thirteen novels, as well as a non-fiction book for authors, How to Market a Book Release. With over thirteen 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. Get regular marketing tips and learn more about her marketing group coaching courses at https://TheAmbitiousAuthor.com.