I’m talking about street teams in this post. In the picture are four of my favorite readers, my children! Since I don’t have a street team yet, I chose this picture because they’re doing what a street team member does–promoting an author’s work.
For the next few months, besides pounding out a rough draft and working on edits for my fourth contracted manuscript, I also plan to put together a street team to help me next spring before and after my book releases in May.
Here are some of the things I’ve learned about ways they can promote books:
*Hand out post cards and bookmarks.
*Post reviews online.
*Post recommendations online.
*Request the book from area libraries and bookstores.
*Hosting a book club.
*Asking the author to speak at churches, libraries, women’s groups.
*Sharing the author’s posts.
*Posting pictures with the book on social media.
Here are some steps to start a Street Team:
- Recruit volunteers from friends and family, your newsletter, and social media outlets.
- Screen the members if some of your members are strangers. You can create a questionnaire to determine what social media accounts they have, if they’re on other teams, what kinds of promotions they’re interested in.
- Create a landing place for the members. Make a Facebook group page or create a page on your website solely for your team. This place will be a great source of information, feedback, new ideas, and connection among the members and with you, the author.
- Consider a special name for your team.
- Print promotional items early and provide them for your team. Mail postcards and bookmarks so the members can share them in advance of the book’s release.
- Consider challenges and rewards. The challenges could include writing reviews, tweeting about the book, posting pictures of the book on Instagram, commenting on blogs about the book. Change the challenge weekly to keep the members involved and readers interested in the book. Rewards could be straight gifts or could be worth points adding up to a gift.
Remember that these members are interested in you as an author. Once you get the team up and running, you’ll have some responsibilities to keep the group running smoothly. I’ll focus on those next time.
Until then, are you on a street team? What’s worked well? Why do you like being on a team? What don’t you like? Leave your answers in the comments.
Hope Toler Dougherty holds a Master’s degree in English and taught at East Carolina University and York Technical College. Her publications include three novels as well as nonfiction articles. A member of ACFW, RWA, and SinC, she writes for SeriousWriter.com. She and her husband live in North Carolina and enjoy visits with their two daughters and twin sons.