If you’re reading this blog post in April or May of 2019, you probably already know that my fourth novel, Whizzers, will come out later this year. I’m working on launch ideas of all sorts, and the launch itself is likely going to be late July. For the uninitiated, that means tomorrow in the mind of a busy author!

What Is a Launch Team?

A “launch team” consists of people who help an author get the word out about a book. Then again, a “street team” does the exact same thing. So, what’s the difference?

My admittedly provocative headline today refers to the idea of having one or the other type of team. Maybe I’m too sensitive, but I Googled “street team vs. launch team” because I truly wondered whether people might object to being part of something called a street team. I think the idea is that your street team is composed of people who love your work and are willing to help you promote it. On the other hand, a “launch team” might include people or companies who are part of your book launch, but not necessarily promoters of your work as such.

My Google search turned up an article from the very fine Book Marketing Tools website. I’ve read some of their articles, and have implemented some great ideas from them as well. However, as someone who’s actively engaged in helping others market their books, I also teach some of this stuff.

So I can’t really spend all my time reading more articles, but this one interested me, because of the sheer expansiveness of the list. I thought I’d share their content with you here (yes, I’ve linked the article above, and it’s copyrighted to Book Marketing Tools).

Anyway, here’s their list of 22 Ways to Leverage Your Street Team for a Book Launch.

  1. Ask members for feedback on your book’s content, cover design, pricing, typography, and other details so that you can revise your book or launch accordingly.
  2. Ask members for input on future book ideas or use them for brainstorming and research purposes.
  3. Ask members to talk about your books on social media and other relevant platforms.
  4. Encourage them to leave honest reviews on retailer sites where your book is available, as well as on social cataloging and book recommendation sites like Goodreads.
  5. Get them to post photos of the early review copy you sent to them, the cover image, and any places they’ve left promotional materials like bookmarks.
  6. Ask them to add your books to their Goodreads Want to Read list. And be sure to make it easy for them with a video, template, or image tutorial that walks them through the process.
  7. Ask them to spread the word about your book to family, friends, and other connections.
  8. Get them to invite other enthusiastic readers to join your street team.
  9. Encourage them to share your blog posts, as well as write review blog posts of their own.
  10. Retweet or share their social media posts any time they mention you and your book.
  11. Get them to promote giveaways or contests you are hosting.
  12. Encourage them to run their own contests. (e.g., if the street team member is a blogger, provide book copies or other promotional paraphernalia for the street team member to give away to readers.)
  13. Ask them to recommend your book to their local library.
  14. Encourage them to talk to local bookstores about stocking your title.
  15. Ask them to suggest your book to book clubs in their area or even their own book club.
  16. Ask them to take some of your promotional materials to local writing groups, conventions, book fairs, and other relevant events.
  17. Encourage them to share news about your books, appearances and signings, awards you might receive, and other share-worthy content.
  18. Encourage them to participate in your online book launch party if you decide to host one.
  19. Ask them to introduce you to groups of people (especially influencers) they know online or offline who would be able to spread the word about your book.
  20. Ask them to share a Facebook Live announcement with their followers.
  21. Encourage them to participate in a blog or vlog tour if they participate in these mediums.
  22. Encourage your team to join your affiliate program if you have one—the prospect of earning a side income for their promotional efforts can be extremely appealing.

And That’s All They Wrote

Seems like a lot, right? Of course, no one has to take all these suggestions. But it’s certainly a great starting point. I’m also hard pressed to think of a 23rd way, although the 11th bullet point–on giveaways or contests–could be expanded. Also, I think it’s good to specify what rewards a launch team member will get. The article specifically says, “Make it clear that while being part of your street team is a volunteer position, it’s also not about the freebies you offer in return.”

Well, I know some people like helping others, but I’d really want my team to get something worthwhile in return…much more than just a signed book.

So what do you think? I’d love to get your feedback in the comments. And of course, if you’d like to be part of my launch team, you can sign up right here.

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