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 pointon giveaways or contestscould 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.

What If I Don’t Want to Sell?

Yesterday I had the pleasure of giving a talk called Marketing Your Novel that was hosted by the Orlando Public Library. A good twenty people or so were kind enough to show up on a blazing Florida Sunday afternoon to hear me speak. The talk went well: I gave the group...
self-marketers

Authors As Self-Marketers

A couple years back, in an article about self-publishing, I wrote the following: If you’re an author with a traditional publishing contract, you don’t really have to be an entrepreneur as such; the publishing company does the marketing and PR for you, though you have...
relax

Five Ways to Relax During Quarantine

​I thought a good blog post this week would be on how to unwind—not just during our current era of quarantine and “social distancing,” but on any day off. What my wife calls a holiday. That could be any time, right? I’ve been running so hard lately, I've barely had...
Miles

The Best Thing I’ve Ever Done

I wrote most of Miles of Files between 2007 and 2015. I felt my first novel had been an artistic success, but I wasn't so sure about the second one. Now, I'd moved on to this third novel without having found a publisher for either of the first two. And it was totally...
running

“When the World Is Running Down, You Make the Best of What’s Still Around”

Like most Americans who grew up in the 70s and 80s, I've got a fair amount of song lyrics floating around my head. Today's post is entitled "When the World Is Running Down, You Make the Best of What's Still Around" after the Police song of that name. And I'll admit, I...
break

A Bit of a Blog Break

I've been busy scheduling my social media for the next few months, and came to a realization: I've got a ton of existing content, and no one has seen anywhere near all of it. As a result, I decided it's time for a little break. This realization did coincide with...
break

Taking A Break

Today I'm taking a break from the regular weekly blog post—not because everyone is exhausted (which is true enough) but because we had a four-hour blackout in my neighborhood this afternoon! So now I'm too busy to create anything new, and time has run out....
ebook

A Free Ebook From Sahno Publishing—And An Open Invitation For More

Regular readers of this blog might be surprised to see me write about giving an ebook away. In fact, I wrote a post a few months ago called Why I Think Giving Your Work Away Is (Mostly) A Bad Idea. So why the change of heart, you may ask? Actually, there's no change...
interregnum

What To Expect From An Interregnum

I had a very strange, little-used word pop into my head the other day: interregnum.  Cambridge English defines interregnum as "a period when a country or organization does not have a leader." That certainly seems to apply at this moment. Merriam-Webster's definition:...
fumes

Running On Fumes: Pandemic Fatigue

Let’s face: the past four years have been exhausting. But 2020 is a whole other level of exhausting. If you’re running on fumes right now—and I’ll be the first to admit that’s the case for me—who can blame you? Ordinarily, I have a schedule for these blog posts, and...