A street team is a group of volunteer fans who work together to promote your books for you. So how can you build your own team and leverage this marketing opportunity? Here are some tips!
Building a Street Team
1. Create a private Facebook group just for your street team. This is where you'll let them know what you want them to promote as well as provide them with special deals and discounts for helping you market your books.
2. Start small by asking family members and close friends to join your team.
3. Ask current readers to join by asking for volunteers on your website, at the back of your books, on social media, and in your newsletter. Be sure to let them know that members will receive specials deals and insider information in return for their help. Right after they join, give them a free ebook (like a subscriber magnet) to welcome them to the team.
4. Keep your members engaged and interested by posting occasionally on the private Facebook page. This can be an update on the book you're writing, a poll, or simply asking what your readers are reading. Interact with them on a personal level.
5. Give your team swag to make them really feel like insiders. This could be a digital badge, a wristband, or a T-shirt. Be creative!
6. Give your team a great name! You can have the members propose ideas and vote on their favorite.
Putting Your Street Team to Work
1. Ask your street team to post about your new releases on social media, honestly review your book on Amazon, and mark your book as read on their Goodreads account.
2. Ask your team to request your books at their local library. With enough requests, the library will order your books, and even more people will be exposed to your writing.
3. You may want to consider mailing members of your team flyers or bookmarks that they can hand out to others and bring to local libraries, bookstores, or coffee shops to spread the word about your books. Instruct your team not to leave flyers or bookmarks without getting permission from the owner of the establishment—that sort of promotion is often unwelcome, and your team's actions will reflect on you.
4. To encourage participation, organize challenges. Challenges can include tweeting about a book, commenting about the book on a reader site, giving the book to a friend to read, and more! Those who win the challenge should either get a prize that was predefined, or points that team members can accumulate and use to get prizes later. Prizes can be a signed copy of one of your books, an ebook, a video chat session with you, a signed item that is relevant to one of your books—there are a lot of possibilities, and they don't have to be expensive.
5. Ask the members for feedback or ideas on covers, titles, character names, and so on. They want to see your books succeed!
6. Send out ARCs (advanced reader copies) to team members to get feedback on the plot and characters of your next book.
We hope this post has given you some ideas on building and using an author street team. If you have any additional thoughts or questions, we'd love to hear them in the comments! If you'd like to learn more about Book Cave author promotions, please enter your email below and click the "Learn More" button.
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