Monday, March 17, 2014

#MFRWorg Authors Secret Weapon: Street Teams

Author Street Teams. Likely, you've heard this term before. They're popping up all over the place as authors take advantage of their most valuable resource - their readers. Readers -especially bloggers/ reviewers- are vital to a book's success because their opinion goes a long way. Some readers have an established reputation as being a person to turn to for book recommendations. Why not partner with them if they love your books/ series?

That's exactly what creating a street team is... partnering with readers who like your books so much, they want to share them with other readers.

A Street Team is an author's secret weapon. In this article at Kobo Writing Life, an in-depth description of one author's experience puts it all into perspective. Read it here.

A Street Team is a group of readers/bloggers that are fans of a particular author and want to spread the word about books they love. They're just doing what they already do - reading what they like and telling their friends. There's no recipe as to how many members per street team, benefits to offer or rules to follow. Each author has their own style.

Here are some Basic Guidelines:

  • Provide a central place/ method to communicate. Many authors use a private facebook group, google+ group or yahoo group. Regardless what you use, be sure to interact. Place a reminder on your calendar to post an update weekly.
  • Choose a creative name that suits your branding. Google "author street teams" to see what others are already doing.
  • Share WIP previews, excerpts and cover reveals.
  • Ask if any are interested in serving as beta readers/ proofreaders. DO NOT use them in place of editors!
  • Chat and give updates often, and always in advance, to the group.
  • Honor and recognize their commitment by commenting when they post on their blogs or other social media sites.
  • Have target tasks that you'd like members to help with... ask them to host a blog stop, like your books at on-line sites, place reviews on goodreads, share cover reveals, pin on Pinterest, post updates on facebook or tweet about your new releases. In general, you want them to spread the love for your book.
  • Have contests just for your street team. Be creative: winner chooses a name for a character in your next book!
  • Create perks. Provide swag and ARCs. Blog badges that members can display on their own blogs or social sites are great too. Not only do bloggers love them but it also increases your visibility.
  • Allow your street team members more "personal" on-line access to you. Answer their requests quickly. Group them for ease and then interact with them on facebook, google+, twitter,etc.

There are a lot of books in the world and authors need help to spread the word. A street team is a fun way to interact with fans while asking them to do what many already do … and it has added perks (for you both).

Here's a list of links to some author's street teams for ideas on how to begin your own:

I began my own street team after a few readers requested it. I keep it small and simple. There's no gimmicks or contests. Each member gets an ARC as soon as they're available in exchange for honest reviews on as many on-line sites as possible. And every week, I post an update and try to engage on facebook mostly. For the details, CLICK THIS LINK

Talk to me.
Do you have a street team? Post it in a comment to share. Do you want to know more about creating a street team? Just Ask. - Paloma