Last Friday's post by New York Times bestselling author, Sabrina York, talked about creating Street Teams for book marketing and promotion purposes. You may have wondered, “What can I assign my loyal army of fans to DO?”
Great question! And today, Sabrina's back with lots of book marketing and promotion tips related to Street Teams. If you like this featured series, make sure you don’t miss Part 3 next week! ~ Adrienne deWolfe
Leveraging Your Street Team
(Part 2 of a 3-Part Series)
By Sabrina York
In Part 1 of this series, we talked about the power of relationships along with the basics of street teams and how to set one up. Today, in Part 2, we go into a little more detail on how you can use a team, sample assignments and the benefits to members.
How Can You Use A Street Team?
Many print authors use street teams to reach out to brick and mortar bookstores or take promo materials to libraries. In a digital world, such sharing is still useful, but our focus turns more to social networking. Regardless, your team can reach outlets you may not have access to like book clubs, blogs, and an audience of their own on Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest and other popular sites.
Beyond this power of promo and reach, I have street team members who are excellent editors and are willing to beta read chapters or excerpts. This also gets them excited about the book’s release. As an example of this, Author Cassandra Carr told me: “I just started a new book, and as soon as I wrote the prologue, I posted it for my team. Right now they're helping me name characters. They like to feel involved—invested—in their favorite authors' careers.”
What do you think? Are those readers going to rush out and buy that book when it comes out? Are they going to share the news with their friends and contacts? Are they going to blog about a book for which they feel ownership?
Well, first of all, I dislike the term ‘assignments’ and so do some of my Royal Street Team (RST) members. As busy people with their own responsibilities, I ask them only do to what they are comfortable with and have the capacity for. And thank them regardless of the amount of work they do. Active members, however, do receive “Princess Points” which are entries into special street team only drawings.
Here are some examples of tasks you could offer your team:
- Deliver promo material to booksellers
- Ask local librarians to order books
- Post a blog for a new release, author interview or contest
- Share information/ links for a new release or promo opportunity
- Give honest reviews
- Follow on Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest, Google+, Goodreads, Shelfari etc.
- Refer a friend
- Review sharing—One of the most powerful sales tools nowadays is a good (and sometimes a poor) review. Vanessa Romano, the Jeep Diva, a blogger, reviewer and street team member reflects, “I'm more prone to buy a book based on a review vs. seeing 50 buy links to it on my Facebook feed. On one of the street teams I put together, we've been sharing reviews from blogs, retailers, Goodreads, Shelfari, Library Thing and more.” Asking street team members to share links from various places helps avoid the dreaded Spamalot.
Be conscious of how much you are asking of your team, and how easy you are making it for them to share your work. I recommend producing a media kit for a new release with a blurb, excerpt, sample tweets and sample facebook post with links and covers.
Consider providing a list of tasks and asking your team to pick one or two—or more if they have time. Remember, they have a life of their own, and they may be on many other teams!
Benefits You May Offer Your Team
- Exclusive access to information about coming books
- First looks at covers, ARC's or excerpts
- Gift certificates
- Swag, including autographed items, mugs, t-shirts, pens
- Use their names in books—I do this occasionally, but try to limit myself to last names, on account of my subject matter.
- Bestselling author and Golden Heart and Daphne du Maurier winner, Ann Charles has a private “street team only” page on Facebook. It’s a place for her die hard fans to hang out and chat amongst themselves. I have one as well, which I keep “Secret,” so members feel safe talking about whatever they like.
- Drawings for exclusive prizes— Cassandra Carr has a point system for monthly drawings. She also holds special contests just for street team members.
- Free books— Author Cerise Deland gives away occasional copies of certain books, requesting a review in return. “Not everyone who asks for a free book follows through,” she warns. “It pays to keep lists and reiterate the agreement.” She also has contests for reviewers only.
But there is a benefit to a street team member beyond all this. Something far more powerful than a peek at what your favorite author is working on or a t-shirt no one else has… A sense of belonging, of being part of something exciting, something they love.
One of my loyal street team members is on 4 teams. Why? Because she loves the “relationships you can develop with the authors and other readers. You have an inside track to information on what's coming, which is very fun.”
One of my star RST members, Gaele, a reviewer and blogger with I am Indeed, is on six street teams. “I enjoy interacting with the authors but I’m not there for the swag or the giveaways,” she says. “Those are nice bonuses, but if it’s an author I enjoy I like being able to help promote and support. It’s really about the interaction for me.” She only stays in the teams that amuse her. “Make me smile – let me help you promote when I can. That’s good for me.”
The gift of having a relationship with your team members is that it gives you insight on what motivates them…so you can thank them effectively.
Next week…The Danger Zones of street teams and when to just say no! Make sure you don’t miss the next installment! Subscribe to our RSS feed, or receive our posts via email by signing up in the blue box below.
About Sabrina York
Her Royal Hotness, Sabrina York, is an award winning, New York Times bestselling author of hot, humorous stories for smart and sexy readers. Her titles range from sweet & steamy erotic romance to spicy BDSM. Visit her webpage at www.sabrinayork.com to check out her books, excerpts and contests. Don’t forget to enter to win the royal tiara! Learn More About Sabrina’s Books: Sign up for her newsletter (book information, contests and special offers) Download her free Teaser Book for 75 pages of book blurbs, excerpts and reviews