When it comes to creating and building your book marketing street team, it’s important to get started early on. Getting a head start helps pave the path towards a book launch with several five-star reviews.
Creating your book marketing street team doesn’t have to be a difficult task. In all reality, your street team is anyone that you’ve engaged with regarding your book. This can be friends and family, beta readers, and any writing groups you may be a part of. While those people are a great foundation to your marketing street team, you can further expand your street team by reaching out to influencers and media contacts. It’s important to note, however, that your book marketing street team should like and trust you. If those things aren’t present, don’t ask them to review your book.
What you’ll learn in this post
In this post, you’ll learn:
- What is a street team
- When do you start building your book marketing street team
- How to plan book production and marketing
- How to cultivate a street team
No but really, what is a street team?
“Street team” is a term that was coined during the indie music revolution. It’s been adopted by authors and publishers to describe a group of people who will spread the word about your book when it launches. It’s all about gathering your tribe, and it should be fun and not a chore to communicate with your tribe.
When do you start building your book marketing street team?
Ideally you start building your tribe as soon as you start writing (or even before!). Your writing group (and other critique partners such as peer reviewers), are your first fans, besides your friends and family, who you can ask to spread the word about your book when it launches. Launch planning is essential!
Plan book production and marketing
It helps so much to use a big erasable annual calendar to help you plan out your book launch journey.
Take a look at this erasable wall calendar. One side is vertical and the other horizontal, and it comes with a dry-erase marker.
Here’s how to cultivate a street team
Your friends and family are naturally part of your street team, but you need influencers, other authors, and readers to join in so they can spread the word about your book when it launches. I think the easiest way to organize them is by adding to your email list with the tag “street team.”
1: First, verify who your readers are
This sounds obvious but I cannot tell you how many authors write a book and are not clear on what genre they’re writing in. So first, make sure you are writing to an audience that exists. Then, get to know them. This is your number one task and although it seems obvious, most authors don’t do this.
MAKE SURE YOUR BOOK FITS INTO A GENRE
You need to fit into a genre. So find out what other books in your genre are popular now, connect with their authors (sign up for their email lists, follow them in the socials), and get to know their audience and influencers (these are your audience and influencers, too), and where they have been mentioned in the media.
A great tool for figuring out what genre, categories, and keywords will sell your book is Publisher Rocket. It’s only $99 for a lifetime license with updates included.
HANG OUT WHERE YOUR PEERS AND READERS HANG OUT
Then go hang out where they hang out and contribute value. I created a guide and toolkit to help you with the research process. It’s free, my gift to fiction and nonfiction authors. Sign up to get it below.
Get your free self-publisher’s toolkit here
You’ll get my Consumer’s Guide for Authors, Editors and Publishers, a metadata cheatsheet, and a book launch checklist to make your own in your writing, marketing, and publishing journey.
2: Now, share your book with critique partners
Critique partners are other writers and editors who will workshop your book so you can get a decent draft done. These are your writing besties.
3: When you have a good draft, share it with beta readers
Now, share your book with beta readers you’ve found. Take their feedback seriously, and don’t cry if you have to make changes to your story or characters. For more information about utilizing beta readers, read this post.
4: Put everybody in a mailing list, and keep communicating
Okay, these people, who you now know and love and have been communicating with for months or even years, are your street team. All these people have helped you finish your book and they will help you spread the word about it. There are various ways to involve them in your book launch process—a private Facebook group, a Twitter hashtag, email communications, Zoom meetings, or all of the above. That’s up to you.
5: Ask for book reviews when you launch
If you have listened to your critique partners and beta readers, incorporated their feedback, and involve the world in your process, then you will enjoy five-star reviews when you launch your book, really.
It’s all about writing in community. Making friends, reciprocating, enjoying the process.
Read this post for more information on the power of street teams.
You’ll find a lot of free information about publishing and marketing your books on this site and you can also find a lot of answers in my Self-Publishing Boot Camp Guide for Independent Authors.
The happy news is that you can market your book and have fun doing it by connecting with your tribe. Where’s your tribe? We’ll help you find them, organize them, and figure out how to talk with them in this course. Get it here and get a head start on book marketing that’s fun. Really.
Please share this post!
Did you find this post useful? Share on social media or forward it to a writing friend!