Street teams are an essential marketing tool in an authors tool belt. Street teams can help spread the news of your book to thousands of readers. Many authors ask me how to start and maintain a street team so for the next few months, I will be breaking down the basics of implementing a street team. Let’s get started!
Have an Application Process
When creating a street team, you need an application process. Why? For several reasons:
- It allows you to be choosy. With limited spaces on your team, you want to be sure you are maximizing the books you are giving away. Consider: Does the potential street team member represent you and your readership? As an author in Christian Fiction, does their blog have posts that will not be offensive to your readers. Do they enjoy the genre you write in? Do they have a blog? What is their social media like? What are their reviews like ~ are they thorough or just a summary? Are they kind in their criticism? How often do they post?
- It gives a feeling that being a part of your team is a privilege.
- Readers understand what they are committing to.
- It helps you get to know the potential members of your team – their likes, dislikes, birthday, etc.
For your application, I recommend using Google Forms because it takes the information inputted and creates a nifty spreadsheet for you to work from. You can sort by name alphabetically, you can sort by birthday so you can wish them a happy birthday easily, you can sort by book type preference (ebook vs. paperback). There is a cool highlighting feature and a strike-through plus you can make copies of the spreadsheet to be able to sort for a particular reason – one for birthdays, one for book format, etc.
What should be in your application?
Start with the basics – name, address, email, and email confirmation (just in case the first email isn’t correct) – then add from there. It is always good to know if they are a reviewer or if they have a blog. Ask for links to their social media, Goodreads account, to their website, and their favorite Amazon review; this will allow you to look over their review style and to be sure their social media reflects what you want. I would encourage you to have an agreement blurb in your application that covers not distributing your books, not sharing confidential information, etc. Imagine planning a big cover reveal only to find a team member has been sharing your cover everywhere ~ bummer! Knowing if they will accept ebook is important. If you have 20 people on your team and all of them only read paperback, can you afford to send a paperback to each one? Do they live in another country where shipping would be expensive? These are things to consider.
There are some fun questions you can include to get to know your team. Asking for their birthday allows you to recognize your team members individually throughout the year ~ they will be touched you did. You might ask for a few of their favorite things so when you have a giveaway for your team or want to send them a treat you are not sending them coffee when they like Coke. When they are not reading, what do they like to do? is a fun question to get some insight into their lives and could also give a hint of a fun treat to thank them during the year.
Other added questions might be their phone number, experience, and how often they post.
Finding Prospective Team Members
Social media is a great place to find prospective team members. Post that you are looking for team members on your Facebook timeline or in reader groups. Send a tweet on Twitter, pin on Pinterest, and share through your newsletter. Ask your friends and readers to share on their social media. You will be surprised to see how quickly your team fills up!
Creating an invite doesn’t have to be difficult. You can create a cute meme with one of your book covers to draw readers and share it with your invitation and application link. For example: