“Street teams” originated in the music industry. Volunteers would plaster the streets with posters, hand out flyers and CDs, inundate radio stations with requests, and even move an artist’s album to the front of the racks.
Today, the definition has broadened beyond the street to online promotion. Street teams can help out by giving feedback, sharing news about the book on social media, adding the book to ‘want to read’ lists, or taking book selfies and shelfies – little actions that take only a minute or two, but can make all the difference when it comes to what Michelle Raab rightly describes as the ‘power of word-of-mouth’.
Importantly for all of us book lovers, street teams aren’t limited to music these days, but now encompass books, too. (Jennifer Probst points out that they’re also called ‘reader groups’ and ‘fan clubs’).
Why should I join a street team?
The advantages for writers are obvious. What author wouldn’t want help promoting their book? But what about fans? Friends? Reviewers? Fellow writers?
Did someone say… ‘FREE BOOKS’?!
Apart from being a great way to show your support, joining a friend or favourite author’s street team gives friends and fans a behind-the-scenes look at the production of a novel – and often, early glimpses and other bonuses – even FREE BOOKS (are there any more glorious words?!)
Great opportunities for content producers
In addition to the general benefits for a reader, book bloggers (and I’m including everyone here – bookstagrammers, booktubers, podcasters and so on!) can enjoy some great opportunities to get exclusive content – and maybe even take a break from writing/photographing/recording.
Help a fellow writer… help yourself!
Even writers can benefit from joining a fellow author’s street team. Being part of someone else’s street team gives new and experienced authors the opportunity to experience someone else’s book launch from ‘behind the scenes’. Quite apart from the buzz and companionship we can find by helping another author out, we can also get some great new ideas. New authors can join a more experienced author’s street team as a trial run. (I’ll even give you a report of what worked and what didn’t!) Experienced authors can not only share their knowledge, but find some fresh ideas to implement in future launches.
If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll know I’m a researcher. I plan on running the launch of my upcoming novel, Number Eight Crispy Chicken as one big experiment in launching a book, implementing the ideas I’ve gained from analysing over 100 books, blogs, podcasts and courses about marketing and book promotion. Writers, if you want insider information, join me!