Happy Fourth of July!! And welcome to the second installment of my All About series! If you missed All About: Cover Reveals a few months ago, you can check it out here.
This time we're talking about street teams. I have to confess that when I first heard an author use this phrase, I had no idea what she was talking about :) But basically, street teams are groups of fans authors rely on to help promote their books. If you're interested in learning more about the origins of street teams (and what's happening with her street team for Spark), check out Jill's post on street teams here.
I'm sure some authors organize theirs differently, but every street team I've been on has been a Facebook group. The team may be small and exclusive or large and open to anyone, depending on the author. Some authors give the members of their street teams specific marketing tasks, such as sharing certain posts or distributing bookmarks in local libraries and bookstores. Others operate more like a fan club, where readers have the opportunity to discuss the book and ask the author questions, and may get exclusive publication updates or sneak peeks. As incentives or a way to say thanks, authors may provide their street team free copies of their books to review or offer giveaways only open to street team members.
In some cases, an author will have both an exclusive street team and a larger readers' group / fan club. These readers' groups can be a fun way to get involved with an author because they're open to all readers and don't typically have any obligations attached. But they also generally don't provide an opportunity for free review copies, and there may not be as much direct contact with the author since they're often run by admins. So a readers' group is a great place to start, but if you're a really avid fan and want to get the best access to an author and his or her books, see if there's also a street team to join!
In my experience, both street teams and readers groups are a lot of fun, because you get to know the author better and have a chance to interact with other fans of their work. And who doesn't love free books?? But before signing up, do keep in mind that some authors have specific expectations of their street team members regarding promotion, so be prepared to follow through with those requests. To find out if your favorite authors have a street team and / or readers' group, check out their website for a link or search for the author on Facebook, which should bring up any non-secret groups they have available.
Another great way to get to know your favorite authors is by signing up for their newsletters. But in case you've ever wondered:
what is a newsletter, and why would I want to sign up for one? - I've
got you covered :)
Newsletters are a great way for
authors to communicate with their fans, because they have space to be
more in-depth than on most social media outlets, and their message is
being delivered straight to someone's inbox instead of being subject to
the confusing algorithms used on sites like Twitter and Facebook (every
newsletter I know of is delivered via e-mail rather than snail mail).
Typically to sign up for a newsletter you only need to provide your name
and e-mail address (and possibly a verification that you're human), and
you can always unsubscribe at any time. When you sign up, you'll likely
get a confirmation e-mail with a link you need to click on to complete
I'm signed up for a lot of authors'
newsletters, and one comes weekly but most are monthly, quarterly, or
just whenever the author has news to share. The content typically
includes things like updates on upcoming books and events, book reviews,
features of other authors or sales / freebies, answers to questions,
etc. In addition to the benefits of supporting and getting to know your
favorite authors, some authors do giveaways specific to their newsletter
list or will share a free story or section of their book with anyone
who signs up. And I know it can be hard to give out your e-mail address
for fear of spam, but I'm happy to report that I have yet to receive
anything but legitimate newsletters :)
How do you connect with your favorite authors? Are you a part of any street teams / readers' groups, or signed up for any authors' newsletters? If you're considering it, what would you hope to get out of a group or newsletter?
Thanks for reading!
P.S. Sorry for a bit of self-promotion, but did you know I have a
monthly newsletter? It includes updates on my writing / publishing
journey, a featured author, quotes from books I've been reading, and a
few random thoughts :) If you're interested, you can sign up here. Jill also has a fun quarterly newsletter, True North Tales, you can sign up for here, and Lizzie is just starting up her newsletter, which you can sign up for on her website here.
Also, as I mentioned above, Jill has an awesome street team called The Pyromaniacs, which you can find here. And I just started my street team, Laurie's Luminaries, which is going to function more like a readers' group but also have promotional opportunities for anyone who wants to help :) I'll be sharing fun facts and teaser quotes, plus updates on publication. You can find it here, I'd love to have you join!