Years before I started with PW and lived in my world of books, I would always email the author (if they had contact information on their website) and thank them for writing their book. My feeling was, if they could take the time to write a book that brought me some pleasure, the least I could do was thank them for their effort. To me, a good book is like a gift. Some wrote me back and I really treasured those emails and a couple of times they must have forwarded my emails to their publishers because I was asked to help spread the word if an author was coming to town, to preread a book and talk to my friends about it or put out bookmarks at my library or bookstores. I felt honored to give back in some way.
Without knowing it, I was part of a street team although I didn’t know any of the other members. Thanks to social media, Street Teams now have their own Facebook pages, they’ve garnered friendships, real life meet ups and increased awareness of the authors who work with the members.
When Eloisa James came to Milwaukee to participate in my Reader Luncheon, she took the opportunity to meet up with some of her street team. According to Eloisa, “A street team is a group of readers who like your work (and you) enough that they involve themselves in support of your career and actual books. These days, with the shrinking number of book stores, it’s hard to discover new authors. So a street team who promises to go out and talk about your books, sharing their enthusiasm, can be invaluable. Street teams are generally paid back with promotional materials and a higher level of access to the author (who is, of course, deeply grateful for the help)! They can be organized by a publisher, such as the Avon Addicts, or by an author.”
I asked Dianna Love why she thinks Street Teams are important. “Of all the things that have changed in the publishing industry in recent years, one thing never will – the best way to get word out about a book is by readers sharing with other readers. I know because I’ve always been a voraciou reader who got new authors from friends and shared the books I liked. I’ve always believed in building my career one reader at a time and that is still true today, so my Dianna Love Street Team (on Facebook) is an expansion of that philosophy. There is NOTHING more important than readers.”
Tonya Kappes thinks Street Teams help authors, “I’m lucky that my team does want to spread the word about my novels. I think they are more apt to do that because they have gotten to know me personally and truly want to help me. My street team not only spreads the words of my novels, releases BUT they keep me going with all of their encouragement. I visit my street team several times a day to check in with them. ”
Tracey Devlyn, who shares a Street Team with authors Adrienne Giordano, Kelsey Browning, Nancy Naigle, Tracy March says that members get a lot out of joining up with authors. “Members have direct access to the author. Many authors have taken to setting up an exclusive Facebook group page or website page. There, the author shares tidbits of her writing, personal life, deleted scenes, excerpts of an upcoming release, etc. Likewise, members share what they’re reading, what they did over the weekend, and what goofy thing their husband or kid said. Street teams are communities with a common love. Communities that quickly become fast friends. For every mission completed, members receive points. At certain key point levels, members win awesome rewards from the author. The rewards are a way for the author to express her appreciation for the member’s hard work and passion on her behalf.”
Dianna Love adds “In addition to weekly interactions that I love and inviting author friends to come by for a chat, I’ll be holding monthly drawings for gifts (signed books by me and other author friends, gift cards, monogrammed back packs, Keeper Kases, get their name in a book, Tshirts, Ereaders…) JUST for the Street Team. In fact, I’m having a Tshirt designed for my Street Team. I’ll offer drawings for them to be a character in a book, too. They’ll be the first ones to get any news and to be invited to special events. I have plans for meeting with my Street Team members in person during the year as I travel. Most important is that I want them to know they are appreciated all year long, not just when I have a book out.”
You can join the Street Teams here:
Eloisa James (This is a closed group, read directions on how to get approved)
Dianna Love (Just started last week)
Tracey Devlyn (Dangerous Darlings with Adrienne Giordano, Kelsey Browning, Nancy Naigle, Tracy March)
Do you belong to a Street Team now? How has your experience been? Are you an author who has a Street Team, if so, how’s it going? Feel free to add your names and links.
Bottom Line: Sounds like a fun way to support your favorite authors and get the inside scoop at the same time.