You should start building your author street team before your first book is ever published.
As an author having a street team, a tribe, a group of people who love your work is tantamount to your success. For several reasons and not just the obvious.
Having a support system in life is important. You want to surround yourself with people who lift you up and motivate you. Who can provide that swift kick in the pants when you need it.
A group of people (even if it’s a small group) who love your writing and support you as an author is also great for your motivation, your ego, and selling books.
Nothing beats word of mouth even in today’s world of social media. And with social media recommendations spread farther and faster now than ever before.
Building a street team for your author brand is invaluable. Your street team is folks you can bounce ideas off of about upcoming books and marketing.
It creates a support system which as an author you desperately need. Writing is a solitary pursuit. But your writing will be much stronger with people who will give you constructive feedback and support you on your writing journey.
I am so incredibly grateful to have my street team, Laina’s Crusaders. For all the reasons I mentioned above. In fact, I’m in awe every day that I have anyone who cares enough about my writing to be on my street team. It’s what keeps me going on the days I don’t want to write. I also don’t want to disappoint the people who are there for me. While that can be a heavy responsibility it’s the one I need to keep me always moving forward.
Much like your marketing efforts starting your own street team is something you don’t want to wait too long to do. It can be before your book comes out. If you have a rough draft or even an outline, what a great way to get feedback AND make people feel special by being with you right from your start.
But much like any marketing initiative authors often wait for the “right” time to start because they’re scared. Scared to put themselves out there. Thinking no one will want to give their time to provide feedback or tell others about their work.
You are SO WRONG about that. People LOVE to help!
The first step to building your team of awesome people is to just ask. I know it’s hard but whats the worst someone can say? No?
Sticks and stones and all that.
Start with friends and family. You know the people who are already in your support group. If you’re like me and feel more comfortable being criticized by strangers then reach out to people. Ask on social media.
There are so many things you can offer when building your author street team.
Advance copies – because we all like to be the first to get something.
Beta copies – so they can give input before the book is finished that might make the final cut.
Exclusives – background on certain characters, or settings. Cover reveals before it goes out to the public. Sneak previews of what you’re currently writing.
Contests – get your team engaged. The more engaged they are the more they will want to help you.
Facebook group – have a special group for your team and do FB live events or other fun interactive things.
These are just a few of the things you can offer people to create a strong team of supporters.
Making a living as an author is a hard gig. You can’t-do it alone. You shouldn’t do it alone. And you sure as hell don’t want to do it alone.
Reach out. Amazing people are out there!
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