Recently I heard the news that one of my favorite authors (Karen Chance) was being dropped by her publisher. I was understandably upset to hear the news; mostly for her sake (Karen Chance has promised that she’ll continue the series on her own, so her fans are not going to be losing out here).
Since the news came out, a bunch of her fans (myself included) have been getting together and doing what we can to help promote her work. It seemed like the right thing to do, naturally.
But it got me thinking. I’ve been on a few Street Teams in my time, but I don’t think I ever really appreciated just how important they are to authors. Especially indie authors or authors who aren’t fully supported by their publishers (it does happen).
For the record, a street team is a group of people, usually fans, that work together to help promote sales. In this case we’re talking about book street teams, but they exist for basically every media out there. They’re pretty cool. And no, they’re typically not paid (though I imagine sometimes they are; it’s bound to happen somewhere).
An enthusiastic street team can start an author off with a significant number of honest reviews, plus arrange blog posts and tours, and a whole bunch of other fun activities to draw fans in. For example, the Karen Chance one is relatively new, but we’re already arranging a re-read through of both of her series. The goal is to get all the members in the team to read and review all of her books. That’ll be twelve reviews per team member; and that’s before taking into account how many different places a review can be shared. That’s a lot of publicity.
The enthusiasm of a team can be infectious as well. I know from personal experience, that I would try to get my friends to read the novels I was promoting, simply because I thought they’d like them. A couple of times those recommendations spread even further, as friends liked the books and told another friend to read them. Word of mouth is major when it comes to promotions.
The point I’m trying to make here is that street teams have a purpose in the book world, even if it is one that’s frequently overlooked by somebody not neck deep in the world.
If you have a favorite author you love and would like to help promote, check out their sites and see if they have a street team running. I’ve found most of the street teams I’m apart of through Facebook, so I know they’re out there.
And on the off chance that you’d like to join the Karen Chance street team, send me a message and I’ll make sure it’s all taken care of. But really, all I ask is that you consider supporting any author out there. They need us more than you might think.
I may be feeling more opinionated on this topic than normal. For those of you that don’t know this (probably most everyone, because I don’t think I’ve ever stated it) – Karen Chance is the reason I got into book reviewing. It’s something I had always wanted to do, but it wasn’t until I won one of her ARCs that I was actually motivated to try. And here I am, nearly two years later.