Sunday, March 4, 2012

Marketing & Publicity for Authors: Part 5

In this last (for now) post in my marketing and publicity series I’d like to address the little things that your “street team” can do to help you.

First, what is a street team?

Your street team members are your dedicated readers: family, close friends, fellow authors, bloggers who have supported your work, readers who can’t wait to get their hands on your next book.

A couple of recent articles (here’s one) have pointed to research that suggests that “word of mouth” (aka, personal recommendations, whether from friends, librarians, or booksellers) is the number one way that popularity of a book spreads. Publishers can enhance a book’s profile through advertising and promotion; but midlist, debut, or little-known authors can use positive street cred to help with promotion. This is where your street team comes in.

What can your team do to help you? Here are ways – and all but one take only minutes and cost nothing. And none of these are dishonorable (as in, falsifying reviews. Don’t do that. Ever.)

1.     If they sincerely want to purchase a copy of your book, point them towards pre-ordering as soon as your book is posted for pre-order. Publishers base first print run numbers on pre-orders. You want as many books pre-sold as possible to increase your chances of publisher support and word-of-mouth. (This is the only task that costs your street team members money!)
2.     Ask your street team if they would be willing to visit their local indie and talk with the owner about your book. Outfit them with bookmarks and/or postcards to leave with the bookseller.
3.     Ask them to add your book to their Goodreads “want to read” list. Many bloggers/readers begin dedicated Goodreads’ lists every year: i.e., “favorite YA reads;” “historical fiction for 2012.” Your team members can like your book on those lists, too.
4.     Ask them to go to the Amazon page for your book and “like” the book.
5.     Ask them to add tags to your book on its Amazon page. Tagging a book helps it to appear on appropriate suggested lists, so that when readers search for a new book, yours might appear on the suggested list.

None of these suggestions will help a poorly written book – so your first job is to write as brilliantly as possible. Write from your heart; polish and revise. There’s a lot of competition in the marketplace and only when you craft a book readers can’t put down and can’t wait to recommend, only then will you break out. But a little honest support from your street team doesn’t hurt. 

Best of luck - and please share any and all ideas that have worked for you!


mima said...

Hi Janet,
Really, really appreciate these posts. You've covered so many different topics within the larger topic of Marketing and Publicity, and now my brain is rolling with ideas for my future efforts. Thanks!

Janet Fox said...

I'm so happy I've helped, Mima!! :)