What exactly is a street team? Many people don’t know what they are or what they do. Street teams started back in the 90’s with urban record labels. Super-fans would pass out demo tapes and handouts to friends and talk up the bands, promoting by word-of-mouth. In return, the street team would receive items like concert tickets, backstage passes, limited edition merchandise, and groupie status.
The trend has now moved to include authors and their books. The fans promote the author, thereby acquiring rewards and insider status, while the author attains access to a wider audience.
There are several steps to setting up a street team. After the author thinks of a catchy name for his/her street team, a Facebook page is usually set up as a central headquarters. People can ask to join, and many times, the author will have the individual fill out a short application using an online tool (like Google Form). The author learns a little more about the person, guaranteeing they’re a good fit. As launch day draws closer, the street team is set into motion. What are some things street teams can do? They can:
- hand out bookmarks to libraries, bookstores, and cafes/coffee shops
- request the author’s books at their local libraries and bookstores
- tell friends and relatives about the book
- share an honest review on Amazon, Goodreads, and/or Barnes & Noble (one of the best ways to show love to your favorite author!)
- create social media posts and/or tweets to share information
Now the next question may be, what do street teams member get? Pretty much whatever the author chooses. It’s only limited by imagination. For example, my street team (The Pyromaniacs) can receive:
- the chance to participate in a special drawing; the grand prize is naming a character in my next book Flare
- exclusive opportunities to complete missions and win prizes
- insider information on my books and updates on the writing process and current projects
- the chance to win an autographed copy of Spark
- a street team members-only short story written about the characters in Spark
Many authors swear by street teams and the community they provide. I’m a marketing newbie, still learning what works and what doesn’t. But I believe the ability to connect with readers is invaluable.
So if you’ve already joined The Pyromaniacs, thank you from the bottom of my heart. You’re the reason I wrote this story. If you haven’t joined The Pyromaniacs yet, why not? I’d be thrilled to have you be a part of this journey.