Before I released Blood Orange (for the first time) in November, I started a street team in August. First, let me tell you what my interpretation of a street team is (there are a few). A street team is a group of voracious readers that have red your work and are fans. The are fans that are willing to perform various activities for the writer including talking to bookstores and libraries on your behalf and giving them promotional materials. I also use my street team to share social media posts and announcements. They are also tapped to be beta and advanced readers.
So, the natural questions are:
- How do you form a street team?
- What’s in it for them?
There are various ways to start a street team. I just asked if people wanted to be on it. I have an email mailing list that I’ve built up over time. I sent out an email to the people on this list and asked for participants. It was a scary proposition. As an insecure indie author my first thought was, no one is going to respond. To my surprise, I started receiving responses from volunteers immediately. When I got to 30, I cut it off.
The next thing I did was build a closed Facebook page that the street team members could join. I use this page to post content and street team only updates. It’s a great way to interact and get opinions. I also created an email mailing list with just street team members.
As for what rewards the street team members get, these can vary. I send them promotional materials. I give them previews of completed chapters and upcoming projects. For there work on my latest book, they are each receiving signed copies of the book (eventually). With a team that is all over the country, as well as in Europe and Africa, postage can be pricey.
Thus far, it has been a very good experience. Of the original 30, I have about 15 street team members that are still engaged. That seems to be a good number to work with.
I look forward to hearing your comments and anecdotes regarding your experiences with street teams.