Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Launch Teams, Part One

In July, I ran Amber Schamel's book trailer for The Healer's Touch on my personal blog. The traffic that came from it blew me away. When I asked about it, she said she'd put the word out to her book launch team. So of course, I asked Amber to share her experience with launch teams on this blog.--Sandy

Amber: Several months ago I assembled my very first launch team. My team has become an invaluable asset to me and Sandra has asked me to share a little about what I'm learning. There is a lot to cover on this topic, so we're splitting it up into two posts. Be sure to catch part 2 on October 23.

What is a "Launch Team?"
This was my question several months ago when I first heard the term. I did some searching and interviewing and was able to glean a lot of information that I'll attempt to share with you.

A Launch Team is basically a special group of people who support you and your work and are willing to talk about it, give you a review, host you on their blog, follow you around to all your media appearances (and sometimes book signings and whatnot), and share social media posts with their friends. A Launch Team can consist of family, friends, readers or fans, and yes, even other writers. However writers do tend to have less time, so the best Launch Team members are usually just friends and readers, however writers do have bigger blogs which can also be a benefit.

How big is a Launch Team?
Your team can be any size you want. Mine consists of about 20 people, but not all those people are active all the time. I have talked to some writers whose teams are as large as 100-200 people.

How do you gather a Launch Team?
Just ask! I sent out an email/facebook message to some select friends asking them specifically if they'd like to be a part. I also put a post on my facebook page letting my friends know I was looking for people to help me. The response was tremendous. The key is to keep the invitation casual and easy-going. Don't make people feel like they can't be your friend if they don't help you. ;)

What are the benefits of having a Launch Team?
So many! Here's a few:
·         A loyal group of people to post positive reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, etc.
·         A group to go along to all of your media appearances. This is HUGE. Basically, they make sure you never show up to a party by yourself. There's nothing more lonely than guesting or interviewing on a blog and there's no one there but you and your host. A launch team will drop by and leave comments, initiate conversation and make things fun.

·         A team that will share about you and your book on their social media and/or blogs to create a buzz around you and your book.

In the next post we'll be discussing the mechanics of a Launch Team and some tips on making it successful. 

Do you have any questions you'd like me to answer in the next post?


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Amber Schamel was born in Littleton, CO and has traveled extensively throughout the United States, Europe, and the Holy Land. She was raised in a family of 11 children, homeschooled through her education and currently works with their 10 family businesses as bookkeeper and marketing director. She volunteers half of the summer helping and ministering to young girls and Christian families. Amber loves history, culture, reading and music. She has a musical ministry and travels throughout the United States ministering thru song. During her spare time she enjoys crafting Christ-honoring stories that will inspire and encourage her readers. Amber currently lives with her family outside of Colorado Springs, CO. 

15 comments:

  1. Definitely bookmarking this one for later. Thanks so much, Amber!

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    1. Glad you enjoyed the post Angie! Do you have any questions on launch teams that was not addressed in this post?

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  2. Since I've been thinking about putting one together for the release of my second book in the series, this is truly invaluable info. Thank you! Does the Launch Team receive anything in return for their efforts on my part?

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Karen.Yes, the author does typically offer an incentive. There's a lot of things that you can do, and it's all up to you. A lot of it depends on your budget too, so just be creative. I would suggest as one of the incentives offering them a free copy of your book. This way they can read it, love it, review it and talk to all of their friends about it. I'll be covering this question in more detail in Part 2 on Oct 23rd,

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    1. It was a pleasure to have you on my team, Debbie! Thank you so much for all you do! :)

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  4. Very informative post, Amber! I'd heard this term before but didn't know what it was or how to get one. :) Thanks for demystifying it! I don't know enough about the subject to know what to ask, but I'm looking forward to the next post on the 23rd! Keep posting those links and announcements on Facebook, the ACFW loop, and the Christian Authors page, because that's how I find out! My short-term memory isn't the best, lol, and I wouldn't want to miss it!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Natalie. I am so glad the post was helpful for you. :)

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  5. All great points, Amber. Thanks for sharing your experience.

    In recruiting your launch team, do you give them a start/finish date? Or do you leave their support time open-ended? You say not everyone is active at one time. What is the percentage of people who volunteer, but for one reason or another, don't participate?

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    1. Those are some great questions Sandy!
      I think you could do it either way. With my launch team, I told them that most of the action would happen during the certain months and that if any time they no longer wanted to participate, that was fine. When my next book comes out, I will post on the page and let them know that they each have the option to continue as a part of my launch team, or they can bow out. I will require confirmation that they would like to participate before sending them a free copy of the new book.

      Yes, just like in anything, you will have only a certain percentage of people who are really active on your launch team. I currently have 16 members on my facebook page, and about 8-10 on an email loop, but only 6-8 of them actively respond, post and share. I can't really track how many people actually visit the links on the page though.
      I hope that answers your question. I will talk about this a bit more in part 2. :)

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    2. I'm looking forward to part two. I liked how you addressed in your comment how their support will flow into the launch of future books. Thanks!

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  6. Very helpful, Amber! I'm definitely looking forward to your next post.

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    1. Thanks Dawn, so glad you stopped by! :)

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  7. I like this idea a lot, Amber. With 2 books coming out soon, I'm giving it serious consideration.

    Do you also have a prayer support group?

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    1. My launch team is also my prayer team. I post prayer requests to the group, not only for myself and my writing, but I also try to give my team an opportunity to request prayer. We'll talk more about team relationships in Part 2. :)
      Thanks for stopping by Susan!

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