Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Ten Steps to Creating a Book Launch Team, Part One by Anita Higman

Today, we're looking at book launch teams again to get the experience of another author, Anita Higman. This will be a two-part post. Part Two will run on March 12. -- Sandy

Anita: Perhaps you’re asking, “So, what is a book launch team?” It’s a merry band of readers who like your work well enough to create buzz about your new books in exchange for free autographed books, prizes, and insider information about your latest releases. Your team’s buzz can be in the form of reviews, social media, blogging, and anything else that will get the word out about your new book. Okay, now that you know what this wonderful new promotion avenue is, you can begin to travel down this road with these ten steps.

1. Setting up an Online Home
Before you can invite your guests to this ongoing book party, you’ll need to create a special hosting site to house your private group. Since I am clueless how to pull this off I hired my webmaster to create a beautiful page on Facebook that would coordinate perfectly with my website as well as my Reader Page. If you’re clever and techno savvy, which I am not, you can set it all up on your own.

2. You’ll Want a Jazzy Title
I decided to call my book launch team Backstage Pass, and I call these amazing women in my group, Backstage Beauties. And believe me, they are beautiful in every way, not just because they promote my books, but because they have become friends who are precious to me.

3. It Shouldn’t Always Be About You
I discovered that for my team to spend all their waking moments thinking about me and buzzing about me, well, it was going to get a little strange. I was at risk of becoming a narcissist. So, Backstage Pass is also about the members too. Once or twice a week I post a “getting to know you question.” And they really do participate. Also, we share prayer requests, and that has also helped to foster a caring environment. We have truly built a community of women who not only like to read my stories but who also care about each other. In fact, these women have become so important in my life that I’ve dedicated my next book to them.

4. How Many Team Members Should You Have?
Right now I have 73 members, but I intend to slowly grow the group to 100. There are some members who don’t participate, some who drop in once in a while to leave a comment or help out with some promotion, and then there are others who are committed to creating some serious buzz. I am grateful for them all. I feel honored that they would want to be a part of the group. But as far as numbers, I do think if you go over 150 members you would lose that intimate feel of community that makes this kind of group so special.

5. Make it Fun
Run contest for prizes. We celebrate every time we reach ten new members in our group. I ask a novel-related question and do a giveaway that is also connected to the book. The last prize I gave away was a silver charm bracelet festooned with a tiny musical charm, because this type of bracelet was important in my new book release, Winter in Full Bloom

Anita has five more tips for setting up launch teams, so be sure to read the rest of her advice on March 12. In the meantime, do you have any questions, experience, or suggestions of your own? Do you think book launch teams are a worthwhile tool in your marketing kit?


~~~

Best-selling and award-winning author, Anita Higman, has thirty-six books published. She’s been a
Barnes & Noble “Author of the Month” for Houston and has a BA in the combined fields of speech communication, psychology, and art. Anita loves good movies, exotic teas, and brunch with her friends.

Please visit her website at www.anitahigman.com and drop her a note by clicking the “Contact Me” button. 

9 comments:

  1. So timely! I'm doing this now with my scheduled Nov. release of WINK OF AN EYE. I'll mark my calendar for part 2.

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    1. Thanks, Lynn. Let us know how yours goes in November.

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  2. Awesome tips, Anita. One question: So this online home you created is in addition to your facebook fan page? If so, what do you do differently on your fan page?

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  3. Good morning!
    In answer to your question, yes, it's seperate group from my Reader Page on Facebook. It's a closed group (invitation only). But it works well. The rest of your question will probably be answered when the rest of my tips are posted. But in this street team, they get my books for free in exchange for all kinds of buzz. Hope that helps.

    Blessings!

    Aniat Higman

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    1. It would help if I spelled my name correctly. I guess I need a spell-checker everywhere I go! :)

      Anita Higman

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  4. Terrific information, Anita. I am dreadful with promo, so this post is definitely one I will come back to...and the follow up, too. Thanks for the help! And Dora, thanks for the great question. I don't even know how to promo the FB author page. Hugs to all at this great blog...

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  5. Great info! Marketing is so hard, at least for me, and this sounds like a fun and inventive way.

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    1. If you try this, Terri, keep us posted on what you learned and how it went.

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