Why Authors Need Launch Teams

February 5th, 2013

An author can only do so much to promote his or her book. I know it’s hard to believe, but authors are just like us—they only have twenty-four hours in a day. So when a book is about to launch, between marketing meetings, possible book signings, doing the all-important publicity for the book, (more than likely) writing the next book, and doing other odd projects here and there, twenty-four hours seem a bit too short to complete everything and more to make a book a success.

The solution? A launch team.

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A launch team is a select group of people who are passionate about the topic of the book, are fans of the author, or have some connection to the subject matter who volunteer to spread the word about the book through a variety of media and avenues. Word of mouth is key to a book’s success, but more than that, word of mouth in the first few weeks leading up to and after a book’s release is absolutely essential.

Here at Litfuse, we’ve recently ventured into launch teams (sometimes called ‘street teams’). What we do is we create a launch team based on online and local influence. The select group of bloggers, fans, and readers are put into a forum of some sort (we prefer Facebook groups), through which they can communicate easily and collaborate on projects. Because we, like everyone else, only have so many hours in a day, we act more as administrators and overseers of the launch team; the team itself produces the products it will use to promote the book.

From our experience, the launch team members are creative, excited, and motivated, which makes for a great combination. They come up with ideas like creating pins, videos, tweets, Facebook posts, blog posts, giveaways, giveaway hops, photo albums, slideshows, animated postcards, web banners, interviews, hosting events, getting the books into their local libraries, etc.

So the key to making a book a success is word of mouth (and a launch team can achieve that), but the key to making the launch team a success is you, the author. During the planning and implementing stages of the launch team, you have to be involved. Your involvement will encourage the launch team members to do their best, and when they see you’re invested in making the book a success, they’ll be invested, too. So don’t expect your launch team to do all the work for you; remember that they’re people with day jobs and families who are doing this voluntarily (and the only compensation they receive is the book).

A launch team should feel like a community where the author is the “leader.” It should be a place where members can brainstorm freely and make new friends. And if you follow these guidelines, a launch team should be a success—and therefore, your book should be, also.

*Photo: Image courtesy of ddpavumba / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Caitlin Israel

{More About Caitlin Israel}

Caitlin (Chick Incubator) works as Litfuse’s director of operations. When she isn’t blogging or on Twitter, she’s at her local coffee shop with her Kindle Fire, browsing Pinterest and reading. @remixher

Find out more about Caitlin at http://litfusegroup.com/about/meet-the-team.
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