Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Book Launch Teams – What Authors Need to Know, Part 1

by Cynthia Owens @EfficiencyAdict

I love it when I get to talk with people who are a few steps (or many) down a road I want to travel. Last month I had the privilege of interviewing four authors about their experiences with book launch teams, and over the next few posts, I’ll be sharing their top insights with you.

There’s a lot that goes into building a book launch team.

Practical Steps To Build Your Team

1. Consider Your Team Type
Book launch teams and an author’s role in them can vary greatly depending on the writer. Some authors form groups for each book while others keep the same team over years. Romantic suspense author Rachel Dylan shared that her team started as a reader’s group and evolved. The point? There’s no one right way to develop a book launch team. However, there are some important questions to ask yourself as you envision your dream group:
  • Is the focus of this team strictly marketing or do you want a more communal feel where marketing is just one piece of the process?
  • Do you want to form a new team for each book or have a group that stays with you as you write and launch multiple projects?
  • What level of sharing and interaction do you feel comfortable doing on a regular basis?
  • Is there a larger mission or passion surrounding your team? This could be the mission of sharing God’s Word with readers or a passion for reading romantic suspense, history, following the royals, etc.

Key Point: There are no right or wrong answers to these questions but having a vision for what you want will help you make better choices building your team. 

Romantic suspense author Lynn Blackburn shared, “I’m very relational so I can’t stand the idea of it being just a business transaction. Yes, these readers are getting a free book and some goodies, but my overall hope is we become friends.” 

2. Get Help
Sometimes we writers feel like we have to do it all. However, there are people who are willing to help us if we ask. Some authors mentioned friends or relatives who designed cool items as giveaways for their contests. These authors didn’t pay for this help. Those people were excited about the authors’ books and willingly donated their skills.

You can even find volunteers to coordinate your team. Mesu Andrews has had an on-going street team since her third Biblical fiction novel launched in 2013. When she started, she put a post on Facebook asking if anyone would be willing to help her coordinate a street team. Two people responded, one nearby and one halfway around the world. Those two ladies met with Mesu via online talks, and together, they coordinated activities to bond her street team and launch Mesu’s books. 

Key Point: Help rarely knocks on our doors. To receive help, we need to ask.

3. Plan Ahead
When questioned about the biggest surprise she had overseeing a launch team for her devotional books, Cathy Baker responded, “The amount of time required to follow through the way I desired.” Each of the authors confirmed how vital it is to have a plan and a system. Some of their top tips in this area include:
  • Using Google Docs: This tool can capture information from member applications and help you share information if you have people coordinating your team.
  • Creating a Timeline: Include items such as when emails need to be sent, when actions need to be taken on social media, when contests will start and end, etc.
  • Pre-Writing Critical Emails: Have team emails ready before the book launch starts, so they can be sent according to your timeline. This would also apply to critical Facebook posts if you’re going to have a closed Facebook group to coordinate your team instead of email. 
  • Keeping Lists of Promotions, Contests, Giveaways, Etc. 

Key Point: The more you plan ahead, the less stress you’ll feel as you work through your book’s launch. 

Next month, we’ll discuss tips for choosing team members. In the meantime, you can learn more about our helpful author panel by clicking the links to their websites below:

What can you share about running or being a member of a book launch team? I’d love to hear your insights in the Comments section below.


Planning to market your book with a Book Launch Team? What you need to know first - @EfficiencyAdict on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

Cynthia Owens is The Efficiency Addict, a technical trainer helping writers, speakers and small business owners work more effectively. For more writing and small business tips, connect with Cynthia on Twitterand Pinterest. Cynthia’s new website www.CCOwens.comGrace for every dayis currently in development. Readers can follow her weekly posts to see how a website is created and have input into the process.


  1. Great counsel Ms. Cynthia. So much to learn. God's blessings ma'am...

  2. Great information, Cynthia. It was an honor to be included in your interview. I enjoyed learning from the other authors and I look forward to the next installment.

  3. Thanks for sharing this isnformative post about dream market I have read your blog and totally gone through it. Althought Your blog have really much creative for the trends of now a days. I like your spirit of writing. Great Keep it Up!

  4. This is great, Cynthia! I love hearing what works for other authors!!! Thanks for letting me be a part of it. :) Looking forward to this entire series!

  5. Great post. Very informative. Thanks for sharing. I look forward to the next installment!

  6. Cynthia, This is great and so timely. I was thinking that I have trouble inspiring my own friends and family to help in this book marketing thing. How in the world will I ever be able to get people I don't know to help? I can sure use, not just the tips, but the encouragement. Looking forward to more. Donevy~

    1. Glad this is coming at the right time. Later in the series I'm going to share some of the activities and ways these authors keep their teams motivated. Hope it gives you some ideas you can use. I know these ladies had me writing fast and furiously to capture all their good tips!