Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Book Launch Teams – What Authors Need to Know that Will Make an Author's Life Easier

by Cynthia Owens @EfficiencyAdict

We’ve been studying book launch teams for several months. In previous articles, I shared insights on how to run a launch team well from authors Mesu Andrews, Cathy Baker, Lynn Blackburn, and Rachel Dylan. Today, we’re going to focus on tips that make an author’s life easier during a book launch.

1. Guard Your Writing Time
There’s always another project in the works. “It’s so easy to get sucked into market, market, market,” Mesu Andrews shared. However, as you launch one book, you may be in the midst of proofing the next one in the series, writing something completely new, or both. Protecting your writing time is critical, which is why this tip is coming in my third post. You need to implement the tips in the first two articles to be sure this one happens. If you haven’t read the other articles in this series, find them here: 

Easy Does It Note: Launching a book is stressful. By carving out time for writing, you’ll be calmer through the process.

2. Rally Around Your Team Member’s Projects
The people on your team are there because they love your books, but they have projects happening in their lives, too. Whenever possible, encourage your team members to share what they’re doing. Teams that are on-going, as opposed to those that form for one book and disband, have an easier time making this happen. Longstanding team members build a camaraderie that lends itself to sharing. And we all know, those that enjoy a community are more likely to actively participate in it.

Easy Does It Note: So many authors struggle with promoting themselves or asking others to help. By developing a true relationship with team members, you’ll feel more confident going to them with your needs. You might even be able to help them with some of theirs.

3. Steal Ideas—And Share Them, Too
Talk with other authors and people you know who are on street teams. Learn from their experience. What activities, contests, and team building events are they doing? Keep a list of the items you want to try. Ask top authors at conferences what they recommend and what they don’t. Ask why for each. Get together with authors you know to brainstorm. And visit here next month for my final article in this series – 10 Ideas for What to Do with Your Book Launch Team.

Easy Does It Note: Don’t waste precious creative energy trying to design unique launch team activities. Find out what works and run with it. 

4. Encourage Participation with Contests
Authors can tell street team members what they need—reviews, shares on social media, requests made to local libraries to stock a book—but give team members a contest with prizes, and you’ll galvanize them into action. When Lynn Blackburn’s book Beneath the Surface launched in early March, she did a “March Madness” contest. Each week, team members submitted the actions they had taken to promote the book. Every action entered the member in that week’s drawing for prizes such as a $10 Amazon gift card, extra book swag, a special coffee mug, or another cool reader item. At the end of the month, all entries were pooled for a final grand prize drawing. It was a great way to get members excited. Contests can also help re-energize groups that may have grown quiet between launches.
Easy Does It Note: When you need something done and you don’t want to nag, try a contest. Which would you rather say? “Please, pretty please, post your reviews on Amazon in the next two days.” OR “Two days left to get in the drawing for this week’s prize. Double points for posting a review on Amazon.”  

5. Miscellaneous Tips
A few final words of wisdom from our author panel:

“Keep things simple. The more complicated it is for readers to read and review the less success you will have.” ~ Rachel Dylan

“It’s easy to become self-consumed during a book launch. Remember, that although it may feel that it’s all about us during this process, it’s not.” ~Cathy Baker

You can learn more about the writers who shared tips for this series 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.


Author Tips – A round up of ideas for making book launch teams easy - @EfficiencyAdict on @EdieMelson #marketing #writing (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 Twitter and Pinterest. Cynthia’s new website www.CCOwens.com Grace 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. Just be aware that "double points for posting a review on Amazon" is both against Amazon's reviewing guidelines, and annoys those members of your team who aren't permitted to review your books on Amazon.

    Apart from that, good tips. I especially like the one about not reinventing the wheel. Stick with what's worked for others.

  2. Am always learning something new I can add to my "Writer's Toolkit." Thanks Ms. Cynthia. In 40+ years of writing success, I've tried to always keep learning. As I migrate to following God's call to write, sites like this make my learning much easier. God's blessings...

  3. This is interesting in that you're suggesting other authors be on your launch team. I've had mostly readers. However, I can see the advantage of other authors. But I would think you'd change the "requirements" for their involvement to be less time consuming. Right?

    1. Not necessarily. Authors are readers, too. And both have obligations--work, family, etc. Authors need to understand what they're asking of their team members. At times, they may not be able to participate in everything, but then, there are times when the non-authors are too busy as well.

  4. This is interesting. I always feel so overwhelmed. Since I've been looking at marketing there are times I want to go sit in my closet and suck my thumb...well, just figuratively, but there is always so much work. Sigh.