Monday, April 19, 2021

Take Your Book Launch Team to the Next Level with Pizzazz & Power

by Karen Whiting @KarenHWhiting

Launch teams also called street teams or scream teams encourage members to spread the word about the new book everywhere. Start asking people to sign up several months before the release and include people who already love your writing. Checkout to learn about starting a team. Let’s add pizzazz to make it fun and power teams up with effective strategy.


Plan Ahead

Start with listing your goals and incentives. Then share with your team your vision of support and hopes of the launch as well your task plans. Include expected post, frequency, expectations of sharing posts, reviews, and more. Let them know of planned FB lives, online meetings, or any personal benefits such as consulting if the book is for an audience who might benefit from a session.


Incentives inspire participation. Some people use a point system to gain a special incentive. It’s a call to action. It might be 5 points for each social media likes, 2 points for comments posted each week, 30 points if you ordered a copy of the book, etc. Be clear on how you want to know if someone ordered a copy.


Add in ideas to make it the book launch fun, such as games, guests who had a part in the book (contributed a story, made meals while you wrote, etc.), or anecdotes of what happened on the publication journey. People like inside information just for them.


Janet McHenry brought in guests to a live launch event for graduates when she had a book for graduates released. Each shared their story from the book. This can be done with prerecorded clips or on a zoom call with your team.


Games with a Purpose

Many team members like games, especially if you do an online party. Choose games that tie to your book or develop more promotional material.

  • Word scramble or word search with related to facts about the book such as the setting or problems addressed, or topics covered. This helps team members get familiar with the contents of the book. One done after they’ve read the book could use character names or solutions offered in the book.
  • Trivia facts about you the author they may not know. This can add to what they will share as they spread the word about the book, especially if it includes some humor or fascinating facts.
  • Mad libs of one paragraph or page from your book can be hilarious and an opportuity to share what really happened in that section.
  • Meme caption contests can build posts for you. I put out photos for team members to write captions. We voted on the best caption with a prize to the person who wrote it. One was a mama bear with a baby bear racked out on her back to go with my book for moms. This gave me more captions to use on photos I like. 
  • Find it fast. Pick a page number from your book and see who can find the full phrase/sentence of a word you read from the page.

To think of more games, join a few launch teams or participate in an online launch party. Carl McAdoo holds a new party for multi-authors who have releases that month and they post lots of games.


Make the Most of Incentives

Sending gifts as free downloads of physical ones shows you care. My friend Sue Kuenzi was touched when she took in a book launch. The authors sent every member a journal with a copy of the book and asked members to share their own stories. That brought more engagement. The right prizes make a big difference.


Match the incentives to your book or brand. For my Growing a Mother’s Heart new release, I had some cute mom plaques that reflected colors of the book and also used gardening gloves and tools as a reminder of the word growing. With a craft book coming up the end of the year that I am co-authoring with my daughter Rebecca White, we are creating some craft kits as incentives. 


Consider the reasons for incentives. Yes, some are simply to keep up enthusiasm. Others may be to get people involved or a call to action. I gave you a free pdf book to anyone who invited someone to join the group (even if they did not join). The new members increased the group size by 33% ad added excitement as we welcomed new members.


Set incentive rules. Will someone be able to win every week? Or will they not win again but have their name put in to the drawing for the grand prize? Or is there a reset on winning mid-way through the launch? Does every task does completed count, or just weekly goals met add an extra ticket to the grand prize drawing? Be clear when you post a list of incentives how people win.


Gain From Team Members

Ask members for quotes that impacted them, favorite stories, and sections. That helps you choose what to post and blog about. Ask what images come to mind and use those as fodder for creating memes.


Read reviews posted to use some as quotes to post. Share the reviews. The reviews can give you more insight into your reader and the great selling points of the book.


Take Your Book Launch Team to the Next Level with Pizzazz & Power - @KarenHWhiting on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)


Make your next launch a great success and share what works with other writers!

Karen Whiting (WWW.KARENWHITING.COM) is an international speaker, former television host of Puppets on Parade, certified writing and marketing coach, and award-winning author of twenty-seven books for women, children, and families. Her newest book, The Gift of Bread: Recipes for the Heart and the Table reflects her passion for bread and growing up helping at her grandparent’s restaurant. Check out her newest book Growing a Mother’s Heart: Devotions of Faith, Hope, and Love from Mothers Past, Present, and Future. It's full of heartwarming and teary eyed stories of moms.

Karen has a heart to grow tomorrow’s wholesome families today. She has written more than eight hundred articles for more than sixty publications and loves to let creativity splash over the pages of what she writes. She writes for Crosswalk. Connect with Karen on Twitter @KarenHWhiting Pinterest KarenWhiting FB KarenHWhiting


  1. Thank you Karen for these great, specific ideas.

    As I first read them it seemed an overwhelming amount of good planning needed, but then the thought came that they were just like the many elaborate-themed birthday parties that I enjoyed executing in the past.

    In fact on Easter - just 2 weeks ago - my 3 kids ages 17-26 had to search for clues and then figure them out to find their family present. It was lots of laughs AND they were fully engaged for the hour it took them. Hmmm

    Thanks for turning book-launches from work into a fun creative challenge. Seems much more doable now! :)

  2. Great perspective! To do it all in one day or week would be overwhelming. But. making a list of what you like from the post and working on those one at a time is not so bad. I have three books in a row releasing in the fall-one each of three months, so that will be a bit crazy. I will actually d the launch on the December one in January. We have to make workable choices.

  3. Great ideas Karen. You have wonderful book launches.