Friday, January 8, 2016

Building a Dream Team Part 1

Marketing your book should never be something you do completely on your own. And your spot in publishing should not feel like a remote island in the middle of an ocean. Is it time that you build a solid list of influencers and dream team members? How do you go about finding the "good" ones? Do you expect them to do all the work of promoting your book on their own and what all should you expect from them--does it stop at a simple book review on Amazon? Over the next couple of weeks, I will be sharing on how to empower your sphere of readers to send them out to promote (and sell) your books.

So let’s start with the basics:

What exactly is a dream team?

A Dream Team (also known as a street team) promotes your book with unabashed enthusiasm and support. These are the people that are always going to say a good word about your book. Are always going to be willing to promote and put your name and book out there.

They are your biggest fans. Always willing to share a tweet, Facebook message or recommendation, these are people who have probably read your books previously, or have critiqued for you or been with you through thick and thin to see you published.

A team that always, always puts a positive word for you out on the internet and face to face. There is no compromise to this fact. The saying that if can’t say something nice, say nothing at all? That applies to the max here and should be taken seriously by your Dream Team.

So how do you find these people?

The core people on your team should be readers who are absolutely devoted to your success.

How do you find them? These people most commonly are:

Close friends.
Readers of your books and have been avidly promoting on their own.
Industry comrades.
People from a variety of backgrounds and social media experience.

Let’s break down what it looks like to find those people.

Here are a few questions to ask of your close friends:

Have they been reading your books and liking them?
Are they unafraid of promotion and approaching strangers on the street to buy your book?
Are they active on at least two social medias, posting frequently (at least a couple times a month?)
Do they like you and would do anything for you?

Now let’s define the kind of readers you want on your team:

These are the people who have emailed you saying how GREAT your book is.

Now go read some of their reviews—are they coherent and ring with praise as highly as they say? Sometimes what someone says in an email or a Facebook message isn’t really what they say in their review.

See what they say of other books…are they tactful about reviewing a book they don’t like? This is important in case they ever not like your book—are they spiteful and mean, lacking tact in their review? Hopefully they would never write a review for your book if they don’t like it, but it’s good to know this going in.

Are they simply out for a free book?

What social medias are they active on? Don’t be too hard on this point. Some of the best people I’ve worked with have only been active on one media.

Are they part of other street or dream teams?

Give them a chance. No dream or street team has to keep the same members year to year, though it’s best if you can.

I would encourage you to have industry peers in your group. Here’s a couple reasons why:

No one else truly understands how important word of mouth is to the success of a book.
Writers are readers first and foremost.
They understand the industry and probably have a wide reach into a pool of writers through their social media connections

Above ALL else have variety:

Your close friends vs industry peers are going to have a different audience—the best Dream Team to have is one that has members all with a different reach in audience so the same people don’t keep getting reached over and over again.

By spreading out your resources, you have the potential of reaching more people. Otherwise you promote your book to the same audience who quickly become tired of hearing from you.

Next time we’ll talk about how to best work with your Dream Team, but this is just a quick (or not so quick) overview of how to build your Dream Team.

Question: do you work with a Dream Team or are you part of any Dream Teams? 

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Casey Herringshaw is a homeschool graduate and has been writing since high school. She lives in colorful Colorado where she gets to live her dream stalking--er--visiting with her favorite CO authors. 


Julia M. Reffner said...

Great post, Case! You are just the one to write about this. I have been part of dream teams, but I think most of them have been called launch teams. Is this just a change in name or are they different? Now because of my freelancing background I am cautious and prayerful about how and why I participate.

Meghan Gorecki said...

Fantastic post, Casey. :) Can't wait to one day set up my own "dream"/launch team. I'm a part of a few launch teams and it's been so great to come alongside the authors and spread the word about their releases...aaaand glean promotional ideas for when I someday get the chance to release my own book(s). :)

Robin Mason said...

i, too, have wondered the differene in "dream team" "launch team" or as jeff goins (i think) calls it "tribe." i guess i see them all pretty much the same. (i call mine robin's little flock, tee hee hee)
with your post ini hand (literally, i printed it) i will evaluate who is on my team and see if they want to remain. i'll also recruit from my industry friends and connections to strengthen my team.
thanks so much, Casey, for such a valuable and timely post!

ps, typing with a wounded paw....

Rebecca Krusee said...

Congratulations on making Top 100 Blogs!

Rebecca Krusee said...

Congratulations on making Top 100 Blogs!

Cara Putman said...

What a great post with awesome tips. Need to bookmark this one!