Have you been thinking about creating an author’s street team? Not sure if it’s for you? There a lot of reasons that authors decide to create street teams, creating a wider marketing reach, reaching new fans and getting new readers, the idea of spending less time on marketing and allowing others to help you, and the list goes on. But…and this is a big but, there are drawbacks to creating an author’s street team.
Here are the cons of creating your own author’s street team:
1. If you’re doing a monthly giveaway, members may join and participate simply because there is the possibility of a prize.
2. Some fans may become disgruntled when month after month they don’t win the prize and turn on you. Where you had a fan before, now you have an archenemy who is out not to get others to buy your books, but to not buy them.
3. Not all of your members are going to promote you in an ethical or even friendly manner. For example, they do more than share your books with others. They begin using harassment and intimidation techniques trying to force others to buy your books.
4. If your members practice what bookstores consider to be less than ethical methods, such as for example taking your books off their shelf and putting them in place of others in the bestseller section, it may have the opposite effect. Rather than stocking your books in their bookstore, they may choose to tear off the front cover and send them back, as well as, to stop stocking them altogether.
5. There is the possibility of one of your fans and members becoming a dangerous stalker. Just like with movie stars, there are authors who have had problems with stalkers, or fans that make the mistake of thinking they somehow have a personal relationship with you that goes beyond loving your books. As such, you owe them something. Whether that is your time, or attention doesn’t matter, when it goes bad it can go really bad. So it’s something to keep in mind.
While these are not all of the cons that can occur with having your own author’s street team, they are certainly some of the worst ones, and something to keep in mind if you’re going to start an author’s street team.