The idea of a street team first became popular back in the 1970’s when record label’s would approach savvy young teenagers and get them to hand out music posters, and other goodies, as well as, get them to buy whatever record happened to be the hoped for hit of the moment. While popular at the time and before home computers were around, the idea sort of died out over time. That is until it got reinvented for the publishing industry in the mid-2000’s. Not all authors choose to create street teams, but those that do sometimes find it a useful marketing tool.
In the case of the publishing industry and authors, a street team is a group of readers who join together to help get the word out about an author’s book. Each street team is different. Some just operate online only, and others both online and offline. Here are some examples of what authors ask their street teams to do:
1. Hand out bookmarks, magnets, pens, pencils and other swag to those who they think will be interested in the author’s books.
3. Write honest reviews and post them to Amazon, B&N and other booksellers.
5. Blog about what they thought about the author’s latest release.
7. Start what are essentially “fan clubs” in different large cities while still being part of the overall street team group.
9. Go into bookstores and re-shelve the author’s books in the bestseller sections.
11. Go into their local bookstores and ask them to order their author’s book so it’s on the shelves if it isn’t already.
13. Buy the author’s books the first week they release to have a better chance for said author to make it to the bestseller list.
15. Go into their local bookstores and ask the store to make available bookmarks, flyers and other swag to visitors to the store.
17. Leave bookmarks, flyers etc. at their local library to hand out or placed somewhere readers can pick them up.
19. Share the author’s book trailer on their blog.
21. Visit when the author has chats or is on a blog tour or blog hop and comment.
22. Not everything on this list is necessarily ethical for a street team member to do, but most all of them authors have requested of their street team. So, is a street team for you as an author? Only you can make that decision. Stay tuned for my next article, “The Pros and Cons of Having an Author’s Street Team.”