Many of you wrote asking how I built my Street Team Family. Here are three easy steps to start with:
First, write a great book…then write another and another.
Second, make it easy for readers to reach you. I prefer collecting email addresses for a mailing list, but others use Facebook groups/pages, Yahoo loops, message boards.
Whatever you use, as long as it’s easy for readers to use and fosters two-way communication. I would suggest using online turf that you own and control such as a newsletter list or your own message board built into your website rather than “share cropping” on another site.
Third, once your books are published, create something special for your readers. A short story or a free book, a reader appreciation gift. Invite your readers to send you links to their reviews. Then email them to thank them and offer the reader appreciation gift as well as a chance to sign up for a special Street Team mailing list.
Let them know that you’ll guard their privacy but by joining this group they’ll have access to behind the scenes exclusives, sneak peaks at new books, maybe some physical swag like bookmarks, etc.
Whatever you feel comfortable in offering them. And ask them to help spread the word about your books to their friends.
Soon you’ll have a Street Team! Doesn’t matter if it’s five people or fifty, it’s a dedicated group of fans willing to share their love for your books with the world.
Two keys to the care and feeding of your Street Team:
Don’t make it all about you—invite their input and feedback. Check in with them every few months to keep them engaged and excited.
Don’t make it all about them. Yes, you appreciate them for being the fans they are, but it’s not about only giving them swag. You expect something in return. Be clear about that—but also make it easy for them. Provide sample tweets and Facebook posts. Give them concrete, clear actions they can take to help you.
And don’t forget to ASK them to do what you want them to do—they won’t read between the lines, so don’t be coy. If you want them to do something, ask for it.
Here’s a sample of my own Street Team email when I was asking for volunteers who would read an advance copy of an upcoming release in exchange for an honest review:
CJ Lyons’ Street Team Update
Happy New Years! And Happy Birthday to me!
(I know, I’m such a typical Capricorn, aren’t I?)
It might be my birthday, but it’s time for me to give you guys another FREE read!
This time it’s an Advanced Readers’ Copy of my new book from St. Martins, BLACK SHEEP.
BLACK SHEEP is the sequel to BLIND FAITH and features FBI Special Agent Caitlyn Tierney. It will be released on February 26th but St. Martins Press has arranged for 100 e-galleys to be released exclusively to my Street Team Family!
If you enjoyed BLIND FAITH and are interested in reviewing BLACK SHEEP and helping to spread the word about it to all your friends, here’s how you can get your copy:
- Reply to this email BEFORE JANUARY 6th, giving me your name and the email address you want St. Martins and the folks at NetGalley to contact you at. (Note: They have promised me that these emails will be used this one time only and not harvested for any other purposes. Because you all know how much I hate spam!
- St. Martins Press will email you with the details on how to enter the NetGalley website (I believe you may have to register, but they’ll walk you through everything) in order to download the e-galley of BLACK SHEEP
- Enjoy your advance copy of BLACK SHEEP!
I will email all of you in February to let you know when BLACK SHEEP goes live and that it’s time for the winners of the advanced copies to post their reviews.
Please note that we only have 100 copies available, so if you’re not sure or won’t have time to read BLACK SHEEP before February 26th, please give someone else the chance to win one.
Want to pre-order BLACK SHEEP for yourself or as a gift? Click HERE
Thanks for helping me celebrate my birthday and BLACK SHEEP’s release!
PS: I’ll send you all a reminder notice once BLACK SHEEP is available.
And here’s the f/u email I’ll send them once the book is live to remind them to post their reviews and help spread the word:
CJ Lyons’ Street Team Update
Thanks to all of you who posted early reviews of BLACK SHEEP! And for all the wonderful notes praising Caitlyn’s adventures.
BLACK SHEEP goes live today, so please leave your review on Amazon, BN, Goodreads, or your favorite book site.
Even if you weren’t able to get one of the review copies (sorry, we only had 100 to offer) please help spread the word about BLACK SHEEP to all your friends who love Thrillers with Heart.
Here are a few sample Tweets and FaceBook posts to make life easy for you, and feel free to download the cover of BLACK SHEEP to share as well:
New from NYT Bestseller @CJLyonswriter: BLACK SHEEP http://ow.ly/hms1o #kindle http://ow.ly/hms7K #nook Get yours today!
Love Thrillers with Heart? NYT Bestseller CJ Lyons “delves deep into the human soul ” (RT Book Reviews) with her latest, BLACK SHEEP. Grab your copy today! http://ow.ly/hms1o
Want to grab a copy of BLACK SHEEP for yourself or a friend? Click http://ow.ly/hms1o
Thanks for helping me celebrate BLACK SHEEP’s release!