- What is a Launch Team & Why Do You Want One?
- How Do You Manage Your Launch Team
- When Do You Recruit Your Launch Team?
- How Do You Recruit Your Launch Team?
- Getting Influencers to Promote Your Launch
- What Do You Offer People In Return?
- When and How Do You Send Out Your ARCs?
- When Do You Ask For A Review?
- What Tools Do You Give Your Launch Team?
- When Do You Ask Them to Promote?
- How Do You Keep Them Motivated?
- What Do You Do Next?
What is a Launch Team & Why Do You Want One?
How Do You Manage Your Launch Team
When Do You Recruit Your Launch Team?
Another couple of factors that will affect how long you need to have to set up your launch team are the size of your team and how engaged your platform is.
However, if you want to set up a very large launch team, like several hundred people, then you're going to have to start much further in advance, so you have time to recruit everyone, get them pumped up and meeting each other and then give them book with enough time to read it. Realistically for this you're going to need around 2 months (60 days).
How Do You Recruit Your Launch Team?
When it comes to recruiting a launch team you have one of three options. Firstly, you can go the application route, secondly you can do a random drawing of applicants and lastly you can accept (within reason) whoever says yes.
You'll want to collect their name and email address, but if you're going to be choosing people like a true application, you have the option of putting other questions on the form as well. Basically you want to find out how they can help promote your book. So include questions, like, "Why should we pick you?", "How can you spread the word about this book?", or "Who are 3 major bloggers, or podcasters you know and how do you know them?"
These kinds of questions, while aggressive, can mean that people will do some of their research and commit to your launch before they even apply to be on your team. Plus once you launch, you can then reach out to those bloggers or podcasters and say, "so-and-so said I should reach out to you about my book launch".
Application with Random Drawing
Again you need a big platform for this method. It's where you do the application process, like above, but instead of asking them the extra questions, you simply do a random drawing of all the people that apply. I've seen this done to great effect by Michael Hyatt and Pat Flynn, to mention a few. It's a less aggressive method, which means you can have a number of true fans, who have no list or connections, still be part of your launch team.
This method is if you have little to no platform. If you're going to struggle getting 20 people on your launch team, you can't be fussy about who you get. You might still want a form for them to sign up with, so you can use the autoresponder software to manage them, however, more than likely you'll be emailing or connecting with individual people and asking them one on one to join your team.
Getting The Word Out There About Your Launch Team
Getting Influencers To Promote Your launch
This doesn't mean saying, "Hi", then asking them to promote your book the next day. It takes time to build that relationship.
It's like dating, you wouldn't expect to get a 'yes' if you asked someone to marry you on the first or second date. So put the time in now by helping them achieve their goals. If they have a podcast, leave them a review. If they have a book, leave them a review. If they have a blog, share their posts. Build that relationship.
Then when it comes time for your book launch, ask. The worst that can happen, if you ask nicely, is that they'll say 'no'. However, if you don't ask, it's a guaranteed 'no'.
What Do You Offer People In Return?
The ARC of Your Book
Obviously you need to give your launch team a free copy of the actual book or ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) as it's known.
Private Facebook Group
Another fairly common benefit is a private Facebook group. This is where your team have access to you and you can discuss what you're doing for the book launch, ask for votes on potential book covers, titles and subtitles, as well as brainstorm creative marketing ideas for the launch.
Exclusive Webinar / Group Q&A Call
For fiction authors, just having a launch party works really well. You can invite other fiction author friends to come on the call and giveaway a signed copy of their book to your launch team. You could do a short reading from your book, and give away any other swag you've created like a bookmark.
To give you some inspiration, here are some examples of amazing launch team benefit ideas:
When & How Do You Send Out Your ARCs?
Once again, there's a definite sweet spot of how far in advance you want to send out your ARCs. About 2-3 weeks before your launch date seems to be the ideal time frame.
Any earlier than that and people run the risk of have forgotten what the book is about, or what they liked about it, so they don't leave you a review. Any later than that and you run the risk of people not having finished reading the book, and so aren't ready to leave a review.
One tip to help if your book launch gets delayed for whatever reason, ask people to write their reviews into a doc either on their computer or into a google doc. That way when you're ready and asking for the reviews they can find them and post them into Amazon. I personally use this since I review a lot of books, some of which aren't being released for several months.
When Do You Ask For A Review?
This rather depends on your launch strategy... However, you want your launch team to leave verified reviews either before your launch, if you put it up a day or two early, or on day one of your launch.
Once they downloaded or bought your book, they can then leave their review and that will make it be a verified review. Obviously, if you're doing a free launch, this is easy and doesn't cost anything. However, if your launch is a paid launch and you offered your launch team a free book, to get those verified reviews you're probably going to have to reimburse them for the book, but check with Amazon's terms and conditions beforehand to make sure you're not breaking any of them.
What Tools Do You Give Your Launch Team?
When Do You Ask Them to Promote?
How Do You Keep Them Motivated?
For both fiction and nonfiction, once you've launched, share your progress. If you've hit #1 in your category, let people know. They are the ones helping you succeed, and I know from experience that great results get your launch teams to push even harder because they can see that their work is paying off.
What Do You Do Next?
I've been a part of one street team where we got 3 of the author's books into #1 on iBooks for YA Fiction, which is no small feat and this was a year after they'd been released.
- Like and share my post
- Share the post on 2 other Facebook groups
- Share on a further 2 other Facebook groups
- change your profile pic to the book cover
Then have points assigned to each task and every month add up the points for each person and keep a cumulative total.