Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Pat's Conventions Note #29 of 100 things I learned from attending LITERARY CONFERENCES

#29. Street Teams Part II From an Expert

I met reader and street team captain Priscilla “Book Maniac” Johnson for the first time years ago at a Romance Slam Jam conference. I was always impressed by her support of my friend, author A.C. Artist. I thought to myself, “Wow. What I wouldn’t give to have that type of support system.” At this year’s RSJ in Dallas, I sat in on a workshop conducted by Priscilla aka Cilla. Since she gave away so much valuable information, a simple recap wouldn’t do justice to anyone reading this post, so I asked Cilla to share her tips for starting a street team on my blog, so here you go.

What are Street Teams?
“I want to be on a street team”.  “Should I have street team?”
More and more readers are asking to be a part of street teams and authors are questioning how do I start a street team. Yet, no one really knows what a street team does or how do they works. 
Here’s a little history.  Street teams originated in the late 1980’s with rock and roll bands.  Band members and producers would give records and tapes to fans to take to radio stations and record stores in exchange for concert tickets.  Groups like Nirvana became overnight success.  This was a great marketing tool because the music went directly to the fans.  It also eliminated the high cost associated with advertisers, radio and television promotors.
As more authors enter the realm of self-publishing and eBooks, street teams are becoming more popular.   Authors use street teams to announce up-coming releases, introduce their books to new readers, increase written book reviews and get their work in book stores and libraries.    Street teams are extremely instrumental on social media sites, such as Face Book, Twitter, and Good Reads in letting readers know what is hot and on the verge of hitting the literary street.  It also allows the author to spend time writing instead of promoting and marketing for themselves.
Keep in mind that members of any street team are VOLUNTEERS who are passionate about the work of an author and they are willing and eager to talk about how wonderful and great the author stories are.  Members have read every book by an author and can usually recite the characters better than the author.   And what does the team get in return?  Some authors reward members with Advance Reader Copies (ARC) of new releases, in-side information on releases, swag, gift cards or other unique gifts. 
Being on a street team is a lot of work. But it is also lots of fun and very rewarding. I have had the pleasure of being on several teams and the experience has been rewarding.  You build lasting friendships with readers and authors.  Who could ask for anything more?  

Priscilla C. Johnson aka ‘Cilla