Why Launch Teams Are an Author’s Best Friend
Launching a book is a lot like your wedding day. You spend months (or years) planning, and everyone you love is celebrating with you. But when the big day is over and everyone goes home, it’s you and your spouse who need to figure out marriage.
When you write a book, you focus your time and energy on getting it published. But once it’s out in the world, the most important part of the story begins: getting your book into the hands of readers.
That’s why you need a book launch team.
Whether you’re self-published or traditionally published, a launch team is critical to the sales success of your book. Even if you’re an author with thousands on your email list, you need a launch team.
A launch team creates community around your book, and it creates shared ownership. Serving on a launch team motivates readers to buy your book and to share your book with others. Your success becomes your team’s success. Shared purpose is a powerful tool in assembling a tribe.
Here are three reasons why launch teams are every author’s best friend:
They expand your reach
We all know word of mouth is the best marketing tactic around, and that’s the superpower launch teams wield. Between family, social media followers, clubs, small groups and other social pursuits, the average person knows at least 500 people. A small launch team of 20 can get your book exposed to 10,000 people you don’t know, often more if people in their networks share it further. It’s a marketing snowball.
They can say things you can’t
Human nature is interesting. We place more value and trust in what other people say about a product than we do in the people who make the product. The same is true of books.
If you shout, “Buy my book!” from the rooftops, people will tune you out. Have others shout it for you and people receive the message differently.
As an author, there is a lot you could and should say about your book. You should talk about the content of your book as much as possible. You should share why you wrote it, what it means to you and the impact you hope it will make. Your launch team gets to talk about its impact on them. They get to tell their friends to buy your book and why – and they tend to be more effective than you would be simply because their names aren’t on your book.
They offer valuable perspective
Becoming a published author is exciting, but it’s also a vulnerable time. Will your book fly off the shelves and crash the Kindle app, or will it fall flat?
A launch team is your book’s ready-made fan club. These early readers tend to be enthusiastic supporters of the book, its message and of you. But what’s even better is your launch team gets to offer their feedback on the book during the pre-launch phase. They’ll tell you which chapters or quotes hit home hardest and how their thinking changed. Launch team feedback bolsters your marketing efforts by helping you to target your messaging to capture the attention of your ideal reader.
How to find a launch team leader
As the author, you are the last person who should be running your own launch team. There are several moving parts to a book launch and though critical, the launch team is only one part. It’s important that you reserve your time and energy for the things that only the book’s author can do, like guest blog posts, podcast interviews and speaking or even book-signing events.
You have two choices when it comes to finding a launch team leader: You can hire one or you can ask someone you know to do it for free. Hiring an experienced launch team leader offers you the greatest chance at success and can save you both time and money in the long run. If you don’t have a marketing budget, you might have a passionate fan or friend willing to do it for you. The question isn’t whether you have a launch team leader, it’s just a matter of who or how.
The leader you pick determines how your launch team is recruited and managed, but the essence of the team is the same no matter what. Your launch team is your book’s tribe, and they are your most powerful tool in getting your book into the hands of readers.
Tonya Kubo is obsessed with the power of social media to create community among strangers. She is the founder of the Clutter Free Academy Facebook group, the Clutter Free for Life membership program and leads book launch and manuscript development teams for authors. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org