I’ve been hearing a lot about using Street Teams or Posses to promote books lately. Jennifer Fusco, who has wicked skilz and teaches a mean class in marketing for writers, recommends Street Teams. Jen Crusie has the Cherries. Lani Diane Rich/Lucy March has the Betties (while not strictly speaking a street team I think we do function at least partially as a one). I recently joined Tanya Kappes’s Posse.

The benefits to the author are clear. At least one person in each state spends time talking to people about your books. Commenting on blogs, participating in chat rooms, on the kindle boards. Because the way most people learn about new authors is word of mouth. And the more mouths the better. The author tells the group what to say, and where. The member does what they can to promote the author.

But what’s in it for the posse? Exclusive material. Prizes. Access to the author. (Not such a big deal with me. Every one has access!) Tonya Kappes gave away two books just this week. I plan to do a kindle drawing sometime this summer for my street team – should anyone choose to join. I’ll post some exclusive material. Short stories. Maybe even some of my poetry. There will be ARCs (advance readers’ copies) for my street team, among other things. Oh, and don’t forget the exclusive street team T-shirt.

What am I looking for in a street team member? You have to sincerely like my work. If you’re only doing it for the swag it will start to show. It’s really important to me that the people you are reaching feel your sincerity. You don’t have to believe that I write the best books in the world (because then you’d be delusional), but you do need to like the characters and the storytelling. A Street team member must be willing to engage with people on the internet. I will tell you when and where and pretty much what I’d like you to say, but you have to be willing to do the posting and conversing. And where possible I’d also like you to talk about the books in actual bookstores. This may not be an issue for too long, there may not be many bookstores left soon.

Here’s the way it will work: I’ll set up an exclusive facebook page for my posse and you will let me know that you want to join. I’ll send you an invitation and away we’ll go. The first thing I’ll ask you to do is to like my author page. We’ll progress from there. You do what you can, when you can and I’ll reward the group. Sound like fun? I hope so. Because I need you. Authors in the twenty-first century need discoverability. That’s what a street team gives us.

If you’d like to join let me know in the comments and I’ll send you an invite. I’m looking for at least one person from each state, so feel free to recommend your friends to me, or visa versa. Another Big Question – what would you call the group? Kate George Street Team feels kind of bland to me.

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