By Kelsey Browning
Recently, I joined four other authors—Tracey Devlyn, Nancy Naigle, Adrienne Giordano and Tracy March —in establishing the Dangerous Darlings street team. Although the street team concept has been around for a while in the music industry, it’s still new to some authors and readers. So what is an author street team? It’s a group of loyal readers who help an author (or authors) spread the message about their books.
Wow, free labor and promo – sign every author up, right?
Because a street team isn’t about the author, not really. It’s all about the readers. And why would a reader, who guards her reading time like it’s a string of precious pearls, want to spend that time talking about and promoting books when she could wear her PJs, hunker down in a comfy chair and become immersed in her favorite author’s story world?
If you’re an author, really think about that potential trade-off. What are you offering a reader that’s so compelling? Are you doing her a favor or will she be expected to do you all the favors? If you’re a reader, look for a street team where the author(s) value you and not just you as a source of free labor.
But there are plenty of compelling reasons for readers to join a street team, and I’ve put together five great ones.
R – Reward. It’s typical for an author to reward her street team members with swag in addition to the swag the team member helps distribute. These physical rewards can range from ARCs (advanced reader copies) to promo items like magnets, key chains and jewelry to the chance to win gift cards and e-readers.
A caution: Many authors tout the perks of being on their street teams, but some find it challenging to follow through. When that happens, the team member may feel she’s signed up to do an author’s busy work, without any real benefits.
E – Extras. In addition to physical swag, street team members might earn an acknowledgment in the author’s next book or the chance to name a character. Additionally, street team members are often privy to tidbits about an author’s life, her next book or behind-the-scenes info about a character or book. Honestly, the extras can be more satisfying than the physical perks.
A – Acknowledgement. It always feels fabulous to have someone’s undying gratitude and that’s exactly what a great street team member can earn from an author by positively and proactively representing that author’s brand and books.
C – Connection/Community. I believe this is one of the main differences in the Dangerous Darlings. Since our street team has access to five authors, there’s always something going on. The Darlings primarily communicate through a private Facebook page and since we launched the group, not a day has gone by without fun chatter—not just about our books—but on subjects ranging from Girl Scout Cookies to Bluetick Coon Hounds to tour busses.
One of the Darlings says, “(The) DDs have a sense of community. I think a group street team (meaning several authors together) is pretty cool and offers a lot more interaction and ‘friendship’ building than the others.”
Another Darling adds, “I love the sense of community and friendship building we have here.”
H – Helping Hand. One of our Darlings is doing more than being a part of an online community; she’s serving her local community.
She says, “When our only local (chain) bookstore closed, we were fortunate in my small town for the mall owner to recognize the need for a book store in town and hired the employees of the former (chain store) to take over the reins of a new bookstore. Being a small independent bookstore, they don’t have the resources of the big chains so whenever I get swag from authors or information about authors and new releases, I share. They are always thrilled because they don’t have the ability to take advantage of the normal swag that publishers and authors send to the big stores.”
Our Dangerous Darlings motto is: Read. Reach Out. Repeat. But as you can see from the benefits above, the REACH out function goes both ways. Our Darlings reach out to potential readers in our stead, but we reach out to our Darlings to create a close-knit community that provides support to the individual members, not merely the authors.
If you’ve ever considered becoming a street team member, but haven’t, what stopped you?
Do you enjoy getting swag/gifts/goodies from your favorite author? If so, what are some of the best items you’ve received?
What are the essential qualities of a Dangerous Darling? We’re looking for passionate and enthusiastic individuals who are willing to help spread the word about our new book releases and special events. The full scoop is here.
Visit ROMANCE AND SUSPENSE…Any Way You Like It for more information about the five Dangerous Darlings authors.
Find out more about the authors behind the Dangerous Darlings Street Team at these blog stops:
2/11 Tracey Devlyn HEA USA Today
2/12 Kelsey Browning Romance at Random
2/18 Tracy March Romance University
2/21 Nancy Naigle Ramblings From This Chick
2/25 Adrienne Giordano Just Romantic Suspense
WORD SCRAMBLE/SCAVENGER HUNT CONTEST:
Could you use $50? Read on to find out how to win a $50 gift card of your choice (must be available for purchase online).
Adrienne, Tracey, Nancy, Tracy and I have created a fun word scramble/scavenger hunt. Over the next two weeks, we’ll be chatting about Dangerous Darlings at various blogs.
To enter the contest:
1. Find the letter and punctuation clues on our websites
2. Unscramble the letters to make a phrase
3. Sign in on the Rafflecopter contest form below
4. Enter the secret phrase in the form
HINT: The secret phrase is in today’s post. And here’s an example of what you’ll be looking for on our websites:
We’d love to keep you updated on our new releases, contests and special appearance via our periodic e-newsletters. In addition to solving the word scramble, you could earn up to five additional chances to win the $50 gift card. All you have to do is sign up for our e-newsletters. Once you enter the secret phrase in Rafflecopter, links to our five newsletters will appear. Each newsletter sign-up will get you that much closer to winning $50!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Kelsey Browning writes sass kickin’ love stories full of hot heroes, saucy heroines and spicy romance. Personal Assets, the first book in her contemporary romance series will be released by Carina Press in August, 2013. Originally from a Texas town smaller than the ones she writes about, Kelsey has also lived in the Middle East and Los Angeles, proving she’s either adventurous or downright nuts. These days, she hangs out in northeast Georgia with Tech Guy, Smarty Boy, Bad Dog and Pharaoh, a Canine Companions for Independence puppy. She’s currently at work on the third book in her Shelbyville, Texas series. Give her a shout at Kelsey@KelseyBrowning.com or drop by www.KelseyBrowning.com. For info on her upcoming releases, subscribe to her Sass Kickin’ News.