How to Build a Book Launch Team
Before your book hits the shelves, you need to build a good launch team to make sure your book gets off to a great start. Your launch team will help ensure that you receive the support you need when your book is released.
Building a launch team is vital to your book’s success. If you don’t have a great team to support you, you won’t get the launch of your dreams, and your book sales could suffer. But how do you go about building a launch team? This article answers that question and anticipates other questions you may have about building a successful book launch team.
What is a book launch team?
A launch team is a group of people willing to support you in every possible way during your book launch. They are the people who will have the most significant impact on your launch, so you need to make sure that you have a group of supporters who are ready to set you up for success.
Why do you need a book launch team?
Launch team members will help you to get reviews during the launch and help you promote the book launch. Your launch team will read your book before anyone else and prepare honest reviews of your book to be posted during launch week. Amazon favors books with review activity. The more reviews you get posted, the faster your book will move up the rankings, and the greater the likelihood it will be promoted by Amazon under the “books you also might like” section.
Reviews sell books. If you manage to get 20 to 30 reviews in the first week, that will create serious momentum for your book rankings. Reviews are the best social proof that people are reading your book and taking an interest in the content. The bottom line: Reviews convince browsers to buy.
How do you recruit people to join your team?
At this point, you may be wondering, “Where do I find people to join my team?” If you’re a first-time author, you won’t need 500 people on your launch team. In fact, 30 to 50 people will be more than enough to help you launch successfully. Your team could include anyone—from your close friends to extended family members and work colleagues.
Expand your inner circle and begin reaching out to other potential members from your circle of influence. If you have an email list or social media following, those are two perfect places to start. Send a short email or a Facebook post announcing your upcoming book and ask people to join your launch team. Once you begin reaching out to people, it won’t be long before you get responses.
Timing is important. It’s a good idea to start building a launch team 4–6 weeks before the book release date. If you ask too far ahead, people will forget, lose interest, and fail to participate. But, it’s also rude to wait until the last minute and then beg people for assistance. Give your launch team the courtesy of planning ahead for the time they will need to read your book and complete marketing tasks.
Should you offer team incentives?
By adding quality incentives for your launch team, you increase their commitment to support you. Decide what incentives will make them feel like a valued part of your team. So, what you can offer your team? Here are some ideas that work:
- The digital version of your book way before anyone else sees it.
- A free hardcopy of your book.
- A free webinar or a Facebook Live Q&A You can get close and personal with your team by hosting a live webinar in which you talk about your book, get into behind-the-scenes strategies of the launch, and share inside tactics that nobody else can get.
- Exclusive access to a private Facebook group. Here, you can post videos, share posts, and converse with your team in real time as they get excited about the launch.
- Free training videos based on the content of your book.
- Additional freebies that you want to share with your team.
- An advance copy of a workbook that you will be offering to subscribers.
- Early access to course material that won’t be available until the book is launched.
The goal is to provide your team with a lot of value so that they know they are part of something important. Incentives can increase the level of commitment you get from team members to read and promote your book during launch week.
Communicate with your launch team.
Create a launch team email list. Then, use email to keep in touch with everyone throughout your book launch campaign. Be sure to share weekly updates, send early edition review copies to your team, and send reminders about reading the book and providing a review on Amazon.
As a rule of thumb, don’t expect everyone on your launch team to participate. In many cases, only 30–50% may take action. That’s a typical response rate, which is why you should recruit as many people as possible. If the majority of your team completes the requested action items, you’ll get incredible word-of-mouth marketing for free.
Reward your team for helping you.
Be sure to thank members of your launch team and look for ways to reward them for helping promote your book. You can show appreciation in several ways, such as:
- Send a personal email thanking them for their support.
- Create free bonus content and distribute it to your team.
- Let your team know about any special sales or discounts before anyone else.
Book launch teams are an amazing part of the author experience. There’s nothing like watching dozens, if not hundreds, of people spread the word about your book on your behalf. Before your book is released, use these steps to build an effective book launch team. Then, sit back and watch as they help create a growing wave of marketing momentum that can jump-start your book sales.