Ok, so let’s talk about some super basic but important realities while we are still in the beginning of the process here. Firstly, everyone knows there is no such thing as a free lunch! Yes, there is “paying it forward” which I am a firm believer in, and there are many good souls in the world who would do just about anything for free. However, we don’t want to take advantage of them, do we?
If I ask people to join my launch team, then I need to offer them something in return. I don’t have a bottomless pit of money and there are so many costs involved in launching a book that I can’t pay people or even give them all a free signed book. Which I would do by the way if I could print the books for free, but we can’t. No one can.
So what can I offer them?
I think it’s important to offer up some free, signed copies. A chance to win a copy is a great hook and as the team will never be that big, the chances of winning one of say half a dozen copies are actually very high. I can have giveaways where the winners are drawn at random, or as I’ve seen on some other launch groups, members can earn “points” along the way and those with the most points each month win the book. I like this idea because it rewards those who put in the most work, and it also means that people enjoy the ability to do something to attain the prize. I’ll talk more about this in the days to come as I work out how I’ll do it for my group.
I do art work in my free time and many times over the years I have made books marks for charity. Not paper ones, but metal ones like these:
So I’ll be making a bunch of them over the next week. I like the idea of more than just a few members of my team being able to win things and these have always been popular (and of course are still book related). I will do a video tutorial on them if you’d like to do similar, as I think that even those without a lot of skill can still make them, depending on what you make them out of.
Of course, people always like to be thanked. I’m not sure I did that well enough last time, so this time I hope to do a better job of it. I plan to design a certificate of appreciation that I can send to all the members, but again, I still need to work on this idea. Many of my supporters live around the globe and international postage is huge, so I need to navigate this somehow. Maybe a printable, emailed version could work? Ideas would be very welcome if you have any!
Lastly, before I go too deep on any of these points, I have also observed that members and authors can quickly become frustrated. They all seem to feel that they give, give, give, and yet also feel that the author is always asking for more. While at the same time I constantly hear from the authors that they feel they were given assurances and then so often let down. So I’m going to try and do things a little differently this time and divide up the jobs. As authors, we need people who can only do a few things, but we need them to do them well, and we don’t need ANYONE to do everything. So I’m going to split the jobs so to speak.
I want to create a Blue Team for those who are certified Amazon reviewers or are able to offer other vital reviews through the first month or so as the book is launched. By launch-time, many of them are sick of hearing the author ask for help in other ways, so why not leave them out of the shouting until they are needed? Because we need them to sign on early and to be committed. But then don’t bombard them with Red Team job requests.
Red Team members might not be able to offer certified reviews, so I won’t nag or even ask them to. But they are the people who are great on social media or their own networking circles and will help create the buzz and excitement in getting the word out there. The best Red Team members will even belong to a Book Club or Community group who are happy to become involved and get behind the author. They are the people most likely to turn one of their meetings around launch day into a launch party of sorts and post the pics on Facebook. Other red Team members can be truly effective by simply following and sharing many of the author Facebook Page posts to get the word out there.
I will still keep both teams under the Launch Team banner as all members will still have the opportunity to give feedback on art work and book covers, to download the book on its free days and to give general, specific, or other feedback, and all of them will be able to receive an ARC (advanced reader’s copy) of the book. The Facebook group will then be all about fun, giveaways, photos, background info, and not all about asking asking asking (although there will be a little, but at least people won’t feel bombarded if it isn’t aimed at them all the time).
I will talk more next week in depth on each of these ideas and give you all the opportunity to cater your support to your own needs.
To join my Launch Team, click HERE.