Street Teams are groups of die hard fans who help disseminate information about your book through their own social media. They never fail to attend your talks, they drop off book marks to libraries and book stores you cannot reach. They encourage everyone they know to purchase your books – they are a cadre of Mini-Mes. So the ideal Street Team member lives very far from you in order to expand your reach. Ideally street team members are rabid fans who also run influential blogs.
The risk of a Street Team is that the members do hit their maximum of reach. Pretty soon you are just sending them hundreds of dollars of free SWAG with no discernible up tick in book sales for the effort and the cost.
Street team members need to be coddled at all times and never judged or complained about. Even Street Team members don’t always help with needed reviews or increase efforts to promote your book. It’s like managing a group of your most difficult, needy relatives who expect you to respond immediately to their FB comments even they know you are traveling in a different time zone and no you are sorry you told them about the trip.
Here is a small, unscientific break down of possible SWAG items:
- Pens $.53 each
- Tee shirts $174 for 24
- Key Chains $.30 each
- Book marks 500 for $45.00
- Notebooks $165 for 100
- Bags – $1.05 each
- Candy $176 for 4,000
- Bracelets 100 for $140
- Dog tags 100 for $278.00
- Mugs $2.00 each
- Bottle openers $.37 each
- Wine openers $1.86 each
- Magnets $.17 each
Figure in the time it takes to research and purchase your SWAG, designing them, finding a logo for them (try Fiverr), ordering, packing.
I recommend keeping track of what you sent and to whom. One of the challenges with giving away free stuff, is that the recipients will complain. People often complain about free things – drives me crazy. But fans, Street Team members, the General Public all love SWAG. .
Mailing: After a Face Book party the cost of mailing the Free Gifts can be up to 100.00
Time: Hour per mailing plus the joy of standing in line at the PO.
Face book parties.
Investment: Cost of the SWAG gives aways and your time.
If you do a Face Book Party take over, (which means it’s up to you to monitor and answer all the questions coming in), you need to be at the computer for that hour and take those questions.
There could be many questions or just a few. There could be hundreds of people interested in your book or just the other authors participating in the party and who feel sorry for you. You need to come up with clever questions that drive people to your FB party as well as create tantalizing give away packages in order to get the attention.
I do not know the book sales that come from these parties.
I do know that often the usual suspects attend the parties and grab the prizes. At the end of the day you may very well have given away all your SWAG to people who have already bought your books and already received much of these prizes. You start to repeat.
I will write more on Social Media in later posts. But you can pay someone to manage your social media campaign, or buy one of France Cabalo’s excellent books on the subject. Oh, and you need to have some kind of presence and conversations on Social Media.
This series is not exhaustive – but I hope to give you an idea of how hard those best selling authors are working – and it never lets up. I sometimes think that if the poor author slows at any point, the whole endeavor will collapse. Not necessarily enviable, and I encourage you to think hard if this is the life you want.