What is an Author’s Street Team

Originally written in November 2017. Updated August, 2018.

There is no point in publishing a book if no one knows it's there. Share on X

Would you agree?

That’s where the idea of a street team comes into being.

What is a Street Team?

It all began for me when my friend, Marion Ueckermann, mentioned the term to me during a Whatsapp call. I immediately asked if I could join hers to see how it worked. And, of course, I turned to Google to learn more.

How to be Part of a Powerful Street Team. Read more here. Share on X

At iUniverse I found this: “A street team is a group of volunteers who band together to promote an author and his or her book. Members of a street team are motivated by their love of an author’s work to promote it to as many people as possible.”

I learned a good deal from various sources, but most of all from a guest post by Jennifer Probst, a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author.

In Jennifer’s words, “A street team is a dedicated group of readers who like your work and are interested in helping promote your books. These readers are interested in helping to promote your book because your relationship with them is mutually beneficial. They get to hang out online with one of their favorite authors and receive exclusive material, and you get help with promotion to share new releases, giveaways, and special events.”

Wow! That sounds exciting.

Jennifer stresses that she allowed her group to grow slowly. She initially recruited 20 people she knew enjoyed her books, and it grew from there. Today, she has over 1,000 members, but not all are active. My feeling is I’d rather keep the group to a select number of supportive members.

Where did the idea of a Street Team come from?

It is a phenomenon that began in the music world. Fans of a group or musician passed on news by word of mouth, via social media, even helping the band set up for a concert. The payback for the fan was being in the trusted inner circle for their favorite band.

Today it is becoming increasingly popular in the publishing world.

What happens on a Street Team?

  • It should be fun! 
    Jennifer says readers should want to drop into the page to see what’s happening.
  • Members receive exclusive content.
    • They will be the first to see cover reveals.
    • Excerpts will be available to read from the author’s work in progress.
    • They may have the opportunity to choose character names,
    • to suggest activities for the characters in the story,
    • and in other words, they will feel involved in the book.
  • Group members who help in a specific way, may be acknowledged in the book when it comes out.
  • They will have the opportunity to beta-read the completed book before publication, and make suggestions.
  • Those who have read the book may add a short blurb for inclusion in the book.
  • They may also receive the opportunity to buy the finished book at a special price before it is advertised (at a higher price) to the public. 

So how does it work?

  • We have a secret Facebook page with a small and enthusiastic membership. (That will include you if you let me know you’d like to join.)
  • If you want to be part of this select group, write me a note in the comment section and explain why you’d like to join, and I’ll invite you.
  • A number of the group (but not all) are also beta-readers, so have the opportunity to read in advance and make suggestions or corrections.
  • I know life happens! You are not committing to always do everything that I suggest. e.g. perhaps you are unable to beta-read a book, or read an ARC (Advanced Readers’ Copy) with a view to writing a review. That’s okay, as long as you do what you can to promote the book under discussion.
Joining an Author's Street Team. What's in it for you? Share on X

What’s in it for you?

  • There will be exciting news about upcoming books and members will have the opportunity to get an ARC (Advanced Readers Copy) free.
  • I will post occasional excerpts from upcoming books to whet your appetite.
  • You will be offered an ARC for your Kindle (or pdf format if you prefer). Reviews are always welcome, but not obligatory.
  • You will be part of an enthusiastic team and enjoy seeing the spread of the promotional material.
  • In the process, you will gain insight, as I did from my friend’s page, on how you can create your own group or promotional material.

Regardless of whether you want to be part of this exciting new venture or not, would you like to be kept in touch through my newsletter? Please fill in your name and email here and please don’t forget to check the box marked email. I know, it’s silly. But if you don’t, I cannot legally send you the newsletter!

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I promise never to share your email address with anyone else, and you can unsubscribe at any time. I won’t fill your inbox with spam, and you will only hear from me when there is specific news to share.

Word-of-mouth is crucial for any author to succeed. If you enjoy any book, consider leaving a review on Amazon.com. Even a line or two is a huge help. Share on X

[stextbox id=’info’]If you would like to join my Street Team – a.k.a. Shirley’s Book Brigade – on Facebook, please leave a request in the comment section below.[/stextbox]


30 comments on “What is an Author’s Street Team

  1. That’s a lovely concept, Shirley! I like how the benefits are mutual and how both parties benefit from it. This is better than marketing and PR folks reaching out to generic influencers and the whole thing appears very commercial.

  2. That’s a wonderful way to find more help to spread the word about your blog! Loved how many ideas you shared.

  3. I’ve never heard of this concept but it sounds interesting. Have bookmarked your page for the future. Good luck with your group.

  4. Very useful information indeed . I will keep this in mind when I publish my next book . Peer critiques are always helpful in writing a book .

    • It’s early days yet for me, but I am looking forward to seeing how effective this is. My next book’s promotion starts this Monday. Thankful Thursday, on a Saturday!

  5. This made me turn the idea around on myself. If I was ever an author, how would I feel about having a street team? What would I expect from them? What should they expect from me? It’s exciting, Shirley, and I hope you have lots of enjoyment with the team you are assembling.

    • Thank you so much, Alana. Yes, it’s a brand new idea for me, but I’m finding out many other authors have street teams! After all, it doesn’t matter how brilliant a book may be, it is of no value if no-one knows it’s there! Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

  6. I love the plans you are making for your Street Team. The only book of yours that I have already read is Strength Renewed. A friend sent me an eBook gift of it when I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014. I loved your style of writing but I’m aware that a fiction book may be very different in style. I will be looking for your other books (especially Miriam, Part 1) as soon as I finish this comment.

    • Hi Debora,
      Thank you so much for your response. The “Out of the Shadow” books are creative non-fiction, not full on fiction. They are based on fact but embellished to help us get to know the lady in question. I hope you enjoy them, and I trust your health is still behaving! Have a lovely weekend!

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