I admit it. I was a terrible launch team member. At least, that’s what I thought. I always felt guilty that I wasn’t doing enough, no matter the author. Then, about two years ago, I transitioned from being a launch team member to having my own launch team. And my view of what it takes to be a valuable part of a book release changed. Since then, my launch team has been a bright light on a pretty dark path recently. I want every author to have the same experience.
That’s why I’ve compiled twelve ways to be an awesome launch team member.
- Be an existing mega-fan– You may have heard great things about an author or liked the one book from them you read four years ago. That doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll like the current book, and no author wants to force you to say you like a book when you don’t.
- Personally suggest the author’s book to a friend who may like it. You may think that you aren’t as valuable as someone else who runs a big blog or has a lot of followers on Instagram. While those popular bloggers may get a book’s cover in front of more people, that doesn’t automatically sell books. What does sell books? Seeking out friends that you know will love this book and making a personal suggestion.
- Keep track of your favorite lines and make social media images with them. Every author gets to the point where they’ve read their manuscript so many times, and they can no longer see what the “mic drop” lines are. You know the lines that make your breath catch or a tear form? It is immensely helpful to highlight these lines for the author. Even if you can’t make images, at least message the author with the line you loved.
- Remind the author why they must keep writing. Envy, insecurities, rejections, OH MY! Look, the book industry can be a real roller coaster. Never underestimate what a word of encouragement might do in their heart.
- Participate in reader groups. If you want to sell popsicles, you drive your ice cream truck to a playground on a hot day, right? So if you want to help launch a book, spend time around fellow readers who are always looking for book suggestions.
- Utilize any connections you may have. Are you friends with a Christian radio DJ? Or your sister writes for Dayspring? Or your mom leads a book club at a big church? Suggesting the book for them to read or flat out asking if they’d be interested in meeting or interviewing the author may lead to new roads and more book sales.
- Promote engagement on the author’s posts. We’ve all heard how fickle social media platforms are. If an author’s posts tank in likes, comments, and shares, the social media powers-that-be will stop showing that author’s posts to their followers. Trust me. I have a page with 10,000 followers and each post gets seen by less than 14 people. Mark Zuckerberg clearly hates romance! (I kid, I kid). But seriously, even a simple emoji helps!
- If you can’t read the book by the release date, talk to the author. We understand that things happen. Illness, work stress, family drama can take a toll on reading time. Just let us know so we aren’t wondering if it’s something we did.
- Accept the free book but consider buying a copy for a gift or giveaway. Some publishers are actually discouraging launch teams because that’s 30, 50, or 100 free books that could have been sales. So if it is in your budget, think about buying one to make up for the lost potential sale.
- Be understanding. No one intends to ignore or overlook your sweet, congratulatory post or your thoughtfully worded review. Launch day is especially crazy for authors. It’s okay to remind us of your post or review. It’s okay to tag us or private message us with the post as a reminder to see it. In fact, we’d appreciate it!
- Pray for them, and if you feel comfortable, share your own prayer requests with them. We LOVE getting to know our launch team members better and we’d happily pray for whatever you have going on in your life.
- Share with them your own aspirations. Are you hoping to become a popular bookstagrammer or a romance writer yourself? TELL US!! After all you do to help us out, we’d LOVE to help you right back!
So there you have it! Twelve ways to be an awesome launch team member! Have I missed anything? Or do you have any suggestions on how to be an awesome author leading a launch team?