At our recent mastermind meeting, some of the authors asked about organizing a book launch team for their picture books. A launch team is a group of people who are going to support you and help spread the word. They could be social media followers, readers of your blog, friends or the members in your mastermind group. Launch teams are often referred to as book Ambassadors. It is important to the success of your book to have book ambassadors or a launch team to help spread the word about your book.
What is a book launch?
A book launch is any event where the author or their publishing team invites a group of people to celebrate the arrival of the new book. The writer will often read from the new book and sign books at the launch. It is an opportunity for an author to meet their readers, a marketing and sales opportunity and completion celebration.
Where do you start?
We started by making a list of 20-25 people we knew would be happy to support us as I launched my book. I contacted them directly with an email sharing the news about my book and asking if they wanted to be part of my team. The list was composed of people that I worked with, friends, family, followers and subscribers to my newsletter. This list becomes your core launch team. You can also reach out to others on social media, but we decided to keep our group small and manageable.
It is important to note that not everyone on your team is going to follow through. There is the possibility that they did not like the book, maybe they were busy and had no time to read it, or, they were unsure of what to do during the launch. They may not even leave a review. Some things we cannot control and this is one of them. I choose to believe that everything works out in the end and it usually does!
What should the launch team do?
Organization is the key to this part of your launch team. You must be very specific about what they need to do, when to do it and how to do it. This means that you need to figure out what role your launch team will play in helping you to launch your book. Will they promote your book on social media, will they leave a book review, will they buy copies and share your book with others. You as the author must have a plan.
Communication is key
The key to the success of your launch team lies in communicating clearly. We developed a series of emails from welcoming members to the team, to the launch day details. The key is to let them know right from the start what you expect them to do as members of your team and we included what they would receive as an incentive to join the team. We started recruiting several months in advance of the launch date and then created a few emails as reminders leading up to the launch. While communication is key it is also important not to send too many emails.
Incentives for your launch team
Incentives for your launch team will increase the commitment from your team. You can offer them a variety of things. We offered our team the PDF version of Two Wins for Wiley prior to the launch. It is an advanced reader copy and in return we hope that they will provide a review on the day of the launch. I created a Reader’s Guide for my book to extend learning for parents and teachers to share with children. The third incentive was an invitation to the free Facebook Live session on launch day to help us celebrate.
Some authors create swag bags or create bookmarks and other items to share with their team. The goal is to provide your team with something of value so that they know they are part of something important. This will increase the level of commitment you will get from members reading and promoting the book during launch week.
A word about my launch team
We may be a little biased, but we think we have the most amazing launch team. From the minute we asked them to join, they have been so supportive. Those who are on social media are posting, commenting and liking our posts. This has helped to build “buzz” about the book. Other members have read the advanced copy and have emailed us their thoughts about the book, and others are planning on buying several copies of the book to give as gifts. They are a group of people who are passionate and they want our book to succeed as much as we do. We could not launch our book without them.
Last minute details
- Send out a “review reminder” a week after the launch.
- Final email/posting: Thank your team for their support during the launch. Follow up on any final incentives promised.
- Stay in touch with members of your team. Continue to build relationships with people so that your book launch can get bigger with every new book release
Are you getting ready to launch your book? Have a question about your launch team? I hope this post has been helpful. Please leave me a comment below.
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Now it is our turn to ask you to Save the Date! Two Wins for Wiley will be launched on October 18th! We hope you will join us on that day and help us to spread the word.