[Podcast] What Is a Book Launch Team?

Writing a book is not a solo act. You need the support of editors and readers. Launching a book isn’t a solo act, either.

You need a team—a book launch team—to create buzz beyond your immediate circle in the weeks leading up to its release.

Recently, we spoke with book launch manager Kaitlyn Bouchillon, who explained what a book launch team is and how to optimize the reach of your team.

Book Launch Team? Never Heard of It

A book launch team is a group of people who volunteer to support your book’s release. They are your cheerleaders. They are your support team from behind the scenes.

You provide your members with early access to your book, either a digital copy or an ARC (advanced reader copy). This way, your team knows exactly what your book is about—the message, the characters, the storyline. They’re prepared to talk about your book. And share it with the public. Essentially, they market your book before its release date.

Book launch teams are not confined to self-publishers. If you’re working with a traditional publisher, you can request a launch team to work with your marketing team. It is possible to manage your own launch team. Many do to save money.

But, managing a launch team can also be stressful. You’re in charge of securing reviews for your book and encouraging your team members to promote your work—which can be awkward for some people who aren’t used to asking for help. You have to tell them what to post, and when to post. In the weeks leading up to your book launch, this may cause additional stress to your already busy life.

So, what should your launch team do?

Reviews! Reviews! Reviews!

A reader will be interested in your book based on the blurb or cover. They will then read reviews about your book to determine if they should buy it. Reviews are important for you book sales and should be an expected part of your launch team.

Amazon rank books depending on their reviews. If a book receives regularly posted reviews, it will receive a higher ranking. On Goodreads, members can catalog which books they want to read, are currently reading, or have read. If your launch team members catalog your book on Goodreads, your book will gain traction.

 Reviews are a staple to a book launch. And a necessity if you want to increase book sales.

Social Media Is Your Greatest Ally

One of the best ways to promote your book is through social media.

These postings range from serious, long posts reserved for personal blogs or Facebook. To fun videos on TikTok, shortened reviews on Instagram, and book cover postings on Twitter and Pinterest.

The buzz on social media will encourage potential readers to check out your book on Amazon or Goodreads. The more traffic for your book, the better!

I Want a Team—Now What?

Your first step is to outline your main goals. Do you want more social media shares? Do you want more book reviews? What do you care about the most? Determining your goals will help you shape the timeline of your launch.

Next, you have to form your team. Aim for at least one hundred people on your team. This may seem like too large a number, but fewer and you won’t experience the multiplying effect. It’s tricky to build momentum with only a few friends on board. The more people you invite the better. 

To build your team, post on your social media accounts and invite people to join a closed group, through which you will corale your team. You can reach out to friends or family members as well.

Kaitlyn encourages you to extend an invitation to your email subscriber list. Since those people have already given you their email, they’re more inclined to accept your invitation. Even if they dismiss your invitation, you’re still promoting your book. They may not be willing to join your team but they might be willing to share your book cover or your release date to their own audience.  

Ride the Launch Waves

Book launch teams run for four to six weeks prior to your book’s release. Depending on your expected release season, you’ll need to plan your launch team accordingly. 

Books come out in waves. Fiction books tend to release near the beginning of summer. Health related books release around the new year. A business title can release anytime of the year.

When planning your book launch, you’ll want to consider what season your ideal audience will expect your book—and when they most need your book. Sure, your words can impact their lives any day of the year. But, if there’s a specific season where your audience is thinking about your topic, you’ll want to release your book around that time period to expedite sales.

Book launch teams have been around for a few years, and they’re gaining momentum with the explosion of social media. We’re in a day and age where social media dominates everyday life. If you want to capitalize on opportunities to promote your book, you will have to adapt.

Consider the payoff a book launch team can bring to your pre-sales, reviews, and actual sales of your book. Because a book launch team does take planning, it’s best to think about it now, rather than wait!