Gone are the days of publishers taking care of the marketing needs of authors. For years writers have had to promote themselves, which can be difficult as there is only so much one person can do, especially as that one person may also have a full time job and still needs to write! Now, however, an author doesn't have to do it all on her own-enter the street team.
I'm not sure who coined the phrase, but a street team is a group of fans who work to promote a certain author. Before there were official street teams fans were already talking about their favorite books and authors, recommending the ones they loved. The advent of social media made spreading the word easier and authors decided to let their fans get even more involved. Members of the team are given promotional items to give out and are asked to talk up the books which are being released. In this way people all over the country are spreading the word and getting people involved. After all, word of mouth is the best form of advertising out there!
As a cozy mystery blogger I look to promote as many authors as I am able. I joined a blog tour group to bring a larger selection of writers to the attention of my readers. I've also reached out to favorite authors and some have even reached out to me-that's always exciting! Facebook has also opened up ways to promote and help authors. This blog has its own Facebook page, as do many other mystery blogs. Many street teams have their own pages. In addition to their own Facebook page, some authors join forces and have group pages. Members of these groups (most of which are closed, secret groups) perform the same duties as street team members, basically celebrating and promoting the work of these authors. I belong to a few of these groups. I am also an official member of 3 street teams, one of which was just formed this past week!
I'm curious-how many of you are street team or secret group members? Do you belong to just one, a few, or many? How did you get involved? Were you invited? Do you blog as well? I'll leave you with a little icon that shows my membership in one of my street teams-one that is not a cozy mystery team. I love this little icon and am proud to be a Grimlet.