Archive for August 12th, 2012

Recently, an author who has become a new auto-buy for me announced that she will be starting a street team. My heart sank and it took everything I had not to respond with PLEASE, FOR THE LOVE OF BABY KITTENS, DON’T DO IT! Why the strong reaction, you ask? First, let’s take a look at what a street team is.

The street team…

Long ago, before the age of digital books, a street team was simple. They went to book stores, passed out bookmarks and front faced books on the shelves. That last part may not have been exactly kosher, depending on the store, but that’s what they did. Things are different now. Street teams mostly promo books online. They tweet, FB, blog and review the books. The purpose of a street team is to spread the word about the author’s new book. In return, most street team members get ARCs, swag, sneak peaks at future books, etc. Good idea, in theory, but then it goes a little sideways.

The problem…

Let’s say Author Sue decides she needs a street team. She puts out a blog post, tweets and Facebooks an all call. “Hey, readers! Sign up here to promo my upcoming book and I’ll give you free stuff!” Let’s say 35 readers respond and now Author Sue has her very on street team full of eager readers ready to spread the word. The problem – Author Sue has just attached her name and business to 35 strangers. She doesn’t know the details of what they do or how her name is going to be used.

I can tell you from personal experience what they are likely to do. Maybe I have 3 reading friends that are on that street team. Friend A posts on FB about Author Sue on the first morning. I click the link, I’m intrigued by the blurb. I preorder the book. Then friends B and C post, too. Then all 3 do it again around lunch time. Then once again that night. Have to make sure they reach everyone, regardless of what time they are online. That’s 9 promos on day one. But, wait. I follow these reading friends on twitter and they did they same thing there. Bump that up to 18 promos. And they repeat that pattern every day. By mid-week, I have cancelled my preorder. The promos keep coming. By the end of the week, I have seen 126 tweets and FB statuses about Author Sue’s book and have decided I never, ever want to read any of her books.

That’s not counting the RTs I see on twitter from other members of the street team, the promo emails that are forwarded to my email, or the overzealous members that add me to Author Sue’s Street Team Facebook page without my permission. In the span of one week, I’ve went from pre-ordering a book to never wanting to hear the author’s name mentioned again, all without Author Sue saying a word.

Street team members, if you are reading this, know your reach. If you have 200 friends on Facebook, those are the only people you are reaching there. Talking about the book three times a day, every day, doesn’t change that. Same for twitter. Have 500 followers? That’s all your “Buy this book!” tweets are reaching. All you are doing with the ceaseless promotion is alienating the friends and followers that used to care about what you had to say.

Authors, this is your business. Be careful when entrusting it to a bunch of strangers. And if you do, make the rules clear and know how your name is being used. Your street team won’t be the ultimate loser when it all goes sideways.

As for me, I’ll sit over here with my fingers crossed, hoping that I won’t be spammed to death with street team promo about my new auto-buy author. There are way too many books out there for me to spend money on something that annoys me.

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Eve Berlin announced her winner in the comments section.


Please email Eve: eden_bradley@yahoo.com with ‘RR@H winner in the subject line and she’ll send your PDF copy of PLEASURE’S EDGE right away



wins The Bloodgate Warrior by Joely Sue Burkhart



wins Cherished by Maya Banks and Lauren Dane



wins her choice of a Browns Siblings novel by Lauren Dane


Brunette Librarian

wins an ARC of Silver Mine by Vivian Arend


Margaret Murray-Evans

wins Wild Texas Rose by Jodi Thomas



wins Seven Sexy Sins by Serenity Woods


Congrats! To claim your prize, please email mad @ romancereaderatheart.com (without the spaces). You have 48 hours to email before a new name is chosen.


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