As I mentioned in my overview post about ARC teams, Street Teams and ARC Teams are different, and serve different purposes. So, what’s the difference between a Street Team and an ARC team? Which one should you be using? And what about influencer collaborations? Let’s talk about it all!
First, let’s start with “what the heck are these things you’re discussing?” If the words in the first paragraph had you scratching your head, that’s okay! Let’s briefly go over the definitions of the main concepts for this post.
ARCs are an early copy of the book that is sent out to readers (these readers are often referred to as an ARC Team), either in digital or physical format, in order to get reviews before or on release day.
Early reviews help with sales algorithms and search algorithms on retailers, and the more reviews authors can get, the faster they can overcome those algorithms. For Amazon, the magic number is 50 reviews.
ARC teams are typically less interactive than the other topics. If you want more information on ARC teams, head back to this post to learn all about them and the requirements around them.
You shouldn’t be using your ARC team to help promote your book on social media. If they want to leave their review on their social media platforms, that’s up to them, but that’s not what they’re here for. They agreed to read your book and leave an honest review on their chosen retailer or review platforms, and that should be the end of the relationship.
If you want them to do any marketing or promotional activities, you’re veering into Street Team territory and need to be cautious. Especially if you’re using these marketing activities as a condition of receipt.
Street Teams are a marketing or PR strategy. For a ST, you have a group of readers promote your book to their own audiences, typically on social media. In exchange, they often get a free copy of the book or other goodies. These are typically hardcore fans of the author or the book.
These teams can also be called PR Teams, Marketing Teams, Launch Teams, or any variation of that concept. They have agreed to help promote and market your book.
This is your hype squad, and these should be readers who genuinely enjoy your books. Members of Street Teams often have group chats (like Discord channels) dedicated to them just hanging out and talking with the author and each other.
The marketing here is meant to be more organic and genuine. They applied because they LIKE YOUR BOOKS and naturally, they want to talk about them!
Should you pay your Street Team? That really depends on how you’re approaching your team. If you’re having them create their own content, you should probably compensate them for their time in some fashion. This doesn’t have to be monetarily though. It could be free books, merchandise, or exclusive content.
There are a million and one ways to run a Street Team, but generally, all they need to do is talk (loudly) about your book. That’s the deal.
Influencers are social media content creators, usually with large platforms. These influencers have strong communities and typically have followers ranging in the thousands to hundreds of thousands.
Authors can collab with these influencers to be featured on their platforms. This is a marketing strategy, and usually costs money. Influencers are NOT being paid for reviews; they are being paid for content creation. They are (typically) reading your book and making content that fits their platform’s expectations to help promote your book.
Influencers typically request physical copies of the book they will be promoting, and that’s due to the visual nature of nearly every content creation platform.
Prices can range from $100-$900+. It depends on the size of the platform, the engagement rate of the platform, the type of content you want them to create, and a host of other factors. Typically, you can guestimate that for one dedicated, standard content post on their platform, you will be charged 10% of their follower count.
Now, let’s talk about what you really came here for: Which one should you be doing?
SO, WHAT SHOULD I FOCUS ON?
Each of these above strategies for book launch are focused on very different goals. So, really, it depends on what you’re wanting to accomplish.
ARC teams get you reviews so you can battle the sales algorithms and build your social proof to potential readers.
Street Teams are a more organic style of promotion from people who are genuinely excited about you and your work.
Influencer collabs are typically less genuine and are designed to get you in front of new audiences. Typically, these are audiences you wouldn’t otherwise reach. When choosing influencers to collab with, looking at their audience is key. How engaged are they? What content do they prefer?
Lately, I’ve seen more and more indie authors using a combination of all three. I personally do as well. I have open sign-ups for eARCs, I have a dedicated Street TEam that has a Discord Server, and I set up influencer collabs to coincide with the release date. This gets me the broadest exposure across various audiences.
Finally, it’s important to remember that being an author is a BUSINESS. These are marketing strategies, not personal relationships. It can be hard when personal feelings get involved, so it’s important to remember to stay professional.
So, what questions do you have? Authors, which of these do you use for your marketing? Let’s chat in the comments!