I could really use some minions to do my bidding. What I have instead is Sara.
There has been a lot of buzz on the Internet lately about street teams, especially street teams behaving badly. A book reviewer pissed off an author who promptly sicced her street team on the reviewer and a rumble ensued . Okay, not so much a rumble as just much wailing and gnashing of teeth on the part of the author and her street team. It wasn't publishing's finest hour.
I admit that I was sort of naive about street teams. When I first heard the term I was a little excited. What was a street team? Was it like a gang? Did we get to dress in colors and have secret signs? Cause I was totally down with that. Having my own roving gang of romance-loving street toughs sounded exciting.
But no. I started doing some reading. What a street team does is promote an author's books. They take promo materials around and visit libraries and bookstores. Some are encouraged to place the books prominently in bookstores or turn the cover facing out (which must endear them to the employees). They are asked to post reviews and recommend the books to all their friends on Goodreads. They are asked to buy the book the week it comes out to boost the ranking in bestseller lists and promote the author on their blogs with reviews and snippets and book trailers. They are sent swag to hand out. Some even attend conventions so they can go forth and proselytize on behalf of their author. By the time I got to that part in my reading, some of these Super Fan teams were less gangster and more cultish sounding. But it gets more extreme for some, mobilizing to harass reviewers or vote down negative reviews or even post negative reviews on competitor's books. Fortunately not all street teams or authors are like this. Most are perfectly nice people, but the possibility for abuse exists when you engage a group of strangers to act on your behalf.
Having a street team just isn't for me. I get tired of having promo thrust my direction all the time and I'm sure readers and bloggers feel the same way. A group of people dedicated to pushing my book forward all the time just isn't my thing. That's not to say I don't want fans.
Of course I want fans. Authors don't write these books just for our own amusement. If I didn't want to share, I'd keep the stories in my head instead of putting them down on paper.I want people to read my stories. That's pretty much all I expect from a fan. Read me. That's my only expectation, but there are other things that make me insanely happy.
If someone likes my books, I hope they tell others. Most people buy a book because someone they know recommended it. I love it when people take the time to write a review. If reviews aren't your thing, no pressure. But it's awesome when people do review my books. I love when someone tells me they enjoy my writing. Writers are fragile egos. We need a little petting sometimes and there is no better petting than a fan who loved one of your books.
That's pretty much it for me. I'm happy when fans do what they've always done, without all the expectations of a street team or being so personally invested in an author that they're ready to go to war with anyone who doesn't like them. So no street team for me.
But minions? I could totally use some minions, especially ones that made coffee in the morning or cleaned the house. Where can I sign up for some of those? I'm willing to trade swag for coffee any day.
Until next time,
Stay Regency, y'all