When Anna LeBaron applied to become a member of Jen Hatmaker’s For the Love book launch team, she had never participated in a book launch. Because there were an overwhelming number of applications for a small number of spots, Anna didn’t make it on the team.
Instead of feeling disappointed and giving up, she decided the next best thing to joining the official launch team was to gather the other 4,500 readers who didn’t make it into the group, and help launch the book anyway.
For the Love became a national bestseller in part due to the efforts of Anna and the unofficial launch team she gathered in a private group on Facebook. She learned how to launch a book by doing it, and it paid off for both Jen Hatmaker and Anna.
Anna is now an author herself and a sought-after book launch manager who works directly with publishers to launch books. Her experience with Hatmaker’s book launch blossomed into a new career, throughout which she has launched many books, including other bestsellers.
When hope*writers asked Anna about her secret to launching bestselling books, she explained that her strength lies in authentic engagement with the people who join her launch teams. She creates a community for readers who all have the same goal in mind — to rally behind an author and their work.
The key to a successful launch is creating a community where members feel known, seen, and heard.
Book launch teams are united under a common goal — to share their favorite author’s work with others. This allows authors and book launch managers to be inclusive when inviting members onto their team.
Reasons for joining the team may vary, but with the same goal in mind, members are already united in their purpose. They are set to be enthusiastic and purposeful contributors to the community.
It’s important for the author to be engaged and excited within the group, even when they have the help of a seasoned book launch leader to manage the daily business. This is an opportunity for authors to connect directly with committed readers without the burden of doing all of the heavy lifting of a launch. When choosing a book launch manager, Anna recommends choosing someone who has the skill set, know-how, and most importantly, the people skills to engage authentically with members.
A book launch is an opportunity to invite others into all of the fun happening behind the scenes. The purpose of a launch team is to spread the word about the author’s book, but members quickly become lost in the minutia when the community is created solely for completing book launch tasks.
If members aren’t enjoying themselves, connecting, and having fun during the launch, then the team leader is missing the opportunity to create connection within the community.
Anna says having fun is her motivating factor. She brings this enthusiasm to her work, and creates a fun environment where others can participate. Fun is one key to the success of her launch teams, and her authors know it.
There are many aspects to running a successful launch team, but by focusing on the people in the group, an author has the opportunity to create a unique experience for readers who are already fans of their work.
When participants feel known, seen, and heard, the tasks associated with launching a book become less burdensome and instead become an opportunity to support the author they love to read in community with others.
Our interview with Anna covers more than launch teams. Want to learn more and hear her number one rule for using social media? Click here for free access to our entire conversation with Anna and take one step toward balancing the art of writing with the business of publishing.