QUESTION: Is it easier to build a following of 10,000 people or get 10 people with 1000 followers each to share something exciting about your book? Or 20 people with 500 followers?


Time to assemble your TRIBE!

  1. A Tribe by any other name
    1. Launch Team
    2. Street Team
  • Advocates
  1. Any other name you want or like—use it!
  1. What is a Tribe?
    1. An organized group of fans who are dedicated to the success of your book!
  2. How do you find your Tribe?
    1. Start close to home and work outward. Friends, family, and co-workers
    2. Believe it or not, you already have a substantial number of fans. Most will buy your book no matter what. Recruit them and ask them to help excite others and perhaps recruit a few as well.
  • How large your Tribe is, depends on you.
  1. Can you have too few?
  2. Can you have too many?
  1. Dos & don’ts with your Tribe
    1. DO make your Tribe an exclusive club. People genuinely want to feel they are part of something special, make them feel that way.
    2. DON’T try to bribe them with some big prize. Treat them with dignity. If they don’t genuinely WANT to help you succeed, you don’t want them!
  • DO give them an advance copy of your book—print or eBook, but be selective.
    1. Ask them to leave a review-good, bad, or indifferent-and ask them to post it on your book’s release date. ***
  1. DO set expectations and ground rules from the start.
    1. Be clear what you expect from them and when—give them a checklist with instructions and dates. And keep in mind, some will simply not play along.
  2. DON’T make it too hard for them
  3. DO give them the tools they need. Spoon feed them what you want them to share…Tweets, FB posts, Goodreads posts, etc… Make it easy by giving them something they can share in a few seconds, otherwise they will put it off and forget about it.
  • Track your and your tribes’ posts by the use of #.
  • DON’T create a Facebook page just for your Tribe! They just don’t work as you intended. You’ll likely be disappointed with the outcome. They just won’t use it much. Maybe in the beginning, but then it drops off to nothing.
  1. DO focus on one-way communication. Put them on a separate email list. Create an email list of your Tribe and keep them up to date. Encourage everyone use the Reply All when communicating.
  2. DO invite all your fans to be a part of this special group.
  1. Make your Tribe a success




What else can you do?


CREATE INCENTIVE—Ask yourself, how many books do you want to sell?

  1. Incentive and Scarcity
    1. Sell hard to existing fans. Even though you already gave your tribe a book, ask them to buy one. (At least the eBook)
    2. Why should someone buy your book? Know the answer because sooner or later, someone will ask.
  • Design scarcity—Create offers or a bonus if people buy before a certain date or pre-order.
    1. PayPal, Square
    2. Amazon, BN, Kobo, Smashwords, etc…



  1. To Blog or Not to Blog, that is the question…
    1. Share stories about your research, especially funny stories.
    2. Write in your own voice, as if you are speaking directly to them, not in a stilted, dull voice. Make jokes. Use sarcasm in a way that will make the reader smile.
  • Share your excitement and enthusiasm. If you can get them to feel your energy and excitement, they will WANT to buy your book.
  1. Videos, podcasts, and Book trailers
  2. Again, make it easy to buy your book.
  3. Social Media
    1. Saturate social media
    2. Leverage your fans
      1. Question: Is it easier to build a following of 10,000 people or get 10 people with 1000 followers each to share something exciting about your book?
  • Post your book launch event on FB, Twitter, Goodreads, community calendars, and anywhere you can think of.
  1. Send invitations — email, snail mail, Evite, etc…
  2. Inherently, your fans want to help. It is your job to show them how.
  3. BUT, they don’t know how so you must equip them. Give them quotes to post, tweets to tweet, images and graphics to share, etc…



  1. Review Houses
    1. Kirkus Reviews
    2. Foreword Clarion Reviews
      1. Foreword reviews…free pros & cons
  • Midwest Book Review
  1. Apex, Reader Views, many more… Google book reviewers
  1. Endorsements
    1. Non-fiction—experts in the field, specialty professionals
    2. Fiction—like genre authors
  2. Net Galley — You’ve heard the old adage, it takes money to make money, meet Net Galley. Upload eBook and wait. Reviews start coming in after a few weeks.
  3. What do you do with all those reviews?
    1. Post expert reviews as they come in on FB, Twitter, Goodreads. Engage your Tribe to do the same. Spread the word. When readers see what the professional book reviewers are saying about your book, they will buy!


HAVE A BOOK LAUNCH EVENT—Virtual and Physical

  2. Location, location, location
    1. Bookstores
    2. Rent venues
  3. Timing
    1. Does your book have a seasonal theme? Time you launch accordingly.
    2. Check community calendars for potential conflicts.
  4. Keeping the Buzz
    1. As your release date nears, get more and more active with your buzz. Ramp it up!
  5. Involving your Tribe
    1. Keep your Tribe actively involved. Same as above, as release date nears, have your Tribe get increasingly more active. Flood social media the week of your event. Don’t let people forget it is coming.
  6. Dealing with the Press
    1. Invite the press. Odds are they won’t come, but extend them a formal invitation. Make your event sound fun! If they do show, watch the $$ come in.
  7. BLING!!! — Everybody like stuff, especially free stuff.
    2. Posters
  • T-shirts
  1. Coffee cups
  2. Mouse pads
  3. Much, much more — Café Press
  1. Volunteers
    1. You cannot do this by yourself. Recruit reliable volunteers. Give them a t-shirt and have them wear it to your event.
  2. Conducting your Event
    1. You are the ENTERTAINER — Make the event fun!
    2. Catering
  • Create contests and giveaways
  1. Entertain the crowd. Tell funny stories. Do a reading if you want to…or have someone read.
  2. Share the core ideas that were the backbone of your content/book
  3. Share stories of interesting people you met during your research
  • Keep it light and informal. Make everyone feel comfortable and at home.
  1. Presentation
    1. How you arrange your table is very, VERY important. Find the most interior design inclined person you know to help you with placement of your products.
  2. All the extras add up to sales
    2. Arrive early.
  • Stay late.
  1. Offer to help clean up
  2. Add as much to this list as you can think of to make your event a tremendous success.
    1. If you are running your own cash box at your event, make sure you have the capability of accepting credit cards and cash. I recommend you do not take checks unless you know the person well. There is nothing more awkward than having a friend give you a bad check and having to ask for payment again.
      1. Square
  • Ask your buyers to become sharers.
  • Ask your buyers to leave reviews.

1 Comment

  1. Ken Farris on January 10, 2018 at 8:26 am

    Chuck, just finished Disruption, another great read!! I really appreciate the location descriptions of places I have visited that are weaved throughout the whole series. As I have said before, your ability to tell a compelling story is awesome – Jake is the man!! I highly recommend that if anyone is looking for an action packed read – Chuck Barrett (with the help of Debi) is a great combination.

    Now it’s on to Declared Dead !!

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