What: Book Ambassadors Defined
Book Ambassadors vs. Book Reviewers
At the time of your launch, these are not the same people. I repeat: These are not the same people. Book ambassadors can BECOME reviewers after they’ve read your book. But at the time of your launch, ambassadors have likely not seen/read an advance copy. They are merely cheering you on and helping you build buzz around your book launch.
Who: Qualities of a Good Ambassador
This will depend largely on your goal(s). Are you looking for ambassadors to increase your reach? To get more reviews? More sales? Define your goals so your launch ambassadors can help you reach them. If you’re looking to increase your reach beyond your audience, you’ll want ambassadors with a bigger audience than yours, or perhaps with a difference cross-section of that audience.
At minimum, you’re looking to your biz besties and peers. Some people bring influencers in at this stage, but often that’s reserved for people you’re sending the book to. A good ambassador is anyone who will help you get your book in front of potential readers in a positive light.
Why: Take the Help When You Can!
Marketing is exhausting, and that includes book marketing. Book ambassadors help decrease the load by spreading the work for you. Don’t get me wrong: You are still carrying the bulk of the marketing load, but like the heading says, take the help where you can.
Another benefit to book ambassadors is that sometimes (often?) people need or want social proof. Of course you think your book is great and will help readers; you wrote it! But someone ELSE saying people should check out the book because you’re an expert in XYZ is another thing altogether.
How: Help Them Help You
So logistically, how does it work? Make it easy for book ambassadors to spread the word about you and your book. Supply graphics and copy that they can use across various social media platforms — but encourage them to do whatever they are comfortable with. If that means sharing on one platform, great. If that means re-creating your graphics in their brand colors, awesome. Let them know when they should share. (All on launch day? Some that day and some spread throughout that week?)
Also consider giving them some background about the book: how you came to wrote the book, the benefits to readers, and such. You want people who can confidently share about you and your book.
When: When Do Ambassadors Factor In?
Since book marketing starts well before your book manuscript is finished (need a refresher on the time line? Check out this post and this post.), start thinking about who might be a good fit early on. You can even ask them in advance with something as simple as this:
“Hey, ____. I’m launching my book, Book Title Here, on February 15th and am lining up book ambassadors, aka launch cheerleaders. If you’re interested, I’ll supply copy and graphics the week of Feb 5th. No hard feelings if it doesn’t work for your audience or you can’t swing it. Thanks, friend!”
Have you ever been a book ambassador? Let me know your favorite part about it in the comments.