Books Forward October 2021 Newsletter

Check out the latest newsletter featuring our award-winning authors and industry news. This issue features upcoming book releases, recent media coverage and much more!

Read the October 2021 newsletter here!

Bachelorette Nation: Here are 15 romance books we’d give our roses to

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Nope, not Christmas or Thanksgiving — a new season of The Bachelorette is upon us! I am so ready to dive deep into Michelle Young’s journey for love, and it’s also the perfect excuse to break out some swoon-worthy romance books. Want to find the perfect read worthy of your rose? We’ve got you covered!

If the Shoe Fits by Julie Murphy

With a shiny new design degree but no job in sight, Cindy moves back in with her stepmother, the executive producer of the world’s biggest dating reality show. When a contestant on Before Midnight bows out at the last minute, Cindy is thrust into the spotlight. But being the first and only plus-size contestant on Before Midnight turns her into a viral sensation — and a body-positivity icon — overnight. To make it to the end, despite the fans, the haters, and a house full of fellow contestants she’s not sure she can trust, Cindy will have to take a leap of faith and hope her heels — and her heart — don’t break in the process.

The Charm Offensive by Allison Cochrun

Dev Deshpande has always believed in fairy tales. So it’s no wonder then that he’s spent his career crafting them on the long-running reality dating show Ever After. Dev always scripts the perfect love story for his contestants, even as his own love life crashes and burns. But then the show casts disgraced tech wunderkind Charlie Winshaw as its star. He doesn’t believe in true love, and only agreed to the show as a last-ditch effort to rehabilitate his image. As Dev fights to get Charlie to connect with the contestants, they begin to open up to each other, and Charlie realizes he has better chemistry with Dev than with any of his female co-stars. But even reality TV has a script, and in order to find to happily ever after, they’ll have to reconsider whose love story gets told.

Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert

Eve Brown is a certified hot mess. When her personal brand of chaos ruins an expensive wedding, her parents draw the line. It’s time for Eve to grow up and prove herself — even though she’s not entirely sure how. Jacob Wayne is in control. Always. The bed and breakfast owner’s on a mission to dominate the hospitality industry and he expects nothing less than perfection. So when a purple-haired tornado of a woman turns up out of the blue to interview for his open chef position, he tells her the brutal truth: not a chance in hell. Then she hits him with her car — supposedly by accident. Yeah, right. Now his arm is broken, his B&B is understaffed, and the dangerously unpredictable Eve is fluttering around, trying to help. Like Eve, the heat between them is impossible to ignore… and it’s melting Jacob’s frosty exterior.

One to Watch by Kate Stayman-London

Bea Schumacher is a devastatingly stylish plus-size fashion blogger who has amazing friends, a devoted family, legions of Insta followers — and a massively broken heart. Like the rest of America, Bea indulges in her weekly obsession: the hit reality show Main Squeeze.But Bea is sick and tired of the lack of body diversity on the show. Since when is being a size zero a prerequisite for getting engaged on television? Just when Bea has sworn off dating altogether, she gets a call from Main Squeeze, who wants her to be its next star, surrounded by men vying for her affections. Bea agrees, on one condition: Under no circumstances will she actually fall in love. But when the cameras start rolling, Bea realizes things are more complicated than she anticipated. Bea has to decide whether it might just be worth trusting these men — and herself — for a chance to live happily ever after.

Beard Science by Penny Reid

Make a deal with the devil and you might get what you want, but will it be what you need? Jennifer Sylvester wants one thing, and that one thing is NOT to be Tennessee’s reigning Banana Cake Queen. Ever the perpetual good girl and obedient daughter, Jennifer is buckling under the weight of her social media celebrity, her mother’s ambitions, and her father’s puritanical mandates. Jennifer is officially desperate. And desperate times call for Cletus Winston. Cletus Winston is a puzzle wrapped in a mystery covered in conundrum sauce, and now he’s in a pickle. Despite being convinced of his own omniscience, extortion by the exalted Banana Cake Queen of Green Valley has taken him completely by surprise. So… what’s a maniacal mastermind to do? Likely, the last thing you expect.

A World Between by Emily Hashimoto

In 2004, college students Eleanor Suzuki and Leena Shah meet in an elevator. Both girls are on the brink of adulthood, each full of possibility and big ideas, and they fall into a whirlwind romance. Years later, Eleanor and Leena collide on the streets of San Francisco. Although grown and changed and each separately partnered, the two find themselves, once again, irresistibly pulled back together. Narrated in sparkling prose, A World Between follows two strikingly different but interconnected women as they navigate family, female friendship, and their own fraught history.

My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren

Millie Morris has always been one of the guys. A UC Santa Barbara professor, she’s a female-serial-killer expert who’s quick with a deflection joke and terrible at getting personal. And she, just like her four best guy friends and fellow professors, is perma-single. So when a routine university function turns into a black tie gala, Mille and her circle make a pact that they’ll join an online dating service to find plus-ones for the event. While the guys are inundated with quality matches and potential dates, Millie’s first profile attempt garners nothing but dick pics and creepers. Enter “Catherine” — Millie’s fictional profile persona. Soon “Catherine” and Millie’s best friend Reid strike up a digital pen-pal-ship…but Millie can’t resist temptation in real life, either. Soon, she’ll have to face her worst fear — intimacy — or risk losing her best friend, forever.

Beach Read by Emily Henry

Augustus Everett is an acclaimed author of literary fiction. January Andrews writes bestselling romance. When she pens a happily ever after, he kills off his entire cast. They’re polar opposites.The only thing they have in common is that for the next three months, they’re living in neighboring beach houses, broke, and bogged down with writer’s block. Until, one hazy evening, one thing leads to another and they strike a deal designed to force them out of their creative ruts: Augustus will spend the summer writing something happy, and January will pen the next Great American Novel. She’ll take him on field trips worthy of any rom-com montage, and he’ll take her to interview surviving members of a backwoods death cult (obviously). Everyone will finish a book and no one will fall in love. Really.

The Heart Principle by Helen Hoang

When violinist Anna Sun accidentally achieves career success with a viral YouTube video, she finds herself incapacitated and burned out from her attempts to replicate that moment. And when her longtime boyfriend announces he wants an open relationship before making a final commitment, a hurt and angry Anna decides that if he wants an open relationship, then she does, too. That’s where tattooed, motorcycle-riding Quan Diep comes in. But being with Quan is more than sex — he accepts Anna on an unconditional level that she herself has just started to understand. However, when tragedy strikes Anna’s family she takes on a role that she is ill-suited for, until the burden of expectations threatens to destroy her. Anna and Quan have to fight for their chance at love, but to do that, they also have to fight for themselves.

The Dating Playbook by Farah Rochon

When it comes to personal training, Taylor Powell kicks serious butt. Unfortunately, her bills are piling up, rent is due, and the money situation is dire. Taylor needs more than the support of her new best friends, Samiah and London. She needs a miracle. And Jamar Dixon might just be it. The oh-so-fine former footballer wants back into the NFL, and he wants Taylor to train him. There’s just one catch — no one can know what they’re doing. But when they’re accidentally outed as a couple, Taylor’s game plan is turned completely upside down. Is Jamar just playing to win . . . or is he playing for keeps?

The Roommate by Rosie Danan

Clara Wheaton is the consummate socialite: over-achieving, well-mannered, predictable. But when Clara’s childhood crush invites her to move cross-country, the offer is too tempting to resist. Unfortunately, it’s also too good to be true. After a bait-and-switch, Clara finds herself sharing a lease with a charming stranger. Josh might be a bit too perceptive for comfort, but there’s a good chance he and Clara could have survived sharing a summer sublet if she hadn’t looked him up on the Internet…His professional prowess inspires her to take tackling the stigma against female desire into her own hands. They may not agree on much, but Josh and Clara both believe women deserve better sex. What they decide to do about it will change both of their lives, and if they’re lucky, they’ll help everyone else get lucky too.

You Had Me At Hola by Alexis Daria

After a messy public breakup, soap opera darling Jasmine Lin Rodriguez finds her face splashed across the tabloids. When she returns to her hometown of NY to film the starring role in a bilingual rom-com, Jasmine figures her new “Leading Lady Plan” should be easy enough to follow — until a casting shake-up pairs her with telenovela hunk Ashton Suárez. After his last telenovela character was killed off, Ashton is worried his career is dead as well. With their careers on the line, Jasmine and Ashton agree to rehearse in private. But rehearsal leads to kissing, and kissing leads to a behind-the-scenes romance worthy of a soap opera. While their on-screen performance improves, the media spotlight on Jasmine soon threatens to destroy her new image and expose Ashton’s most closely guarded secret.

Recommended for You by Laura Silverman

Shoshanna Greenberg loves working at Once Upon, her favorite local bookstore. And with her moms fighting at home and her beloved car teetering on the brink of death, the store has become a welcome escape. When her boss announces a holiday bonus to the person who sells the most books, Shoshanna sees an opportunity to at least fix her car, if none of her other problems. The only person standing in her way? New hire Jake Kaplan. Jake is an affront to everything Shoshanna stands for. He doesn’t even read! But somehow his sales start to rival hers. As the competition intensifies, Jake and Shoshanna grow closer and realize they might be more on the same page than either expects…

The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa

A wedding planner left at the altar? Yeah, the irony isn’t lost on Carolina Santos, either. But despite that embarrassing blip from her past, Lina’s offered an opportunity that could change her life. There’s just one hitch… she has to collaborate with the best (make that worst) man from her own failed nuptials. Marketing expert Max Hartley is determined to make his mark with a coveted hotel client looking to expand its brand. Then he learns he’ll be working with his brother’s whip-smart, stunning ex-fiance. Max has been public enemy number one ever since he encouraged his brother to jilt the bride, and Lina’s ready to dish out a little payback of her own. Soon Lina and Max discover animosity may not be the only emotion creating sparks between them. Still, this star-crossed couple can never be more than temporary playmates because Lina isn’t interested in falling in love and Max refuses to play runner-up to his brother ever again…

It Happened One Summer by Tessa Bailey

Piper Bellinger is fashionable, influential, and her reputation as a wild child means the paparazzi are constantly on her heels. When her stepfather decides enough is enough, he cuts her off, sending Piper and her sister to learn some responsibility running their late father’s dive bar… in Washington. Piper hasn’t even been in Westport for five minutes when she meets big, bearded sea captain Brendan, who thinks she won’t last a week outside of Beverly Hills. She’s determined to show her stepfather — and the hot, grumpy local — that she’s more than a pretty face. Except it’s a small town and everywhere she turns, she bumps into Brendan. The two are polar opposites, but there’s an undeniable attraction simmering between them. And as she reconnects with her past and begins to feel at home in Westport, Piper starts to wonder if the cold, glamorous life she knew is what she truly wants. LA is calling her name, but Brendan — and this town full of memories — may have already caught her heart.

BFFs July Newsletter

Check out the latest newsletter for our Books Forward Friends. This issue features highlights of our BFFs, fun titles available for review, and special opportunities for our friends.

Download the July 2021 newsletter here!

Books Forward June 2021 Newsletter

Check out the latest newsletter featuring our award-winning authors and industry news. This issue celebrates a NYT-bestselling author, features upcoming book releases, recent media coverage and much more!

Read the June 2021 newsletter here!

BFFs June 2021 Newsletter

Check out the latest newsletter for our Books Forward Friends. This issue features reading lists, highlights of our BFFs, and a special chance for our BFFs to chat with Books Forward team members

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Books Forward May 2021 Newsletter

Check out the latest newsletter featuring our award-winning authors and industry news. This issue features upcoming book releases, recent media coverage and much more!

Read the May 2021 newsletter here!

BFFs May 2021 Newsletter

Check out the latest newsletter for our Books Forward Friends. This issue features an interview with a small business supporting indie authors, quizzes, reading lists, highlights of our BFFs and much more!

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Books Forward April 2021 Newsletter

Check out the latest newsletter featuring our award-winning authors and industry news. This issue features upcoming book releases, recent media coverage and much more!

Read the April 2021 newsletter here!

What is a street team and how should I use it?

As an author, have you ever thought about just how great it would be if you had a network of friends you knew would be dedicated to helping you promote your book? Sound like a fantasy?

Enter the street team.

A street team is a group of readers that help you promote your book, usually the most loyal fans of your previous books, or books in similar genres.

The relationship built between author and team members is beneficial for both parties. Team members will have access to their favorite author (you!) as well as other exclusive content. And as an author, you’ll have a team dedicated to promoting your upcoming book by posting and talking about it to their network of followers and friends — building up buzz ahead of your book’s launch!

How to recruit team members

The first step after deciding to compose a street team is, of course, recruiting members. If this is your first time getting a team together, try and shoot for between 20-50 members initially. More is great! But keep in mind you’ll have to keep track of if everyone is doing their part and promoting on their end. Exclusivity also helps make everyone on the team feel more special as well. A fun way to cement that exclusivity: Consider coming up with a creative team name!

And remember, team members need to be active online. There will be opportunities to promote your book in person — like talking with a bookseller or book club — but word-of-mouth will be most effective online and on social media.

Where to find members

  • Reach out to friends and family who would be a good fit
  • Check in with any beta readers you may already have
  • Go through previous relationships with book bloggers and people who have previously reviewed your book
  • If you’re promoting the next book in a series or a book similar to a previous work, reach out to people who have positively reviewed your book on Goodreads, NetGalley, Edelweiss, etc.
  • Announce in your mailing list, newsletter or on social media that you’re looking for team members

Have people fill out a Google Form so you can go through and pick who would be best for the team, or create a form/page on your website where they can enter info. Ask them things like what social media accounts they have, other books they’ve read in your book’s genre, any specific ideas for how they’d like to see your book promoted, etc. Consider keeping a tab on your website where people can request to join and you can consider building up your team for future books.

How to communicate with your team

So how do you keep track of communication with members once you’ve assembled your team? You’ll need to have an online space where all members can have access. Consider creating a private page on your website that only team members can access with a password. Or an easy option: Create a private Facebook page with just you and members — just make sure everyone in your team has a Facebook account!

Wherever you decide to keep team communication, you should make it a goal to post here regularly as well (we know, basically another social media platform!!). But interaction is important: It helps team members get to know you and vice versa. And it builds a great relationship with your team for future releases.

Notes on communication

  • Try and keep content focused around you and your book. After all, the goal of your street team is to promote your work!
  • Organize things like author interviews/takeovers with other authors to cross-promote and provide new content for your team members.
  • Make sure your team has access to any kind of promotional materials, both digital and physical. This could be bookmarks they can pass out to friends or flyers, stickers, buttons, etc. that they can drop off at local bookstores and libraries.
  • And again, exclusivity is important! When making announcements, make sure team members are one of the first — if not the first — group you reach out to and alert of something new. For instance, if you’re planning a cover reveal, your team should be able to see the cover before the general public.
  • You can also consider hosting a special launch event/party with just team members to celebrate all their hard work leading up to your book’s launch!

How to incentivize team members

It’s important to keep your team active and engaged during the book promotion process. The easiest way to do that is to create a challenge system where members must complete a task to receive a special reward, i.e.: After they post about the book on all their social media accounts, they’ll get a sneak peek of a future book excerpt. For bigger challenges/rewards, you can have drawings for prizes, i.e.: If someone gets a book club to read your book, they can be entered for a video chat session with you.

Potential rewards for your system

  • First access to any advance reader copies
  • Early access to extra written content like short stories, prequels,
  • Signed copies of books
  • If they aren’t already, consider allowing them to be beta readers for future novels
  • Sneak peeks at cover and title reveals, excerpts from future books etc.
  • Early and/or exclusive access to content on your author website or blog
  • Bonus book-related content like printable artworks, maps, bookmarks etc.
  • A video chat session with you (or potentially with an author friend as well if you’re working on cross-promoting!)
  • Promotion of your team members’ blogs and social media accounts on your own channels
  • A shoutout in the acknowledgements section of subsequent books

Potential challenges for members

  • Have them leave reviews of your book(s) on Amazon, Goodreads, Bookbub, other bookseller sites, their own personal blogs, etc.
  • Posting Instagram photos (if you don’t already have a hashtag around your book/series, now would be a good time to think of one!)
  • If they have a blog, hosting you for an interview or guest post.
  • Sharing others’ reviews and social media posts about you and your books
  • Sharing your blog posts and reposting posts from your social media accounts
  • Posting shoutouts of you and your book on their own social media channels
  • Talking about and recommending your book(s) to their family members, friends, etc.
  • Requesting your book(s) at their local libraries and suggesting them to any book clubs

There’s no set limit on how often you dish out challenges and rewards, but weekly challenges are a good goal to shoot for. You want challenges to be often enough to keep members active and engaged, but you don’t want to give them too many challenges that they are overwhelmed. Being a team member should be fun — not a chore!

Organize your system in the beginning of your book promotion period so that as the weeks go on, all you have to do is keep track of if team members are completing the challenges. And don’t forget to let everyone know that the rewards are not the main purpose of the team: They’re a way of thanking team members. The goal is to get the word out about you and your book to new readers!

 

BFFs April 2021 Newsletter

Check out the latest newsletter for our Books Forward Friends. This issue features a special opportunity for BFFs, some fun reading quizzes, highlights of our BFFs and much more!

Read the April 2021 newsletter here!