Launch Teams & Book Reviews


One of the coolest things about being on this writing journey is connecting with other writers. Not that I have face-to-face contact with every writer I meet, but it is amazing the variety of avenues these connections occur.

Sometimes we meet at writing conferences, workshops, or in critique groups. Other times, through Facebook posts. And occasionally, I meet someone at random and find out later they are a writer.

While I don’t believe these meetings are coincidental, I also don’t spend time trying to figure out the reason behind a meeting. I just take it at face value—we were meant to cross paths.

That’s the same way I feel about certain email notices that wind up in my in box. Somewhere along the road I began receiving announcements from authors and publicists about upcoming books and Bible studies. While I have no memory of signing up for these email alerts, neither do I feel the need to unsubscribe to them. Maybe that’s because I like receiving the messages and learning about new works in progress.

Anyway, several months ago, attached to one of these notices was an application to be part of an author’s launch team. That message threw me for a loop, mainly because I’d never heard of a launch team. Beyond that, I didn’t feel qualified to be part of their team.

I remember reading the message multiple times, marking it as unread, and eventually flagging it to remind me not to put it in the trash. I think I repeated this process twelve times before I got the nerve to fill out the attached form and send it in.

Once I finally threw caution to the wind, completed the launch team form, and pressed SEND, I chuckled to myself and said out loud, “They’ll never pick me.”

Ironically, several days later I received a notice: Congratulations, you have been selected!

I threw my hands in the air and yelled, “Yay!” and shortly thereafter suffered a moment of panic as I thought: What have I gotten myself into? I have no clue what I’m doing.

Thankfully, the launch team leader (who obviously leads numerous events like this) had everything under control. Their email directions provided the necessary details and included encouraging notes, tips, and graphics for the team to share, yet left room for personal creativity.

The goal of the launch team? Spread the news about upcoming books and Bible studies through social media venues.

Being part of that first launch team stretched my social media knowledge and usage (although I still have much to learn in this area). But, I also needed to share information without inundating my social media pages and driving people batty.

Currently, I’m in the midst of my fifth launch team, and although there is some work involved, they are a lot of fun. I’ve met some amazing teammates from all parts of the US. Plus, there’s the added bonus of getting a glimpse of the author’s heartbeat for the message they are presenting.

For me, probably the most challenging part of the launch team is writing the book reviews. Stringing my thoughts together in a cohesive matter is time consuming and often stretches my brain cells to near bursting. As such, I’m frequently observed walking through the house running my hands through my hair and muttering, “Writing this one’s gonna kill me!”

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Furthermore, I seem to be stuck in what I’ve dubbed “the twenty-one rough draft loop.”

Several days ago, my husband spotted rough draft number three of whatever I was working on. “That’s a lot of red!” he commented.

“I know,” I replied, “that’s why my students don’t want me to proof read their papers. I’m brutal!”

Although I receive no monetary compensation for my efforts, there is something beyond what I’ve mentioned that pushes me to be part of these groups, to edit my rough drafts until I feel the words are ready to post, and to learn all I can about this entire process.

Someday, I hope to be on the other side of the launch team—as the author.

If you’ve been on a launch team, what’s your favorite thing about them? If you’ve received notices but never applied, what’s holding you back? If you want to know more information about launch teams, please ask. I’ll be glad to share what I know. Use the comment section to keep this conversation going – Jill

* featured image photo compliments of

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