When we find a book that we’re crazy in love with, our number one goal is to share that story with people who we know will appreciate it. In publishing, there are plenty of traditional ways to go about doing that: send a galley out for review, book an ad online, post a photo on Facebook. But if you know XOXO After Dark, you know we’re anything BUT traditional. We wanted a way to share our favorite steamy, sexy, romantic reads that was personal, authentic, and outside the box. And that’s when it hit us: if we want romance novels to be read by romance fans, we have to have romance fans promoting them.
That’s how the XOXperts Street Team program was born.
At the end of 2014, we sent out a siren call to romance bloggers and reviewers with only one requirement: be a tried-and-true romance reader! Well there were a few more requirements, but you get the point. After sifting through hundreds of applications, we had finally created a street team of bloggers who we branded as official XOXO After Dark XOXperts.
Their job was simple: read a small stack of print and e-books every month, pick their favorites, and blast their reviews online. They tweeted, posted, reviewed, shared, and talked up dozens of titles every month. Finally we had found a way to generate positive buzz about romance books that was genuine and trustworthy for romance fans!
The program has changed here and there throughout the years. Sometimes there are upwards of thirty members, sometimes just shy of a dozen. Every once in a while an XOXpert will write a post for the site. We’ve incorporated women’s fiction and even narrative non-fiction into their monthly book boxes. Their reviews of romance reads have trickled onto Instagram, which is a growing platform for finding the best and the newest books. But one thing has always remained constant: XOXperts love to read. From the naughtiest, dirtiest, most scandalous of stories, to the wistful, hopeful, breathtakingly beautiful books on love, our XOXperts cover it all, and we love them for it.
Want to be an XOXpert? Comment on this post as to why you think you’d be a good addition to the program below!