I was chatting with Chris about my latest release—book 4 in the Foxy Mysteries series, Twisted Vendetta and the topic of Reader Magnets popped up. Since I added this series to Kindle Unlimited, I’ve not been able to give book 1 away as my Reader Magnet anymore, so I’ve started writing a new one—potentially a new series starter (watch this space).
If you are new to writing, you’re probably scratching your head right now wondering why I want to give a book away? Isn’t it about selling books? Am I crazy?
Sure, we write books to sell them, but finding new readers can be challenging. There are literally millions of books on Amazon and only a handful of authors currently get nearly all the sales. Why? Because those authors are well known and highly sought after.
If you are signed with one of the top 5 publishing houses, well they do all that marketing (sometimes) and get your name out there, but if you are an Indie author, you’re going to have to do that yourself and a free book is a fantastic way of showing readers just how fabulous you are. But the double whammy is that a Reader Magnet is a great way of collecting reader’s email addresses which is an extremely effective marketing tool that most successful Indie authors know how to utilise.
Why collect emails? Because letting Amazon or other e-book retailers take total control of your readers and marketing isn’t optimum. Being able to email your readers and tell them about your next book is extremely important in building up your own business so that you aren’t relying on Amazon alone to tell your readers you’ve released a new book (because they often don’t until you are a big name in the game).
Your email list also offers you an opportunity to find Beta readers, (proof and story continuity readers), ARC readers (advanced copy readers who read and review your books ready for release) and super fans (those who just buy absolutely everything and anything you publish at full price and don’t even bat an eye.)
What is a reader Magnet?
A Reader Magnet is one of the most common options out there to encourage readers to share their email address or follow you on social media. If you are a new writer frantically googling what a Reader Magnet actually is, stop! I’m just about to explain, so read on.
A Reader Magnet can be a short story, character interview or something quirky or imaginative, but by far the most effective option is a complete story, novella size or larger. Apart from offering it to readers as an incentive to join your mailing list, a Reader Magnet is an author’s chance to engage new readers and bring them to their entire catalogue of works, so it needs to be well written, edited, presented with a good cover and basically ready for retailing on any e-book store.
With that in mind, my Reader Magnets (I used to write fantasy, now I write crime fiction/romantic suspense) have always been a complete story. I always use the series starter and these books are also for sale on all e-book retailers. Why? Because readers don’t just want something for free, they want something of value and if you usually charge for your book, new readers will feel they really are getting a gift when you give them a free copy.
I’m a developing Indie author just like thousands of others and I’m still discovering so much about the industry, but even successful six figure authors like Mark Dawson still offer free books to entice readers to discover their work. If it’s good for them, it must be a great option for the rest of us; right?
Yes and no. The Reader Magnet needs to be done well or it could actually be detrimental to your career so don’t just throw something together slap dash, make sure you put as much effort into your Reader Magnet as you do with every new book you write.
How to create a Reader Magnet
A quick guide to the steps you should consider when creating a Reader Magnet—I hope I don’t miss any, if I do, feel free to comment below.…
• Create a good quality, compelling story and get it edited and beta read just as you would any book you plan on releasing. Make sure it’s not just a filler story. It needs to have the same vibe as all your major works. I once considered a prequel for my Foxy Mystery series, but quickly discovered it would just be a back story with no murder or intrigue and definitely no climax to keep the reader wanting more. Keep this in mind when plotting out your Reader Magnet.
Distributing your Reader Magnet
With your digital file done, you are now ready to distribute your Reader Magnet and there are a few ways you can do this relatively cost effectively, if not free.
One thing to consider as you set this all up is to make sure your email service is ready to receive these new readers with a welcome sequence of emails. I use mine to offer a second free book (a series starter for my fantasy books in case readers are interested). I also use it to weed out the freebie hunters I spoke about earlier.
Hopefully this quick guide has been helpful in explaining how and why you might want to write a Reader Magnet to grow your readers. Any questions, just drop them in the comments below and I’ll do my best to answer them, or contact me on my website HERE or Facebook page HERE
The NEW RELEASE
Since trading in her high heels for a PI badge, Liz has developed an insatiable appetite for justice—one that nearly always ends up getting her in trouble.
When Liz pulled back from the escort business, she never managed to quit the game entirely. Holding on to the past meant seeing Ted Lincoln, a long-term client, one more time. Now he’s been found dead with a bullet in his brain and Liz is the prime suspect.
All Liz wants to do is hunt down Ted’s killer, but as the trail leads down the rabbit hole of her sordid past, she worries that her budding relationship with local detective Jack Cunningham might not survive the ride.
Liz sinks her teeth into the investigation, and discovers a deadly game with more lives at risk. She becomes bait in a trap, but it might just as easily snap shut on her. Permanently…