Similar to lead magnets, reader magnets are free resources that you give away to readers in exchange for them signing up to your mailing list.
You can regard reader magnets as opt-in incentives that encourage readers to subscribe to your newsletter or email list.
Here are some reader magnet ideas to boost newsletter subscribers for fiction authors.
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The most obvious reader magnet would be the books that you already offer for free on various retailers.
Since they’re already free, why not turn them into reader magnets?
Do consider giving away the first book of a series for free. This will attract many readers to at least give your books a chance (especially if you’re a new author or have a small reader base) and if they love the story, they’ll purchase and continue reading the rest of the series. This permafree first-in-series broadens the top of the funnel so you reach a wider pool of potential readers.
However, do note that this free book shouldn’t be enrolled in Amazon KDP Select. When you enroll a book into Amazon KDP Select, you’re committing to making the digital format of that book available exclusively on Kindle. During this period of exclusivity, you cannot distribute your book digitally anywhere else. You can, however, distribute your book in physical format or in any format other than digital. In other words, you shouldn’t enroll your free eBook in Amazon KDP Select. Do check out my blog post of Amazon KDP Select vs Going Wide~
Also, I strongly recommend that you offer free eBooks which are relatively cheaper than physical books (paperbacks, hardcovers etc.).
Bear in mind that this is the most valuable read magnet since readers are getting a complete book for free.
Flash Fiction or Short Stories
If you’ve written a flash fiction or short story that isn’t published anywhere, you can consider using it as a reader magnet.
Of course, this flash fiction or short story should be complete. Meaning that there should be an ending, conclusion or resolution.
They can be totally unrelated to your books. Or they can be related to your series or brand. The key is that it needs to incentivize readers to sign up for your newsletter.
Though this is less valuable than a book, flash fiction and short stories still have a higher conversion rate than extracts and samples (which you can easily get from the preview feature on various retailers like Amazon, Kobo etc.).
Extracts or Samples
As its name suggests, an extract is a part of the book that is extracted.
If your books are on Amazon, you can take the same chapters as the sample. This is usually 10% of the book’s content. You can then use these sample chapters as reader magnet.
If your books are wide and the sample varies across the retailers, you may choose to only include the first chapter for your reader magnet.
Extras is a broad category that includes many types of content.
But they’re essentially additional content related to the book.
Such reader magnets are effective for people who read your stories and are interested to know more. However, they might not be effective for new readers who don’t know you or your books.
Deleted Scenes & Chapters
I know how hard it is to write an entire scene or even an entire chapter only to remove them from your book when you reach the editing stage.
Well, here’s a piece of good news: you can compile these deleted scenes and chapters into a reader magnet!
Avid readers might be curious about the scenes and chapters that didn’t make it to the final version of your book. It’ll be nice if you add your opinions or thoughts on why you chose to delete them so readers get a glimpse into your thinking~
Do you have an alternate ending for your story? Whether you’ve already finished writing or haven’t started writing it, you can use this as a reader magnet.
Some readers might not be satisfied with your book’s ending and would love to read the alternate ending you had in mind.
Again, you can mention the reasons why you didn’t choose this ending for the final version of your story.
Of course, it doesn’t have to be the ending. You can switch this to alternate scenes or chapters~
Hidden Chapters or Side Stories
Did your characters mention an incident or event that happened to them? But they simply summarized them in one sentence?
Why not flesh it out and write an entire scene or chapter of how it actually happened? This interesting reader magnet might just be what readers need!
These hidden chapters and side stories will fulfill readers’ curiosity to know exactly what happened. They can see it with their own eyes, rather than hear it from the characters’ dialogue.
Likewise, if your story includes snippets of flashback, you can flesh them out and use them as reader magnet.
Another reader magnet is maps.
This is especially valuable if you did extensive worldbuilding for your story, whether it’s a fantasy or dystopian world.
Maps offer readers a glimpse of what the world in your story looks like. They can better understand the different locations that your characters live or travel to.
Just like how the FBI open files on people that they investigate, you can showcase the character profiles you’ve created. This could include your protagonist, antagonist, main characters and any interesting minor characters.
This in-depth dive into your characters’ personality and background will evoke readers’ curiosity and encourage them to subscribe to your newsletter, especially for readers who love your characters.
Sketches of Your Characters, Meaningful Objects or Scenes
For this reader magnet, you can hire a professional artist or you can do it yourself. Another option is to ask your fans if anyone wants to volunteer (you can also choose to compensate them for their effort).
The key isn’t beautiful art. The key is art that captures the essence of your characters, objects or scenes. If people can tell at a glance that this sketch is about your book, that’s great. If people become intrigued and sign up for your newsletter just for this art, that’s even better!
Any other information that doesn’t fall into the abovementioned categories can also serve as valuable resources for your reader magnet.
- Blurb Rewrites
- Initial Book Cover Design
- Timelines (especially time travel fiction)
- Family Tree
- Book Title Ideas
The possibilities are endless.
You can ask yourself the type of content that you would be interested in as a reader. Or you can look out for requests from your avid fans. Is there anything that they would like to know more about?
Now It’s Your Turn
What other reader magnet ideas do you have to boost newsletter subscribers for fiction authors? Have you used any of the abovementioned reader magnets? How were your experience and results?
When delivering your reader magnet, I strongly recommend that you use a tool like StoryOrigin that integrates with your email service provider such as MailerLite. This way, you can collect subscribers for your mailing list and automate the delivery of your reader magnets. It also takes away the time-consuming technical support. StoryOrigin offers step-by-step instructions for different device types so readers can easily download to their Kindle and eBook reader directly in one click!