Let’s start off with some writing news:
All in all, it’s been going pretty good. I’ve been writing, editing, and I joined a service called BookFunnel which helps authors distribute items to readers (advanced copies, reader magnets, ect). It’s awesome. It’s also used for marketing, so this service is exactly what I’ve been looking for…which is why it only makes sense that I’ve hit a wall.
I’m talking about my reader magnet. It’s exactly what you think it is – something free that attracts readers to try a new author. Typically, a “reader magnet” is given in exchange for an email address, so that the person sampling the work is now on the author’s newsletter and will receive information about new releases and such going forward. They can opt out at any time, but it’s how they “pay” for the reader magnet. It’s a great concept and one I’m really eager to get on board with. Of course, I had to complicate things and now I’m not sure what to do.
Original idea for reader magnet:
Back when I was writing the first draft of ITMB, I planned on writing it for Radish, the serialized platform that I was on earlier this year and then violated their terms of service so my story got kicked off (insert eye-roll), but also using it as my reader magnet. When I realized ITMB was the first of three books, I decided I didn’t want to use it as my magnet anymore, especially since I’m pricing it at 99 cents.
So….I had another idea. At the end of ITMB and before ITMD (book two) I wrote a bridge scene that’s not integral to the overall storyline, but provides additional insight, more clues to a big reveal and, (I hope), additional swooning for the hero. I love the scene and am fully set on making it my official reader magnet…but I’m planning on making it fully available in February, kind of like a Valentine’s Day present for my current newsletter subscribers, and then the official magnet for all new subscribers. The only problem with that is I won’t have a magnet until February…so what do I do in the meantime? I thought about offering either EFH or BTT as my give away, but what about people who’ve already read them and joined because of those books? (Not only do you want to attract new readers with the magnet, but you want to reward readers who’ve already taken a chance.)
So…this is where I am. Most people suggest prequel novellas or side stories as reader magnets and those make the most sense. But no, I had to write a magnet between the first and second book (neither yet released) and now I have to figure out how to do this.
What do you guys think? What kind of reader magnet would you want when trying a new author? (short story, novella, full book, something else?) What about if you’ve read a book and signed up for their newsletter – what kind of treat then?
Tell me so I know what to do.
Batman and I are going to Disney this week! In fact, we’re probably traveling the world at Epcot as you’re reading this, but don’t be jealous. I’m sure we’re shoulder to shoulder with everyone else melting in the Florida heat complaining that water bottles cost over three dollars. But that’s how we decided to spend my birthday. It’ll probably be the last time we go to Disney for a while so we need to make this count. I’m only turning the *magic age of thirty-seven once. Gotta celebrate.
Let me know what you think about the reader magnet. I’m literally dependent on other people giving me opinions. It’ll help navigate these weird waters I keep falling into.
*Go watch Clerks if you don’t know why thirty-seven is the magical number. Trust me.
One thought on “Of Course I Had to Complicate Things”
If you’re planning it as a magnet in February, you’d probably be okay in the meantime without one unless you are planning a new release before then and want to build a newsletter audience prior to the release, in which case you could always do a quick short story or even pull something off patreon as a limited magnet. I think right now I still have Jorick’s origin story, LOL! I was going to do a thanksgiving short last year but never got it done. Honestly haven’t felt like writing as much since mom passed, so idk. Plus the modern fans scare me more than they used to. It seems that to be a fan of something means to hate it…it’s very confusing! But, anyway, I’ve done magnets before that go between the books (like the 13 guests collection, and the tales from the island and what now) because I think it does help hype the next book and can also add some depth to it, so I think it’s a good idea! The other thing you could do is offer two – the in between story and then one of the novels, then readers can choose which one, eliminating that “I’ve already read it” issue.