Thursday, May 24, 2018

Funneling in readers via a reader magnet

Hey, all! It's KGG here. I've been hella busy lately--drafting an adult mystery while also trying to launch a young adult novel this summer. And parent. Damn, kids are needy. I also just finished editing a trio of short stories for my newsletter subscribers. It's a thank you gift for those already on the list, and a bribe for those who I'd like to add to the list. And that's what I'm here to talk about today.

Growing your mailing list via a reader magnet.

What is a reader magnet? It's usually a free book authors offer their newsletter subscribers for signing up. Think a prequel story set in your series world. It could be a short story, novella, or full-length book. Whatever you think will entice readers to buy your work. In my case, I wrote three really good short pieces of crime fiction. I think they are some of my best writing, but I couldn't find a paying home for them (got a lovely rejection from Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine for one). So rather than collect dust on my laptop, I thought I'd package them nicely and offer them up.

Typically, the reader magnet isn't always available for sale (making it exclusive and, thus, more enticing) on other platforms, although mine is (I threw it up on Amazon), and it's not free anywhere else (also can't be enrolled in Kindle Unlimited). The point is, it's a bribe. "You want this lovely book. Sign here." Very Ursula The Sea Witch of me.

I am using BookFunnel to get my reader magnet to my readers. BookFunnel is the interface readers use to download the work to their devices. I'm not handling tech issues. [This isn't an endorsement. It just happens to be one of the few services that makes this super easy.] Then I go into my Mailchimp account and send my current subscribers a link to the freebie. And then I write a proper welcome message for new subscribers with a BookFunnel link to the reader magnet. And then I have to market the hell out of my reader magnet because what is the point of all this if no one knows about it?

Up until now, I haven't made a big effort to expand my newsletter list. The consensus is that readers who come to your mailing list organically (because they like your work and want to hear from you) are more likely to engage rather than those signing up in droves for a free book. Makes sense. But, I am tired of screaming into the void. I'm a strong writer and a good storyteller and I need an audience. It's getting harder and harder to invest my money in my work to see it flounder because of a lack of visibility. You get it. You're all writers.

Anyway, who has a reader magnet? How do you use it? Is it working for you? And if you'd like to get mine, click here. But, first, you gotta sign up.


Stephen Kozeniewski said...

Done and done! (And I mean done.)

Kimberly G. Giarratano said...


Brenda St John Brown said...

Oooh! Signing up now! I used to have a reader magnet, but then I stopped b/c my brand changed. This reminds me it would be a great idea to do something like that again on brand!

Kimberly G. Giarratano said...

YES! It's a great way to deliver exclusive content to newsletter subscribers too. I need to come up with more creative ways to use it.

Carrie Beckort said...

I've downloaded my copy and can't wait to read it! I've thought about doing some sort of short story as a giveaway for newsletter sign-up - now I know how to do it when I finally get around to it! I hope it helps bring many happy readers your way!

Cheryl Oreglia said...

Done - excited to read Mean Streaks! Great post Kimberly, these are things I have not thought about, or considered. Wishing you a shit load of readers! :)

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