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What is a Reader Magnet?

Reader Magnet

Reader magnet (also known as lead magnet) is a marketing tool used by an author to build a bridge with the readers and make a long-lasting bond with them. Lead magnet weapons of the author are used strictly for commercial reasons with the objective that they allure the readers to share their contact details {or at least their email addresses). This exchange benefits the author in consolidating relationship with the readers- with conversion of potential customers into subscribers and subsequently a paying customer.  It is a prize that the author offers to the readers in exchange for their email address. Once the reader’s email address is in the hands of the author, he uses it to reach out to the reader directly for his future books as well.

Lead magnets for authors

Who wants to read a new self-published author? An online reader would rather prefer to read new work of an author whose work he has enjoyed earlier instead of devoting time on a new one. Furthermore, online readers have a short attention span. Hence it is extremely important for the new author to entice the reader with some unique marketing tools. An intelligent author should remember the principle-‘All enjoy freebies’, and accordingly design the lead magnet. Why? The online reader may think 10 times to buy the book of an unknown author, but he would not hesitate a minute to go through the preview or a small portion of the book that the author has given as a freebie. In fact, the reader most of the time decide on which book to buy from these freebies only. If the preview/ chapter kindles his interest and he feels excited, he shall not hesitate to buy the book immediately and the objective of the author is met instant. However, the reverse can also happen.  Hence it is extremely important how the lead magnet is made. Ideally it is the author only who writes his lead magnet as he is the best person to maintain the genre of his writing and maintain the standards, hence getting it written by any third person is not advisable. If an author has been able to write a book, he can write a nice attractive freebie as his lead magnet- isn’t it! And while an author designing a lead magnet, it is wise if he doesn’t keep any questions in the mind of the reader- as that might irritate the reader instead of building his interest. If the author is writing a non-fiction, the lead magnet should solve a specific problem. Like, if an author is writing a cookbook, he might as well give complete recipe of a dish instead of mentioning the ingredients to be used and not mentioning the cooking process. Or, if the author is writing fiction, he should give away a complete story. It can be a short story but a complete one.

Reader Magnet Ideas

Reader magnets can be designed in any form as long as they are exciting, the readers find them valuable and interesting, are directly related to the work of the author and keep the readers waiting for more of your works. The most widely used idea is in form of a free story preluding the book. Many a times, an author with many books use one of his first books as a freebie to the readers to strengthen the bridge with the readers further. Often, stories on stories, i.e. how the book was written and the background entice the readers – hence that can also be a brilliant reader magnet.  Other freebies like printable quotes, nuggets to hang on fridge or mirrors, desktop wallpaper, bookmarks are also common reader magnets. Reader magnets can also be designed in form of discount coupons, a real prize on a particular period/day of the month, a free e-book code for the reader to gift a friend or an opportunity to receive a copy of the next book of the author. A quiz is also used as a reader magnet but the questions should be designed carefully to ensure at least few are known to the reader- if the target readership is unable to answer a single question, which would be an embarrassment for the reader and may affect the sale of the book negatively. For non-fictions, case studies in case of tutorials or management books, a set of recipe for cookbooks can be great reader magnet ideas. Virtual meetings with the readers can also be a brilliant idea as that gives a chance to interact with the author.

How does reader magnet work?

In simplest of words, it is the tool to collect the email address of the readers where the author can send a PDF, a quiz, or any communication that would help the author maintain a constant communication with the reader. Here, it is extreme important for the author to know the target audience as he would accordingly design his reader magnet for the reader. Any reader magnet that stands out from the rest help the author to get on the radar of the reader. The reader is automatically captivated as he starts thinking his gain from the product. To build up a connection with the reader becomes much easier in these cases and engaging the reader with a communication generally transpires to conversion of reader to subscriber. The job of the author doesn’t end there- as it takes a minute for the subscriber to disconnect if not satisfied. Following up with other reader magnets help in consolidation of relationship.

Author’s website

Author’s websites are very common in today’s digital literary world. The authors use these websites to let visitors know who they are- for their online presence and interact with their target audience, sell their books and share their testimonials for their own marketing and branding. Hence, it is a wise idea to keep it simple instead of going overboard. Four most important pages of these websites are:

Homepage: this is the page which builds the first impression. The potential readers get to know the author from this page.

About page: a reader gets a chance to know more about the person behind the author name. It is here reader comes to know about the journey of the person as an author.

Book page: this page consists the names of the books of the author- with book covers, positive book reviews, and synopsis. This page is only complete when it is linked with other vendors who are selling these books.

Contact page: this page gives the readers a way to provide their contact information to reach out to the author. This reader magnet is a wonderful tool to enhance the mail IDs of readers- where email newsletters with personalized contents can be sent by the author to build up a stronger bonding.

Book Marketing

Which author doesn’t want to see his book doing good business? Business of book depends on how effectively the book has been marketed. A new author or an author who is not yet famous, may, many a times offer a pre-order discount to their email list or allure the buyers with some special gift or signed copies of the book. A grand book launch at a prominent venue with presence of some celebrity guests also help in accelerating the sale of the book. Many authors take help of publicists and manage positive book reviews in prominent newspapers and periodicals. These publicists also help in reaching out to maximum readers generating an interest for the book. Bookstore tours and interviews are arranged by them and most of the time they yield favourable results. And finally the use of social media intelligently help in marketing book in a big way.

An established author, or an author who already has few books in the market often follow a different strategy with reader magnets. Some of them create a ‘members only’ page in social media where previous books are displayed with free download along with attractive teasers for the new book. They write newsletters in this page which may include an excerpt or the background stories of the new book which are not available elsewhere. If they are writing a series, they make the first book of the series free in this page for a stipulated time. The excitement for this freebie manifolds the reader-base. These authors use the excerpts of the new book whenever they get a chance to in order to make the book popular. And most importantly, they keep building personal connections through this page and other social media tools keeping in mind the other books in pipeline.

Advance Reader Copies

Advance reader copies are pre-published nearly complete version of a new book circulated to book bloggers and professional reviewers. These copies are circulated to them to ensure the reviews coincide with the date of book launch. Interns in newspapers and magazine offices are sometimes assigned the job of reading these for them to gain experience and expertise in book reviewing. These copies are usually unedited proofs and may look slightly different from the end product. Advance reader copies help both the publisher as well as the author- as it has a positive impact on the sale of book, as book reviews are capable of generating buzz and excitement about the forthcoming book.

Traditional Publishing

Traditional publishing means when the book of the author is published by an established publishing house with a team of professional people taking care of the book design, sales and marketing and other processes of the publishing world. The traditional publishers have more opportunities to get the physical copies of the books all over the nation. But it is the more formal approach and it is a more time consuming process. Most of the big traditional publishing houses are extremely selective in accepting manuscripts and the chances of rejection is extremely high. Furthermore, the royalty percentage is less than 10% which is 20% or even less than what an author gets in self-publishing.

Bestselling Authors

What makes an author bestselling? It is extremely difficult to assess which book shall be bestselling. Some of the authors have been bestselling because of the uniqueness of the plot, some because of the relatability of the plot, sometimes because of the good marketing strategies by the publisher and/or author while sometimes it is because of the awe the author inspires in people. Unique example of the last one is Shakespeare, when recent researches revealing that Shakespeare was a co-writer in quite a few of his plays were his contribution had been much lesser than his fellow writer.

Self-publish your book

An advice to any aspirant author- write a book that would kindle the interest of the reader- in short, a book that people shall love to read. If the author is able to write a book that is marketable, he has won half the battle.  The author have to know his core-competence area, i.e. in which genre he is most comfortable. If his genre is science fiction, it shall be a waste of time and energy if he tries to write a romantic novel. And thereafter straight to opt for self-publishing. Why? The reasons are many. TO name a few-

  • He can earn a higher margin through royalty
  • He shall have more control over the publishing process which includes book design, editing.
  • He shall have access to high-quality printing and book distribution networks similar to traditionally published authors.

Hence, instead of banging the head on the doors of the traditional publishers, he should straight adopt the self-publishing approach.