Reader Magnets, What are They?

Marketing Advice Writing Advice

Marketing. The least favorite, and sometimes most time-consuming part of a self-publishers life. It’s increasingly becoming a major part of traditional authors, too, as publishing companies spend less time and money on new and unproven authors. With so many companies trying to get a piece of the self-published authors’ pie through offering services to aid marketing, it’s totally doable. And reader magnets are one way, if you do it right.

  1. What is a reader magnet?

A reader magnet is a short story or excerpt from a book that introduces new readers to your writing style, story telling and characters. It is usually given in exchange for emails (to increase your email list for your newsletter) and given to your current newsletter subscribers. I use my reader magnet to grow and maintain my Newsletter. I also put it on Patreon and use it in my fan group and book club for fan rewards. There are many ways to use it, but choose something that will bring you value.

2. Your reader magnet should feature characters from your current book or series.

Since a reader magnet is meant to attract readers, you want to tie it to your current book or series. Pick a popular character, an unanswered question or something that interests readers from your book. Write your short story around that so readers are enticed to sign up for your newsletter or support you on Patreon in order to read it.

3. Make sure it’s polished and edited.

This is the gateway story, the one that will attract readers to your books and brand. Spend some time getting it right, just like any other story. Go through multiple drafts, get Betas, and get it professionally edited. If not, it will turn off new readers before they even get to know you and your books. Don’t skimp.

4. Put it on StoryOrigin, Book Funnel and other sites.

These sites are designed to share reader magnets and help build newsletters and readerships. Make it a habit to visit these sites, update your magnet and engage with readers. I change my reader magnet 2-3 times a year depending on what readers want and what I’m currently writing. And then make sure you are sending your newsletters consistently to engage with these new readers.

5. Listen to your fans.

Make sure your reader magnet meets fan expectations. If they are interested in a certain character or want to know more about a certain scenario, make sure you write to please them. That will keep momentum, keep them engaged and create buzz for new readers.

I hope you’ve learned a bit about reader magnets and that you will try one! Let me know how it works for you or if you need any advice on making it shine.


A new short story, Love Isn’t Enough, will be sent out in June’s Newsletter for subscribers. It features a story about Kathy Brooks and Richard Grant, Michael and Madeline’s parents, before they were married.

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