I have found that the best lead magnets for both fiction and non-fiction authors are free ebooks. If you’re an author, and the thought of giving any of your hard work away makes you cringe or if you assume perma-free devalues your hard work in some way, I want you to consider the following:
My non-fiction side of things is a work in progress at the moment, so I will just share what I have done on the fiction side of things to give you an idea of where to get started.
You will need:
I’m a YA Fantasy and Paranormal author. My Healer Series is steeped in Japanese mythology and my Paranormal Misfits Series dabbles in the world of the Fae. So my target audience is those people interested in these types of genres. Anyone who enjoys books like Twilight, The Mortal Instruments, The Vampire Diaries, or The Iron Fey Series are going to enjoy my stuff.
The best way to attract these readers is to have one perma-free book, preferably the first in a series, to funnel your target audience to. Hence the reason this book is called a funnel book. Don’t consider this book a throw-away. It needs to be of high quality, have a great cover, and offer value in some way, whether it be through entertainment or enlightenment. (Solving a specific problem is key with non-fiction)
At the beginning and end of your funnel book you are going to offer them a free book. I know. One might argue that your perma-free book is the incentive, but one would be wrong. Your perma-free book is the pollen that brings the bees on over to investigate. You are funneling your target audience into your mailing list.
Most authors make the mistake of asking their readers to do something for them at the end of the book. “Hey, please sign up for my mailing list here” or “Grab a free book and sign up for my mailing list.”
Most people won’t click on that. Instead of asking for something, you offer them something of value. This is where your magnet book comes into play.
Create a graphic of your magnet book that invites them to grab it for free and link it to your lead page. It should look something like this:
Put this at the beginning and the back of your book with a link to your lead page. Doesn’t this look a million times more inviting? Once people click on the link they will be redirected to your lead page which should look something like this. Click Here!
Don’t keep reading until you’ve clicked on that link above and checked out the page so you have an idea of what it should look like. I created this with Leadpages. Awesome sauce. This form is a two-part opt-in form because instead of people seeing a place to put their email address they see a strong call to action. This converts better than the other opt-in forms.
Once people click on the button, a form pops up that asks them, “Where Should I Send It?”
Then you get an email address from a very targeted lead, one who you know enjoys the genre you write in, and your autoresponder sends that person an email with links to download the book. (You have to set up that email.)
I encourage you to actually enter your email on my lead page so you can see what that email looks like and you can go through the whole process. Don’t worry. I’m not after your email address, unless of course you like these types of books. :) As soon as you are finished going through the process to see what I did, you just unsubscribe from my list and you’ll never get another email from me after that…BUT you will have learned a valuable marketing tactic that grows your email list exponentially.
In conclusion, your first order of business is to:
Now are there other things you can use? Sure. If you don’t have a funnel book just use case studies, blog posts, or fun giveaways. Make sure those giveaways are of high value and cater to readers. Just offering money isn’t going to work. I actually have a giveaway going on right now if you want to take a look at what I did. Check it out here. If you have questions about the set-up just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org I love helping people out with this stuff.
You can also get all of this information is much more detail by going through Nick Stephenson’s free book: Reader Magnets. OMG! The man is amazing.
His online course is even more in-depth. I pretty much owe all of my marketing savvy to this dude so I highly encourage you to take a look at his free guide and get working on everything he teaches you. Take action, folks. I’ve grown my email list from 400 to 8,000 in less than four months due to his insights and instructions. You can grab that freebie here.
Well, I hope that helps you guys out. Good luck growing your email list, and happy writing and marketing!
Th Blond Guerrilla
The Blond Guerrilla is your one-stop guide to all things Indie writing, self-publishing, and marketing! I hope you find everything you need to make your author journey a success.
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