“Readers are unlikely to give you their email addresses unless you give something to them – something that has a value.”
In an Indie author online article titled What is a reader magnet and why you need one? the author writes that the occasional newsletter does not qualify as something of value and it’s very unlikely that he/she will sign up. Why? Because they don’t know you. Moreover, they have no idea whether they’ll enjoy your book.
So what does the article/blog writer suggest? One of three things:
1) First in series novel
2) Novella/Novelette, Prequel, or Related Story
In my brief history as an author with three published middle-grade mystery books (the Billy Fender PI series), I have struggled with two questions: Who’s my reader? and Who’s paying for the book? The answers to these questions may dictate my reader magnet.
Let’s answer the second question first. Paying for a Billy Fender novel e.g., The Shoebox Mystery would likely be a parent or a grandparent. A child aged anywhere from 8 to 13 may purchase the book but I think they would be in the minority. Who would read the novel? Most likely all three: child, parent, and grandparent. So with those answers, what should be my reader magnet?
Out of the three above choices, it seems that #1 is a no-brainer. But is there another option? What about a free activity book? Remember, the potential readership includes children.
Would such a reader magnet attract hits on my website? Would it help with signups to a newsletter?
Good questions and the likely answer will only be found through testing. That will happen sometime soon.