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  • Writer's pictureAmanda Clemmer

Top 3 Places to Share Your Reader Magnet

For the purpose of this article, let’s define a reader magnet as a short story, novella, or novel that you wrote to give away for free to potential readers as a thank-you for signing onto their list.

(It can be much more than this, of course. Check out this list of creative alternatives if you want something more unconventional.)

While it is possible to list these books on a store site and let readers find them the way they would find any other books, most of these readers aren’t going to sign up. So where’s the best place to list a free book?

Blunt Answer: Everywhere, But. . .

Technically, this is the book that you want to share on social media. People won’t feel bad checking it out or forced to pay money for a book they might not like. Meanwhile, you won’t have the pressure of trying to sell, sell, sell.

There are groups online that publicize these books. Ten years before this writing, it was very possible to earn a fortune self-publishing simply by having something free, but these days, you’ll need to be more intentional about distribution.

The truth is that not all markets were created equal. Knowing where—and how—to position your reader magnets will make all the difference in how many readers bite.

The “How”: What makes a compelling reader magnet?

First, quality. Your reader magnet doesn’t need all the bells and whistles of your fully published pieces, but it should be comparable. New readers will assume that what they see in your free giveaway is the same quality that you put into your finest masterpieces. While it’s okay for a reader magnet to be simple by comparison, it needs to stand on its own and hold a unique appeal. This applies to your cover, your editing, and your formatting.

Second, quantity. Most authors don’t create a single reader magnet and let it sit on their pages forever to rot. It’s a good idea to have at least one reader magnet for every standalone book or series you produce and to release a new one every few months. Some authors will have a separate page on their websites showcasing only their free stories. The fact that they produce so many makes readers confident in picking a few up and finding something that best matches individual tastes.

The “Where”: Knowing your best market

There are three core areas where you can pick up a ton of readers with very little effort:

First is your social media posts. Wherever your virtual hub is, making these books available for free is an easy, pressure-free way to ramp up hype about future releases and convince people to check out something small.

Second is your author site. If you have a website, you’ll want your free books in an easy and conspicuous place for browsers to snatch up. The only people who will be visiting your site will be people who already have at least a small interest in your writing. This is an easy way to get casually interested bystanders to dive into your fandom.

The third option, and the one I most recommend if you want to explode your growth, is to enter it into a few mailer swaps or giveaways. Even if your list isn’t very big, finding or organizing a swap is a great way to get your books in front of other readers. The fact that your reader magnet is completely free will be enough to get people to check it out, and if your book is high quality, it will be an easy choice.

What are your reader magnet strategies? Please sign in to leave a comment in the section below. If you liked this article and want to see more like it, please let me know by buying me a coffee through the button below.


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