How to Create a Reader Magnet?

Reader Magnets are what bring readers to you. They draw readers in the promise of getting great value content and building a valuable connection.

That’s what it’s all about, after all – making meaningful connections with your audience and creating a direct line to your readers. This is what happens when a reader decides to trust you with their email address. And you can make this work using Reader Magnets.

A reader magnet is essentially an ethical bribe, a freebie, a giveaway, an exclusive gift, and a sign-up bonus. People are inundated with junk email. As an author, it is your responsibility not to waste their time. These are people we hope to turn into raving, loyal, lifelong fans of your books. Your goal is to treat them with respect.

You need to ensure the first “freebie” they get from you makes them want to stick around – which gives you more opportunities to build the relationship and show them that you are a writer they want to rave about.

Reader magnets can be anything from coloring pages, a criminal’s dossier (for mysteries/thrillers), a giveaway for an Amazon gift card, a short story, novelette, novella, or even an entire novel. Each can be effective and serves a purpose. The key is knowing which type to use to build a solid relationship with your new reader.

Reader magnets are a long-game strategy that can help all of your successive book launches and releases. Besides, if you wanted to get fancy, you could do instant upsells and cross-promotions with your other books. You could even put your book for sale on Amazon and other retailers.

How to Create Reader Magnets to Market Your Book

Below are some of the ways on how you can deliver your reader magnet.

1. If you’re writing nonfiction, it should solve a problem.

Nonfiction authors generally find it easier to come up with ideas for lead magnets. Apart from memoirs, biographies, and academic texts, nonfiction authors want to solve problems.

If you’re writing a DIY book, you’re teaching people how to fix up their homes. If your book is on business, you’re helping readers sell more of their product or manage their team better. In both cases, your book solves a practical problem.

With that in mind, your lead magnet should also solve a specific problem. It has to be closely related to the one your book addresses.

2. If you’re a fiction author, you should give away a complete story.

If you’re a first-time novelist, it can be harder to come up with a lead magnet. Authors who are self-publishing a series will often give their first book to get readers on to their mailing list. However, if you don’t have a previous book, what are your options?

Some authors choose to give away an early preview of their book, such as the first few chapters. The problem here is that previews aren’t precisely novel anymore. Every online retailer has a “look inside” feature that lets you read the first chapter or so.

The key is to offer a complete story that will leave the reader feeling excited and not short-changed.

3. It has to be something “of value.”

For a lead magnet to truly be effective, the reader must believe that it is “of value.” This doesn’t mean that it needs to cost you, the author, a lot of money to produce. It just needs to be something that the reader could see themselves paying for. That’s why a free “how-to” ebook is such a great lead magnet.

If your lead magnet is an ebook, make sure it has professional production values. Give it a nice-looking cover. It doesn’t have to be anything too flashy, just not amateurish.

You should also make sure that it’s formatted to look and read like a professional book. If your giveaway book looks like hot garbage, they’re less likely to pay for your main book.

Different Ways to Promote your Reader Magnet

Below are some of the ways to promote your reader magnet.

    1. Give away a particular book that is in the public domain, in your genre of choice.

If you think about it, there are millions of books in the public domain and free for you to give away. There are tons of websites where you can browse and download from, too. The trick is to find a great novel, maybe a lesser-known book, that will go well with the readers you want to attract.

There’s a great resource of reader magnets hiding in the public domain. You just need to spend some time looking around.

Here are some sites listing public domain books to get you started:

·   Project Gutenberg:

·   Digital public library of America:

·   Open Library:

·   Feedbooks:

·   Manybooks:

    2. Offer some chapter upgrades

At the end of a chapter or section of the book, you can place a link where your readers can download extra stuff related to that chapter.

Maybe the same scene is written in another point of view, as a different character, or “What character Y is doing while all this is happening.”

Create alternate endings, backstories of places, and location. Think of it like a “director’s cut.” 

    3. Quizzes & tests based on the characters from your books

Come up with some funny and tongue-in-cheek questions and answers. Use a free tool such as Survey Monkey or Google Forms to build your quiz. Create a blog post about it and ask readers to try it for fun.

When it’s time for them to read the results, you ask them for their email to send it to them. This is a simple step that works great every time.

   4. Exclusive access to a private Facebook group

This is great if you have some traction with your books already, but your email list is rather small, and you want to give it a nice boost.

What can be the purpose of such an exclusive group? Members could get early releases of your books with a discount, free bonuses. 

   5. A promise of the next book free

In exchange for their email address, they get to receive your next book for free.

Other Ways to Promote Your Magnet


  1. Publishing Your Book

Since you will give away copies of this magnet, it cannot be in the KDP Select program on Amazon. Their rules explicitly state you cannot distribute over 10% of a book in their program via any other digital source.

That being said, you can publish your reader magnet as a book on Amazon, and on all the other eBook retailers, either manually or with a distribution service such as Draft2Digital.

  1. Sharing on Social Media

There are a ton of book groups on Facebook and other social media platforms. You can periodically share your reader magnet in these groups to bolster getting new subscribers on your list.

Search for “Genre” book groups or free book groups on Facebook and other platforms. Join the ones that seem active and relevant for your book and then share. These groups often have guidelines on what is or is not allowed to be shared, so read the group’s rules carefully when you join.

A friendly tip is to create a spreadsheet to track the sharing groups on Facebook, when and what you are allowed to share, and the link to the group. This will save you time when you’re ready to post in several groups at once. 

Use a free service like to create beautiful promo graphics for your magnet to share in the groups, and remember, you can use free graphics sites like Pixabay to find gorgeous images and backgrounds you can use.

  1. Use Promotion Services

There are many promotional services for indie-published books. They range from free to a few dollars, with some larger and more popular services costing more. They can get your book in front of many eyes that you may not otherwise have access to, and that’s what you are trying to accomplish after all

  1. Other Reader Magnet Services

There are other similar sites where you can promote your reader magnets. Check each of them out and see if they fit into your marketing and list-building.

The goal here is to build a list of engaged readers interested in your work. Once you have them on your list, your job is to keep them engaged and build that relationship. However, you can’t do that until they are on your list. That’s why you need to maximize your list-building efforts. It will serve you well in your author career.

Some other book giveaway services include:

  • Prolific (formerly Instafreebie) 

  • BookFunnel

  • BookSprout 

And there are likely more popping up as the indie-book market continues to grow.

  1. Your Newsletter

If you already have a mailing list started, then you want to let your current subscribers know you have a freebie out there. You can surprise them with a gift of a new book to read.

As your list continues to thrive and grow, stick a little message in your future newsletters. Not all of your subscribers are coming to you from your freebie, so they may not have seen it before.

  1. Your Website

There are many ways to build an opt-in on your author website, and this is a step you don’t want to forget when promoting your new reader magnet. Use the ‘landing page,’ or forms feature included with most mailing list service providers.  Create a page on your website that consists of the sign-up form from your mailing list service provider.  

What’s Next After Delivering Your Reader Magnet?

Congratulations, you did it! After you’re done celebrating, there are a couple of points to consider.

Now that you have their attention, you need to think of a way to keep that. That means relationship building and giving them stories they want to read.

Continue your reader magnet exposure. Put 30-60 minutes on your schedule at least 1-2 times per month to get your magnet into new group promos and connect with other authors for newsletter swaps.

This will ensure a stream of new subscribers while you’re working on your books. If you aren’t familiar with newsletter swaps, familiarizing yourself is the way to go.

Simply put, you and another author swap “mentions” in your newsletter for the other’s book. Swaps are an excellent way to reach a group of readers you may not otherwise have direct access.

Final Words

Creating a reader magnet is not an easy task. It takes patience and practice until you learn how to build a reader magnet.

Keep in mind that as you’re creating your reader magnet, you’re building a solid, sustainable base, without being pushy or sales-talking too much. You are now making new friends who want what you have — great stories. Now, it’s time to keep growing your author business.

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