In my Marketing, Mindset, and Editing Bundle (free – get it here!) I mention a reader magnet, and even talk a little bit about how long it should be. However, the concept of a reader magnet may be new to a lot of authors, so I thought I’d take a step back here and give an overview.

A reader magnet is the “free taste” you give to your readers in the hopes they will purchase more books from you.

Unlike the tiny cup full of some new drink or cheese and cracker samples provided at the grocery store (in pre-covid days), a reader magnet should be more than a “bite”. In the store, the manufactorer hopes that the brief taste of food or drink will entice you to grab a full-sized item conveniently displayed there next to the person dispensing the samples. When it comes to your reader magnet, you need to think the same way.

Your reader magnet should accomplish these goals:

  • It gives your reader a taste of your writing style, voice, genre, and storytelling.
  • It is a full story. If it ends on a cliffhanger, asking the readers to purchase the book to find out more, then it’s a sample and should be marketed as such. It is NOT a full reader magnet.
  • It should be roughly 30-50% of your usual paid novel length. You’re giving this away. You don’t want to put the same amount of work into it as you would a novel you would put on sale right away. (Though you can sell it later, and I talk a bit about that in the bundle.)
  • It should be as thoroughly edited, proofed, and polished as you would any book you put on sale. You’re enticing readers, after all.
  • It needs a professional cover. Ideally that cover matches your branding and series, but if you want a cheaper pre-made cover or can make one yourself, that’s fine, too.

The reader magnet has one action–to get readers in the door. It’s up to your writing and storytelling abilities to wet your reader’s appetite and get them “in line” (since we’re talking food metaphors) to purchase more.

Once your readers have your reader magnet, then what? Well, that’s where my Marketing, Mindset, and Editing bundle will help lead you through the reader attraction blueprint.