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Reader Lead Magnets: Two every author should have

Did you know there are two types of lead magnets for authors? They each appeal to different audiences and need different types of content. A lead magnet is something (often an excerpt or short story) that is offered for free to get an email address. It’s important to set up lead magnets that showcase your work and are based on the reader interest.


Type 1: For a Warm Audience

This lead magnet is typically linked in your book’s back matter. Back matter is the content you put at the very end of the book. You don’t even need to put in a page break. After the last line of the book, that’s when you would immediately put in a link* that would offer them an extended, deleted, bonus scene.

This is powerful because in order to see/download that lead magnet a reader has reached the end of your book. They’ve spent hours enjoying your writing and are a fantastic candidate to subscribe to your list + get the chance to read a bonus item.

For this lead magnet type, the offered content (aka the lead magnet) should ideally be something related to the book where it is placed (in the back matter). As mentioned before, deleted scenes and bonus epilogues – or maybe a character interview… all of those are powerful types of incentives to use as lead magnets.


Type 2: For a Cold Audience

This type of lead magnet is focused on someone who has not read anything by you. They might come across this lead magnet offer through an ad, from another author, or via social media. This is your opportunity to give them some of your best work, for free (in exchange for them subscribing to your list).

For this lead magnet scenario, considering write a short novella or prequel so you can prove to readers that you can provide a satisfying story. If you have a large number of books, maybe consider giving them an entire book for free. You want something that showcases your writing style and genre.


Don’t be afraid to give your books or content away as a lead magnet. While you will get some people that are freebie seekers – you will also get qualified readers who are great potential customers, and your next task will be to foster and grow their connection to you through an automated series of nurture emails.

For more information on setting up a reader email automation, look for Holly Darling’s class “Creating a Thriving Email List with Automation” that is part of the 2023 Inkers Con agenda. [These 2023 classes are still available to view.  The upcoming 2024 conference offers dozens of brand new classes, Q&As, author discussions and more! Join us in Dallas or online!]

*Not sure how to deliver a lead magnet to readers? We suggest using BookFunnel.