Welcome back! Or, if you just finished reading our interview with Beth Barany on lead magnets for fiction, welcome to Part 2!
In this second part, we’ll keep revealing secrets and sharing useful insights about lead magnets ideas for your fiction book. Wait. It doesn’t end here. You’ll also learn more about:
- other fiction book promotion strategies
- how to use Facebook for your lead magnets campaign
- inspirational case study on the importance of social media for authors
This time we’ll be hearing from Audrey Hughey, the founder of The Write Services Social Media Management and the creator of the Author Transformation Alliance. As you might have guessed, Audrey specializes in online marketing for authors, as well as writing, publishing, and book sales.
Get ready for some mind-blowing insights!
Could you please name 5-7 powerful lead magnet options that fiction authors can use?
While it may seem like there aren’t many things you can do with fiction, remember that you can take a single thread from your content and weave it off into several different types of consumable content for your audience. Here are a few ideas. I’m sure you’ve heard of the first three, but I hope the final two inspire you to see more possibilities:
- First 3-4 chapters of your most popular title in the series you’re promoting
- Prequel story
- Bonus epilogue
- Character sheets with art/photo of the character
- Downloadable art: printable posters or desktop/phone wallpaper
Based on your experience, what are the must-have elements of effective lead magnets for fiction books?
The must-have elements of an effective reader magnet revolve around your existing fan-base. Ask them what they want. Give them a few ideas, ask them to help you select the one they want the most, and then deliver it.
Bonus: have your biggest fans help you validate the value of the product before you share it with others. Let your fans help you as you create the reader magnet, the landing page for it, and your posts to share it with more readers. Use their language to help create your captions and landing page copy.
- Create something your fans want, and make sure by running it by them first.
- Get the approval of your most loyal top fans first, and make tweaks based on their recommendations.
- Your reader magnet should answer a question, solve a mystery, entertain, or enhance the fan’s understanding of the story or character(s).
- Make sure your reader magnet is polished, pretty, and free of errors. It’s worth it in the end when you show fans that you care about what you give them.
- Wow-factor: Do everything you can to avoid a ‘meh’ response from current or potential readers. Shiny? Check. Exciting? Check. More subscribers? Check!
Do you have any tips on how to promote your book lead magnet as a fiction author? Could you please share 2-3 strategies?
Here are a few ideas on how to promote your book lead magnet:
- Run a poll and ask readers what they would like. For example, chapters OR prequel OR bonus epilogue OR character sheets with visuals OR downloadable art to print or use on phone or computer desktop. Then, when the results are in, invite the voters, likers, and commenters.
- Share video or pictures/graphics about your lead magnet on your social media channels. Don’t skimp on the care you take in developing your graphics/pictures and captions. The more you invest in showing others how your magnet will enhance their entertainment and bring enjoyment to their lives, the higher conversion you’re likely to have. If you give it half your energy, expect half the potential.
- Use carefully targeted Facebook and/or Instagram ads to share your product with more potential readers.
Except for the lead magnets, what other fiction book promotion strategies would you recommend?
I’d recommend the following book promotion strategies:
- Practice your storytelling on your social media and get people excited about your work. Storytelling isn’t just about writing the big novel. It’s also about telling people why your story matters in just a few sentences. Work on your hooks, get people invested in your heroes by sharing content that resonates with readers.
- Use social media to share videos, not just static posts. After getting introduced to TikTok while I was sick with COVID, I realized that so many people are avoiding video when it can be a boon. You don’t have to be an attention hound to make great videos that connect you with your future superfans. And you don’t have to be an actor or model to find your own way of storytelling through video. Don’t be afraid of the video. Research what is popular and cross-reference that with what you would actually enjoy creating to get started.
- Work on obtaining shoutouts from Bookstagram/BookTok influencers by offering to send complimentary copies for an honest review after you’ve been following and interacting with them for a few weeks.
- Look for podcasts that feature authors like you on topics that relate to your books.
- Consider posting short readings (<7 minutes) to Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok. Pair with (properly licensed) art for bonus points. This is a way to share snippets with audio lovers who may end up loving your work enough to invest time in reading your book.
- Don’t forget Pinterest! Consider creating Pinterest-sized videos with (properly licensed) video/motion art to pair with a reading of your blurb or an action point in the story that appeals to your ideal readers.
You’ve done a fantastic job helping authors to use social media tools in their book promotion. Do you mind sharing some practical tips on how authors can use Facebook for their lead magnets campaign?
First and foremost, have a street team, and incentivize and reward them for sharing all your goodies, especially your reader magnets. If they love your stories, the chances are good that they’ll have some friends on social media who will love your work too.
Ads can be amazing if you take time to learn, experiment, and tweak. I’m especially excited about Carousel ads. For these, try boiling down the premise or opening of your story into simple lines and dialogue. Look at comics for examples of how to get that wow factor, and use Facebook’s free stock photos if you don’t have a vault full of commissioned art. Look at Tappy Toons or Tapas for examples of how to hook readers with short copy and great visuals. You don’t have to be advertising a comic to learn from their examples and successfully apply the techniques to get readers hooked.
Based on your experience in The Author Transformation Alliance, what do self-published authors struggle the most with when it comes to book promotion? Could you please share the most memorable case of how to fix those book promotion issues?
Case Study: Lindsay Detwiler came to the ATA as a frustrated author. She was frustrated with trying to find and connect with readers (and increase sales), and she was on the verge of giving up. When she joined, we sat down for a talk about what she could do to achieve her goal of gaining more readers and selling more books. Then she dove into the ATA library to immerse herself in our social media courses.
The rule I preach is to try a marketing technique for 90 days before deciding whether or not it works for you.
So, she stuck to it, giving it 90 days, and the resulting increase in followers, subscribers, and sales was enough to turn her around. And her success has been on an ever-growing climb ever since.
Lindsay is the epitome of a committed author, always striving to learn, sticking to the plan even when it’s hard, accepting advice, and trying new things to serve her readers. With her increased presence, she was able to attract the attention of a bigger publisher, and they signed her for a thriller. After all she had learned with her romance persona, she launched her thriller pen name (LA Detwiler) with great success, gaining an engaged and high-quality following in no time.
Her efforts and dedication resulted in USA Today Bestseller status, and she has continued to learn, experiment, and grow. Her newsletter is beautifully created every time. It provides an excellent demonstration of an author who is dedicated to serving her readers.
Case study learning outcomes
Here are Lindsay’s words about how a handful of the recommended marketing techniques (discussed above) have worked for her:
- “Before coming to the ATA, my social media plant was sporadic and unfocused. Having a focus every month and on specific social media channels allows me to maximize my efforts and increase my reach. I have learned to pick one book to focus on and one social media channel to really set goals for. By having a plan, I don’t waste time.”
- “Videos have also really helped me reach new fans and also connect with my readers. I used to be so nervous about videos, but now I see it as a way to interact and truly connect. I’ve learned you don’t have to be perfect at it; you just have to show up. I’ve had so many opportunities open up because I’ve put myself out there with videos.”
- “Reaching out to influencers felt very scary at first, but now I’ve learned that I am my best advocate for my book. I’ve been able to see my book reach new hands and new fans thanks to my outreach efforts. Once you get a pitch down, it’s easy to reach out and not only get a review, but make true connections. If you wait for people to come to you, there is no guarantee that you will be successful. You have to be willing to show up for your own opportunities; that is something Audrey taught me. Show up and chase your opportunities because you are your own best advocate.”
We’re incredibly grateful for the possibility to conduct this author interview and chat with Audrey Hughey. We hope that her fantastic ideas will help you create your next lead magnet and nail your book promotion campaign.
Got more questions regarding lead magnets for fiction books? Just leave a comment down below.