Authors and publishers at My Book Cave now have the opportunity to participate in subscriber magnets. If you haven’t a clue what a subscriber magnet is or how it will help you sell more books, this post is for you. Basically, a subscriber magnet is an ebook that an author gives away for free to readers in an effort to encourage them to sign up for his/her newsletter and, eventually, to buy more books. Subscribers are thrilled to get a great book for free and often find authors they love this way. So the book becomes a “magnet” for new subscribers. The subscriber magnet program is also a great way to distribute review copies or book samples.
Some basics about MBC subscriber magnets
Some authors or publishers “host” their subscriber magnet on their own website, emailing readers the free ebook when they sign up. Unfortunately, a high percentage of readers still do not understand how to get that book into their ereaders, and authors spend far too much time fielding emails from confused subscribers, who unsubscribe before they really have a chance to try out the author’s work.
This is where the My Book Cave subscriber magnet program comes into play. My Book Cave hosts your subscriber magnet, and our programming walks readers step-by-step through downloading your book on their device. If they still need help, we are just an email away. All this leaves authors and publishers more time to do what they’re really good at—writing and publishing!
Many options available
You can give away an unlimited number of books or you can put a limit on how many are downloaded. You can require an email address and let readers know they’ll be added to your newsletter list, or you don’t have to require that they join. The choice is yours. You can even create as many links as you want for each book (with different requirements), so you can track your promotions to see which brings you more subscribers.
How do I get my subscribers email addresses?
You can go to your Author Dashboard whenever you like to download the CSV containing the addresses (leads) of the people who downloaded your book(s). You can choose to download all subscribers, or only those you haven’t yet downloaded. Eventually, we’ll offer automatic sending of leads to MailChimp, but it’s easy enough to upload them yourself for the time being.
How to tell readers about your subscriber magnet
There are many ways to let readers know about your subscriber magnet, and even if you choose only one or two of the options, you will steadily gain subscribers. And more subscriber means you will sell more books.
- Put an image and link to your subscriber magnet in the front and back matter of each of your ebooks, inviting readers to sign up for your newsletter to receive the free ebook. Since they have already bought one book, you want to snag them as a subscriber as soon as possible.
- Post the image with the link in a prominent place on your website, telling readers if they join your newsletter, they’ll get the free book.
- Post about your subscriber magnet on social media. Say something like, “Join my newsletter group and get this free book.” Be sure to include the link!
- Ask other authors you know to share your link with their newsletter subscribers—then you do the same for them.
- Combine with other authors who write in your genre to do a group promotion with your subscriber magnet. In a group promotion, all the authors post to their social media and send notice to their newsletters about the promotion. This introduces all the participating books to each author’s readers and finds more subscribers for everyone. For now, one author should post the covers and links to all the subscriber magnets on their site, but by the end of January, My Book Cave will have a way for you to organize a group promotion and have your own private page on My Book Cave. No more worries about posting cover or links anywhere because all you have to do is send a code to authors who want to participate, and the books magically appear on the page. You get to choose the banner and text for the group promotion page. To organize or participate in a My Book Cave subscriber magnet group promotion, join the group Facebook page. There are always promotions being organized, and this is the best and least expensive way to quickly grow your subscriber list.
- My Book Cave will also soon have a DEALS page with only the subscriber magnets, and we will be introducing them to the thousands of readers who currently use our service for retailer deals.
- Once the group promotions are available (the ones we mentioned in #5), authors will also be able to do a joint giveaway (like, say, an ereader) for those who agree to have their emails distributed to all the authors.
What should I give away?
Deciding what ebook to give away for a subscriber magnet is completely up to each author/publisher. You can use a book that is offered on retailers, or something you have created exclusively as a subscriber magnet. The price on the retailer is not important, but a magnet book is always free. Normally, the first book in a series is a great choice for a subscriber magnet. A short story or prequel that happens before the main series begins is also another option. Books that are permafree or paid on retailers can be in the program.
Make sure to put your best work in the program because this is your sales pitch to your new reader. If they don’t like the book, or it hasn’t been edited, they won’t be continuing with your other stories.
What about samples or previews?
Yes, you can give away samples of a book as a subscriber magnet. You can also give a preview of an upcoming book. However, be warned if you are not giving away a full ebook, some readers will be far less likely to sign up for your newsletter, and that means they won’t be hanging around long enough to sell more books to. Samples often work better if you have a big following or if you are distributing a preview to existing newsletter subscribers.
- If the book you are offering as a subscriber magnet is already permafree on retailers, in your welcome letter to your new subscribers consider sending a link to another nonpermafree book or novella as an additional reward. Or send them a link to an exclusive short story not available anywhere else.
- Don’t lump your brand new subscribers immediately in with your current newsletter. Instead, write a series of 8-12 emails as a “drip campaign” to slowly introduce them to you and your books. These should be friendly emails that don’t hard-sell your books. In fact, only “sell” to them every third email. Tell them about your growing up years, your family, your favorite foods, your writing. Let them see you as a real person. Ask them questions so they’ll want to respond. These emails should come about 7-10 days apart. Then after the sequence, move them over to your “main” email list, which you should be emailing 3-4 times a month.
Distributing ARCs through the subscriber magnet program
Gaining subscribers is not the only way to use the subscriber magnet program. There are other ways to use the program when you already have the email addresses of the people you’d like to give the book to. In these cases, you would choose the option on your subscriber magnet to NOT ask for readers’ email addresses.
- Authors and publishers can distribute advance reader copies (ARCs) to reviewers.
- You can reward your current newsletters subscribers with a free book link for their eyes only.
- Easily give beta readers a copy of work in progress.
Why you will sell more books
Some authors (and publishers) are nervous at giving away free books because they feel it cheapens their product and will exhaust their potential sales. The fact is this is never true. If you have only one book, then using it as a subscriber magnet will increase your newsletter to a point that you will sell more books on your next release than you would have otherwise.
You will often receive many new reviews—especially if you ask for an honest review at the end of your book. Simply put, more readers with your ebook in their hands means more opportunities for great reviews, and more reviews means more exposure on retailers.
The many permafree books on retailers are proof that free really works, or authors and publishers wouldn’t continue with them. “Loss leaders” like these free ebooks are used in every area of business: Buy one, get one free, free to the first 100 people, free for the next 24 hours, etc. You get the idea.
But with a subscriber magnet, you aren’t just giving away a free book, you are gaining their email address and the opportunity to sell to that person over and over. If you are friendly in your emails and write solid books, you will build an audience of avid readers that will read everything you write—and they’ll share your books with friends.
If you have any questions about subscriber magnets, please post it below. If you want to upload your subscriber magnet to My Book Cave, email firstname.lastname@example.org to request to join the fully functional beta group and get two months of trial service free. After that it’ll be $10 per month for up to 5,000 downloads, so give it a try and see what happens.
Meanwhile, here’s a just a few of the subscriber magnets already listed on My Book Cave. Check them out!