In today’s digital age, authors need to be savvy marketers if they want to compete. Gone are the days when an author would simply write a book and leave the selling to the publishers.

With the growth of self-publishing and the power of online platforms, authors now have direct access to their readers like never before.

Central to this power is collecting emails with a compelling lead magnet, followed by an email nurture sequence.

In this article, we’ll cover what lead magnets are, the different types and how to create them, along with the best ways to deliver them to your target readers.

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What are Lead Magnets?

Before anyone joins your email list, they need good reason.

Enter the lead magnet.

Lead magnets are an incentive you offer readers in exchange for an email address. However, with the avalanche of emails everyone receives daily, your lead magnet must stand out and provide genuine value.

The best way to create an ideal lead magnet is to know your ideal reader.

Understand their needs, preferences, and pain points. 

If you’re offering a lead magnet to cold traffic (traffic that has never heard of you before) they might not care so much about bonus chapters or deleted scenes.

Offer exclusive content and bonuses that they can’t easily find elsewhere. Avoid giving away just a free chapter as platforms like Amazon often provide this.

We’ll go into a few examples of what types of lead magnets authors can giveaway.

Exclusive Short Stories & Novellas

Melissa Storm Book Giveaway Example
An example of Melissa Storms Lead Magnet.

Novellas and short stories make great candidates to give away, as they’re much quicker to write than a full length book, while still likely being a part of the same universe or world.

The shorter length can be appealing to a reader who’s never heard of you before, as there is less of a commitment to finish. Assuming the book is written well, and the website visitor is the right fit, there’s a high chance to convert them to a reader.

Audiobook Previews

Audiobook Preview Lead Magnet
Example of Kevin Chapman giving away an audiobook preview.

Audiobook previews can make sense to give away, as there’s certainly a growing subset of book fans that prefer audiobooks. By letting a reader hear the narrator’s voice before purchasing the book, they can become more confident in their purchase.

Digital Education

Non-fiction authors will have a better time giving away free resources such as education, courses, or webinars, as it aligns more with what a reader will want. 

I’ve seen the following digital downloads work well here:

  • Cheatsheets
  • Checklists
  • Courses
  • Discounts
  • eBooks
David Gaughran Lead Magnet
Above is an example of a lead magnet from David Gaughran, an author marketing coach.

Crafting Your Nurture Sequence

Once your reader is hooked with a lead magnet, the nurturing begins. You should deliver a confirmation email immediately along with the promised lead magnet.

It’s also best practice to introduce yourself, share your journey, and set expectations about what readers can expect to hear from you in the future.

There are a few other types of emails authors can send to their readers:

Problem-Solving or Storytelling Email: Address a pain point or share a captivating personal story.

Bonus Resource Email: Offer a free resource related to your genre or topic.

Welcome Offer Email: Introduce a low-cost offer to help identify dedicated readers from freebie-seekers.

Testimonial or Case Study Email: Share feedback or success stories from readers who benefited from your work.

Invitation to Connect: Invite them to join you on social media platforms, discussion groups, or book clubs.

Remember to space out these emails, providing continuous value and ensuring content aligns with the reader’s interests.

Booklinker Collections

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One link for easy sharing of your books across your backmatter, websites, emails, and social media.

How Should Authors Give Lead Magnets Away?

Authors should start putting their lead magnet online the moment they start marketing themselves or their books.

Most email marketing service providers that authors use will support lead magnet delivery and email capture. BookFunnel is another popular lead magnet delivery tool among authors.

Using one of these providers, authors can either set up a dedicated landing page hosted at a custom URL, or a popup on their website.

Below, we’ll jump into the most common places authors release lead magnets.

Author Websites

Author Website Example
An example of TheCreativePenn offering a free book via a popup.

An author’s official website is a primary location for offering lead magnets. Most commonly the website will have a dedicated page or a pop-up that can be used to promote the freebie in exchange for a potential readers email address.

Social Media Channels

Another common place for readers to promote their lead magnets are on social media channels such as Facebook, Tiktok, and Twitter.

These platforms offer much larger reach than an author website, however they can make it difficult for readers to leave the platform. To help with this issue, most authors use a link-in-bio tool such as or LinkTree.

Paid Advertisements

Authors can also use paid advertising on social media channels or even Google to drive traffic to landing pages that deliver lead magnets. However, authors should closely monitor their funnel and ensure what they’re paying for a reader in advertising costs will be made up in future book sales.

Inside of Their Books

The last place we see authors give away lead magnets is at the end of their book. This is likely the best place an author can give away lead magnets. 


A reader that makes it to the end of your book is highly interested in your content, and has a very high chance of wanting to hear from you more.

You may also want to switch up the type of lead magnet that’s given away in your book. As I stated above, readers that have never heard of you, vs readers that complete your book will want different things.

Booklinker Collections

One landing page for all your books. 100% free.

One link for easy sharing of your books across your backmatter, websites, emails, and social media.


Creating and offering a lead magnet for email capture is one of the most powerful marketing tactics an author can take advantage of to grow their author business.

If you don’t have one yet, it’s time to start creating one! Repurposing existing content is a great way to get something out of value quickly. Constantly test different lead magnets and see which ones convert at the highest percentage.

Lastly, feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions about setting up your lead magnet or a nurture sequence and we will answer promptly!


  • Austin Tuwiner

    Austin Tuwiner is a growth marketer and a main contributor to the Booklinker blog. He is dedicated to helping authors increase their book sales.
  • Austin Tuwiner

    Austin Tuwiner is a growth marketer and a main contributor to the Booklinker blog. He is dedicated to helping authors increase their book sales.

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