Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Writing Wednesday: No Magnetic Pull: The Failure of Reader Magnets

Over a month ago I talked about how I tried to employ the strategies of this Reader Magnets book I read about marketing with an email newsletter.  The author claimed it was easy but in my blog entry I relate the struggles of setting up the website, getting permafree books, and setting up the newsletter itself.  It was anything but easy.

Anyway, after over a month I can now declare it to be a failure.  I really got nothing out of it and actually it has probably cost me money in buying a domain name and not releasing a book that probably could have been earning some money instead of giving it away to people for free if they signed up for the newsletter.

I'm not saying the author is a liar because I'm sure it worked for him.  I'm just saying I couldn't duplicate that success.  The first thing is I could not get people to even sign up for the newsletter.  At most I had 23.  Then when I did send out a newsletter, less than half of those people would even OPEN it.  I'm not sure if they signed up with fake email addresses or they just deleted the newsletter or it got filtered as spam but seriously less than half ever opened it.

The sad thing is according to MailChimp's stats, this is way above normal.  The normal open rate is 25% for "artists" and the click on rate (for clicking on links in the email I guess) is a pathetic 2.5%.  Which is fine when you're emailing 20,000 people but not good with far smaller numbers.

So obviously I never got the big spike in sales the author claims happened after he sent a newsletter.  I mean at most I might have 11 sales, right?  There was really no difference in sales whatsoever.

The thing is I put the ad for the free book everywhere I could.  I put it at the front of the books, put it on the Eric Filler website, and put it on the Planet 99 Publishing Website.  In addition to the six permafree books, I started using the KDP Select to give away more recent books for 5 days at a time.  I mean I pretty much did everything I could.  I think especially with the ad in the books people just skip over it without reading or maybe Amazon even skips over it when people open the book.

It also failed to do what I really wanted, which was to create an actual fan base.  I mean I was hoping I could bring together people who could then review my books instead of just that obnoxious 1% who has to hate on them for one reason or another.  This shows just what kind of "fan base" I have, which is to say none at all.

So yeah it was basically a failure for me on every level.  I'm thinking it might be easier for authors who have mainstream books.  The guy who wrote that book writes detective thrillers that are possibly more popular than gender swap erotica books--unless I were to write one.  Because of that I'm not saying you shouldn't give it a try, but it just didn't work out for me.  I'll probably leave the permafree books free because they weren't selling anything anyway and since I paid for the domain name I might as well keep that around too for a while.  The book I was using as my carrot or hook or whatever I'll just put up for sale and maybe make a few more bucks off of it.

There you go.  Now you know.  And knowing is half the battle!


  1. Sorry to hear you didn't get good results. It's a good idea to keep it around for awhile. The website looks great. I have thought before that your writing style (in some books like Where you Belong) would be good in thrillers if you ever had an idea of trying to write one.

  2. Yikes. How depressing. At least your books are selling well (compare them to my stats and you'll feel pretty good). It's all perspective, my friend.

  3. I've heard that about newslatters too, but it feels like a lot of work. One good thing is you were able to clearly track your click rates and ROI. Imagine if you'd had spent a year working on it before you realized it didn't work for you.



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