Which do I write first, the main story, or a reader magnet?
Updated: Jan 23
Hey there fellow writers, Josh Coker here, and today we're gonna talk about a topic that many fiction authors question - should you write your reader magnet or your main story first? It's a tricky question and the answer really depends on where you're at in your writing journey and your reader magnet process.
Deciding whether to write a reader magnet or the main story first depends on the stage of your writing journey, the reader magnet process, and the balance of time, energy, and money. If you have already started the main story it's best to finish it before tackling the reader magnet, otherwise, it's best to begin with the reader magnets as they are shorter to write and allow you to publish faster and build your audience.
If you would prefer to watch Josh talk about this topic, rather than read about it, you can click here for the video version.
Two main camps of writers
As a writer, there are two main camps you can fall into - those who have already started writing their main story and those who haven't yet begun writing in their new fictional world.
Writing your main story first
If you're in the first camp and have already started writing your main story, it's best to finish that story first before tackling your reader magnet. This will allow you to fully immerse yourself in your story and develop it to its fullest potential.
Click here to see an example of my main story on Amazon
Writing your reader magnet first
On the other hand, if you're in the second camp and haven't yet started writing your book or series, it's a good idea to begin with your reader magnets first. Not only are they shorter to write (typically between 10,000 and 20,000 words), but they also allow you to publish faster and build your audience while you're working on your main series.
NOTE: If you write more than one reader magnet, it's ideal to put the lead magnet (first reader magnet) on Amazon for free. This allows you to get lots of traffic and reviews for your story.
Click here to see an example of my (lead) reader magnet on Amazon
NOTE: You can also put the (lead) reader magnet on Bookfunnel as well.
Click here to see an example of my (lead) reader magnet on Bookfunnel
Building your audience
Another benefit of starting with reader magnets is that you can use them to get reviews and improve your visibility on platforms like Amazon. This can help boost your algorithm and increase your visibility as an author.
Weighing the Pros and Cons
It's important to keep in mind that writing multiple reader magnets will take more time, energy, and money. So, it's important to weigh these factors and decide what's best for your individual situation.
NOTE: If you have enough spare time/energy/money to write additional reader magnets, you link them in the back matter of your lead magnet (first reader magnet) to Bookfunnel.
Click here to see an example of my second reader magnet
To recap, here are the actionable steps in chronological order for each of the two camps:
If you have already started writing your main story:
Finish writing your main story before tackling your reader magnet.
This will allow you to fully immerse yourself in your story and develop it to its fullest potential.
If you have NOT already started writing your main story:
Write the reader magnet.
This will allow you to publish faster and build your audience while you're working on your main series.
Leverage your reader magnets to get reviews and improve your visibility on platforms.
How many reader Magnets?
Consider the time, energy, and money it will take to write multiple reader magnets.
If you don't have spare time/energy/money write one.
If you do have the spare time/energy/money, write 2-3.
In conclusion, the decision of whether to write your reader magnet or main story first is up to you and what will work best for your writing process and audience-building strategy. By considering your specific writing journey and reader magnet process, you can make an informed decision that will help you achieve your goals as a writer.
In future posts, we'll discuss how to create these reader magnets and get them on Amazon, Bookfunnel, your website, and other platforms.
FINAL NOTE: While I suggested using Book Funnel for your reader magnet landing pages, you can also use Story Origin, create them on your own website, or use the other various landing page platforms in existence.
You can watch the video version of this here.
Download Josh’s list of reader magnet ideas here
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About the author
Josh is a military veteran, public speaker, and father of three. Josh has published multiple science fiction, fantasy, and nonfiction books. When not writing, Josh plays video games like Mass Effect, God of War, and Mortal Kombat. Growing up as a comic book geek in the 80s, Josh has an affinity for superhero stories. He's also a huge fan of classic Star Wars and owns multiple lightsabers. His other hobbies include powerlifting, roller skating, and beach bumming.
Feel free to follow Josh on social media, to get updates on all of his latest projects here: https://linktr.ee/joshcoker