Offering Readers Extras

As an indie author, simply writing your book is not enough. You need to have a marketing strategy, and let people know about your work. You also need to find your target audience, and then give them a reason to keep buying your work.

One way to do that is to offer extras to your readers. The Write Life calls them “insider treasures.” The idea is to make your readers feel special by giving them a gift:

Many authors create incredible extras inspired by their writing, drawn from their characters or worlds. This can be anything from a map of an alternate world to lovely character cards, or a peek behind the curtain at your creative process.

Roni Loren offers similar advice, calling them “sticky extras.” The idea is to keep readers interested in your website, by having easter eggs on your site. Ideas include character interviews, soundtracks, bonus stories, quizzes, trailers, author notes, and photos of your workspace. You can also host contests and have forums. Other ideas include posting fan photos and art, offering free wallpapers, and even building a site that only readers who have purchased your book can access (which then has “easter egg” hunts for your book).

Authors can learn from Patreon creators (some of whom are authors!). Examples include:

  • Illustrator Ty Carter, who polls patrons to figure out what to offer them,
  • YouTube creators Easy Allies, who formed a community around their brand, complete with official roles, and always ask for feedback,
  • Podcasters The Fantasy Footballers, who offer premium content for a fee

Do you offer your readers any extras? Please share in the comments!

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