25 Newsletter Incentive Ideas for Fiction Authors

When a reader signs up for your newsletter, they are moving from a mere spectator to a participant - someone who is one step closer to buying your book. 

The key to growing a solid and thriving newsletter is to approach the process from the viewpoint of your readers. This will give you more clarity in what to provide for your readers and it will make your newsletter so much more effective.

Incentives or opt-ins are one of the best ways to grow an author list. Here are 25 ideas that fiction authors can run with to dramatically grow their list and build their platform!

When you focus on growing your newsletter list, one of the best ways is to provide a hook to make readers want to sign up by offering a free incentive. Offering a well-crafted incentive also ensures that you get the right people signed up for your newsletter - your ideal readers. 

But for fiction writers, it can be difficult to think of creative or innovative incentives to drive interest. 

The go-to incentive for most authors is the free chapter download. Now don’t get me wrong, this is a fine incentive, but nearly every author out there offers this. 

To stand out and to offer great value to your growing audience, it helps to think outside of the box. 

So to get your creative juices flowing, I’ve come up with 25 newsletter incentive ideas specifically for fiction authors to help grow your newsletter list.

  1. A dossier of the characters in your new book. 
  2. A short story or novella. 
  3. Your current reading list (this can be updated seasonally to keep the content updated and fresh). 
  4. A collection of your main character’s journal/diary entries. This would create interest and insight into your new book. 
  5. Recipes. If you and your ideal reader share a passion for cooking, share some of your favorite recipes. Or maybe one of your main characters loves to cook and you can share some of their favorite things to cook. 
  6. Get together with other writers to give readers a collection of exclusive chapter downloads to your new books. 
  7. If photography is a hobby you and your ideal reader have, share a collection of photos that they can download and use. 
  8. Create a poster using Adobe Spark with a quote from your book as a free PDF download.
  9. Extended chapters.
  10. A collection of pictures from researching your latest book with a short write-up. 
  11. An exclusive interview regarding your new book. 
  12. Share an exclusive sneak preview of your new book not shared anywhere else.
  13. A manifesto. 
  14. A Spotify list of your favorite songs to write to. 
  15. Access to your private Facebook group. 
  16. A collection of your favorite writing tips (if your ideal reader wants to be a writer). 
  17. A collection of inspirational shareable images you create in Adobe Spark.
  18. Alternative endings for your latest book. 
  19. Exclusive artwork for your new book. 
  20. An exclusive interview with a fellow writer.
  21. Video from your latest speaking engagement. 
  22. An exclusive interview with your main character. 
  23. An extended sample of your audiobook. 
  24. A collection of your favorite things (this could be anything from your current favorite movies, books, artists, etc., to your favorite writing tools and resources). 
  25. A percentage off your new book. 

The most important factor to think about when considering your incentive is to come at it from the perspective of your ideal reader. Is this something he/she would be interested in? Is this of value to them? Does it strengthen their connection to you and make them want to stay tuned for your next post? 

If you are having trouble identifying your ideal reader, I have something for you. Sign-up for our free video training called Answers for Authors: 5 Actionable Steps to Intentionally Grow Your Audience. You don’t want to miss this! Sign up and we will let you know how to access it. 

I would suggest that you pick two or three incentives and circulate them throughout the year. You might find that one incentive does better than another, so play around with it and try some new things. 

Now it's your turn: What are some incentives that you have seen, used, or even signed up for that caught your eye or provided great value to you as a reader? Share your thoughts, insights, and ideas below! We'd love to hear from you.