How do you keep your readers coming back between releases? What kinds of things can you put in your newsletter to keep them from unsubscribing? These and similar questions are a real conundrum for some authors.

Many members of the Novel Publicity team are authors like yourself, and we've compiled a list of bonus content that fits every author's budget. The only cost is your time, which is not free, but it will not drain your financial resources and is the perfect task to tackle when you have a bit of downtime or need a break from writing.

1. Short Stories, Bloopers, & Deleted Scenes

Keep a file that contains your best typos and deleted scenes. These make excellent fodder on their own for your newsletter subscribers and/or street team members. When you make this content exclusive to these small groups of readers, it tells them how special they are to you and leaves them with warm fuzzies and, if all goes as planned, a desire to read more of your books.

These otherwise throwaway bits of writing can also help you create a short story—or a collection of them! Some authors use short stories, often called novelettes, as a lead magnet. That's right—you can use a short story to entice new-to-you readers to sign up for your newsletter.

2. Music Playlist

As you write your book, keep a list of songs that you listen to while writing and share with your readers. Alternately, you can ask readers to recommend songs based on the theme, setting, plot, or genre of your book. Once you have a list of at least ten songs, create a playlist on your favorite music platform so that you can share it with your readers. This article from Popular Science explains how to share music playlists from Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube Music, and similar sites.

3. Jigsaw Puzzles

Jigsaw puzzles made a huge comeback during the pandemic of 2020. You can turn your book covers into online jigsaw puzzles that make fun bonus content for readers. Some of the more popular sites online that allow you to make and share digital puzzles include Jigsaw Planet, I'm a Puzzle, and Daily Jigsaw Puzzles.

4. Activity Pages

The puzzle maker page on the Discovery Education site contains a treasure trove of free puzzle-making resources. Once you create the puzzles, you can copy and paste them into Canva and add graphics, your logo, and your brand colors. If you choose the 8.5″ x 11″ size, then you have printable bonus content for your readers!

The puzzles included on the aforementioned webpage are…

  • word search puzzle
  • criss-cross puzzle
  • double puzzles
  • fallen phrase puzzle
  • math squares
  • maze puzzle
  • letter tiles puzzle
  • cryptogram
  • number blocks puzzle
  • hidden message puzzle

And if you use Canva, you can create a printable activity book that can also serve as a lead magnet for new subscribers to your newsletter.

5. Adult coloring pages

Coloring for adults is another hobby that made a comeback in 2020. There is a wide range of adult coloring books on Amazon with themes ranging from true crime to strong women to gratitude and anything in between. You can create your own in the free version of Canva and even save it as a PDF, which you can then upload to your website or share in your newsletter.

You can turn your book cover into a coloring page, but before you do, double-check with the cover designer that you have the proper permission to do so. If you're savvy with a high-end design program like Photoshop, then you can convert the image yourself. Otherwise, there are a number of web-based sites that offer the service for free. Your mileage may vary depending on the one you choose.

Are You Ready to Create Some Bonus Content?

We hope that the wheels in your mind are spinning with the endless possibilities of bonus content that you can share with your readers. If you need help getting started, or if you need someone to create bonus content from the ground up, the Novel Publicity team has plenty of experience and would be thrilled to assist you with this project.

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