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Seamless Series Transition: Mastering the Art of Backmatter for Repeat Readership


THE END

(except you’re not writing this anymore, right?)




Congratulations! Your reader has reached the second most valuable “real estate” in your book. The first, of course, is the engaging story they’ve invested precious hours, perhaps even days, of their lives in. Your words have succeeded in casting their magic, entertaining, educating, or uplifting your reader.


Whether you realize it or not, a bond has been formed at this moment. The reader has embarked on a journey with your characters, lived through their trials and triumphs, and ultimately, shared a piece of your creative world. The two of you are now in a unique relationship.


The question is, are you going to nurture this relationship or leave it up to the whims of fate?


Personally, I am a huge fan of serendipity, but this is one instance where I advocate for actively taking the reins. It's time to ensure the reader knows I appreciate their time and wish to stay connected in all the ways.


Now, let's talk about what comes next. Your reader has finished the journey.



(If you're too young to get this reference, I'm sorry. But please don't hurt your elders by telling us. thanks!)


“But wait, there's more!” Enter the backmatter of your book, the unsung hero of your brand’s marketing strategy. This often overlooked yet potent tool can significantly contribute to a book’s profitability. Even better... if you're an author on a tight budget, this doesn't cost you a dime!


The backmatter is the final section of your book, after the story has concluded. It is often disregarded, treated as an afterthought, but savvy authors know it is a goldmine of opportunities to connect with readers and gently steer them towards your other works or offerings. It's a space that can be utilized to promote future books, encourage readers to join your mailing list, or invite them to follow your social media accounts.


But how can you make the most out of this space? The first rule is to make it engaging. Are you old enough to remember life when Netflix sent DVDs in red envelopes and we didn’t have DVR? There was no “binge watching” shows until your TV screen asked if you were still there in its judgemental tone.


“On the next episode…” would lead into a ten or twenty second clip that was always high action or drama, and left us salivating for more. We immediately cleared our schedules for the next Thursday night at 9pm so we could watch our show.


That’s what you’re doing here. You’re not saying, “Hey, go buy this other book I wrote.” Instead, you’re introducing them to what they want to read next.


Here are ten samples of highly effective backmatter that will have your readers clicking to the next in series (or the next standalone, this works for both) before they flip to the next screen or close out of the book.


 

  1. Everything she thought she knew about her family was a lie. The truth is far more dangerous than she could have imagined. To find out the secrets that have been hidden from her since birth, pick up [TITLE].

  2. He narrowly escaped the assassin's blade once. But the killer never fails twice. Run for your life to [TITLE]...before he catches up to you.

  3. Justice has been served. Or has it? The mastermind behind it all is still out there, and more determined than ever. Find out who's really pulling the strings in the [TITLE]!

  4. He proclaimed his innocence. No one believed him. Now, he only has one chance left to prove the truth before it's too late. Discover the truth for yourself - his story continues in [TITLE].

  5. She vowed to get revenge. But will her quest for vengeance consume her completely? Find out what happens when she crosses the line between justice and madness in [TITLE].

  6. Every secret of the ancient world was thought to be lost. Until now. Prepare to have history rewritten - start reading [TITLE] for revelations that will shake the foundations of mankind.

  7. A shadowy threat looms over the kingdom, and no one suspects the danger that's about to be unleashed. Experience the sweeping battle between good and evil in [TITLE] - you won't believe who prevails!

  8. When the impossible happens, she'll begin to question everything. Because in this world, magic is real - and it's deadly. Open your eyes to wonders and terrors beyond imagination in [TITLE]!

  9. The wedding was only the beginning. Just when happily ever after seemed within reach, a ghost from the past returned to haunt them. Now the real adventure starts. To find out if love can last forever after, join us for one more walk down the aisle in [TITLE]!

  10. Burned by love, single dad Cal gave up dreaming of sharing forever with someone again. Until he meets his son's feisty new art teacher. For two wary hearts' surprise second chance at romance, follow their journey from reluctant partners to soulmates in [TITLE]!



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