Offering your novels as a boxed set or bundle

One way to increase sales of your books and increase your fan base is to offer your books as a bundle, or if you wrote a series to offer them in a boxed set. This applies no matter if you published a print or e-book version of your novel.

An e-book bundle or box set is simply multiple books offered together. It is one download and payment for a reader followed by hours of enjoyment. This ensures readers of a series can read each story in order (and immediately). And usually because the books are offered at a lower price than buying them individually, book lovers are getting a bargain. And who doesn’t love a bargain?

It cost you, the author, next to nothing to offer a box set. You simply create a file with all the books and then create a picture of a virtual box, and add it to your usual distributor websites with an appropriate blurb and price. (For more on this, check out my post about offering my trilogy as a boxed set.)

Box Set – One Author

You don’t have to have written a trilogy or series to have a box set. You can make a bundle out of any of your novels. This especially works well if they have a similar theme (small-town romances) or are the same genre (mysteries).

Box Set – Multiple Authors

It just doesn’t have to be your novels in a box set. You can get authors which write in the same genre together to offer a box set. Or you can have all women authors but different genres. Or perhaps there is something else that ties you novels together such as they are all second-chance romances or all have a dog as a character.

These multi-author sets bring readers entire new worlds in one convenient package. It is just a matter of getting some other authors to go in with you on a set. You will then have to work out how you will promote it and how profit will be distributed, but these are small issues compared to the amount of exposure it can bring you s an author.

Pricing

box setReaders typically expect some sort of price discount if they buy a box set or bundle. Basically plan to knock off several dollars off what it would cost if they bought the books individually. On my box set for my trilogy, I reduced the price by $1 per book. So Summoned costs $2.99 (as do Quietus and Destiny), but you can get the box set for $5.99.

When deciding on the price of your box set, you need to consider why you are doing one. If it is for the convenience of readers, so they can get the whole series at once, then you will probably only be looking at offering a small price discount.

But if you want to boost rankings and want a massive number of downloads, then you might put in as many books as possible and price the set as low as possible. A quick search on Amazon will show that there are box sets for 99 cents that offer up to a dozen books.

If you already offered the first book in a series at a reduced price or for free, it could help your sales of the remainder of the series if you offered the first book in a multi-author collection.

No matter how you do it – your books, your series, a collection of books from various authors – a box set or bundle is an excellent sales tool that every author with more than one book to their name should consider.

Publish your novels in a boxed set

box setIf you have written a trilogy or series of novels – even if they are only in ebook form – you might consider offering them as a box set. The convenience of a box set is that your reader can get a collection of your short stories or trilogy together, usually at a discounted price. Last week, I released The Elemental trilogy as a box set. While putting it together, I learned a few things that I thought I would pass along.

Pricing

Readers are going to expect some sort of price discount if they buy a box set. But the price you set for your book – and your box set – is of course a personal one. Here are a few things I noted when looking into offering a box set.

Short Stories – often I saw three or four boxed together, and the price was equivalent to getting one free. So four short stories that sell for 99 cents each would be bundled together and sold for $2.99.

Series/Trilogy – Here is where I saw the biggest range of pricing. You would see three books offered for anywhere from $4.99 to $7.99 when the books separately cost about $2.99 or $3.99. I even saw an eight book series offered for $9.99 – that’s only $1.25 a book! I am sure readers would find that a great deal.

Each of my novels sells for $2.99 individually. I decided to go with $5.99 for the set which is almost a $3 savings for readers.

Cover Art

box set optionI would say that most authors had artwork that looked like a box set – sort of 3D looking such as mine above – where you have a front and then see the spines of the other books. Or if you have a four book set, you could lay them out like the set by Kristen James on the right.

Smashwords would not accept a 3D image so had to create this one to be in their Premier catalog

Smashwords would not accept a 3D image so had to create this one to be in their Premier catalog

By looking at the sample chapters on Amazon, I noted about half of the authors include the individual book covers as part of the e-book. I choose to do this for mine. After the box set title page and table of contents, you see the cover for Summoned and then its title page and other front matter just as if you had bought the book individually. When Summoned ends, you have the cover for Quietus and its title page and front matter and of course the same when you reach Destiny.

Book Description

Again, here I saw different things – anywhere from a simple list of the books included in the box set to a complete description of each book. I think you need to include the book descriptions here as readers may not know anything about the stories in the set.

Now with Smashwords you only get 400 characters for the short description (you get 4000 characters on the long description) so you will either only be able to list the books or need to come up with a one or two sentence blurb for the whole trilogy or a short sales pitch if you are combining unrelated short stories.

Formatting

One thing I think is essential in a box set is that you need to have a table of contents. You want to make it easy for your readers to get to the second book without having to scroll through the first if they have already read that book. I would say about half the books I looked at included a clickable table of contents.

Here is how my box set goes.

Box set title page

Table of Contents – the three books and About the Author

Book 1 cover

Book 1 title page/copyright/dedication

Book 1 content

Book 2 cover

Book 2 title page/copyright

Book2 content

Book 3 cover

Book 3 title page/copyright

Book 3 content

About the Author

If you like adding table of contents for each of your novels, you could add one after the title page for each novel.

Overall, I think offering a box set provides a great option for your readers even if you only decide to knock off a little off the price verses offering the books individually.

Announcing the release of THE ELEMENTAL trilogy box set

Now that I have completed The Elemental trilogy, I am offering the complete set – Summoned, Quietus and Destiny – in one money saving offer.

box setBuy the whole trilogy for $5.99 (that’s almost a $3 savings from buying them individually).

Amazon     Barnes and Noble       Kobo Store       Smashwords

Summoned:

Lina was born with the power to start fires with a mere thought – a trait which died out long ago. She had no plans to leave her beloved homeland. Then gypsies kidnap her and take her to a foreign land. There a strong urge compels her to travel north.

On her journey, she reluctantly uses her innate Elemental powers as she battles mystical creatures that have not existed for 800 years. When she discovers the shocking truth behind the calling, it will change her life in ways she could never imagine.

Quietus:

In the shadow of Ben Dar fortress, Lina learned she was the center of a thousand-year-old prophecy claiming the rebirth of the Elementals – an ancient race dedicated to caring for the Land.

Now Lina and those with traces of Elemental power train in the mountains of South Point in the hopes that they can defeat this unknown danger to the Land. Will her powers be enough to stop the destruction of her homeland?

Destiny: 

Destroying Quietus should have stopped the destruction to the Land. But it hadn’t. Slowly, the barren areas continue to grow destroying everything in their path. None of Lina’s Elemental powers can repair the damage while the Land remains contaminated by magic.
But there is an ancient scepter created by a Learner that may lift this magical barrier. Before Lina can claim it, the scepter is stolen. Now Lina and Val must race to find the scepter and end the destruction to the Land once and for all.