This is part 4 of a 4 part series on Book Bundles. Part 1 includes an overview of the marketing technique of book bundles, monetary considerations, and potential benefits. Part 2 includes who should try a bundle and choosing a group of writers for your book bundle. Part 3 discusses the major problems and sales mechanics of a book bundle and part 4 (this article) is the insider’s guide to doing book bundles the right way.
OK, you’ve read all about it – considered the pros and cons, and still want to use the marketing technique of a book bundle 🙂
Whether you are the central administrator/primary assembler of the bundle or an author joining a bundle, you should consider the following to make sure to think about the following:
1. Get the money worked out – and in writing. I like the idea of handshakes and friendly email conversations, but not everyone sees it that way. When it comes to your work, you need to be in a position to legally protect yourself (and the rights to your work). Be sure to hash out and put in writing all of the things in a normal publishing contract including:
- Money: At the very least, an equal share minus expenses
- Term: I suggest a short term contract, such as three or 6 months. By then, you should know how it’s selling and it won’t tie up your rights.
- Non-exclusive – Make sure your rights aren’t locked to this release
- Termination Clause – If it isn’t working, have an explained way that the contract terminates.
2. Be prepared for taxes – One of the two big certainties. Living with a full time writer, we pre-pay taxes (almost constantly) but if you get unexpected/extra income, it’s not a bad idea to hold at least 25 to 30% to the side for taxes. Best case scenario: you get to keep it all at tax time, worst case, you have to write a nasty big check but have held some extra funds to save your neck.
3. Get the cover art right. People want to believe they are getting a great deal – multiple books for a low price. The cover image needs to reflect that you’re getting more than one book. Consider the following images (these are template from Aubrey Watt’s blog – http://aubreywatt.com/custom-ebook-covers/3d-book-cover-boxed-set-tutorials-for-gimp-and-photoshop/ Please check out her site!):
Ultimately, you’ll want to show the audience you’re giving them a great deal. Showing a box set (like in the examples above) makes it easy for people to recognize that they are getting more than one book as part of the package price.
4. Put the best book first- Reviews are a big deal, and help build consumer confidence (for people to buy more books). Since the first book is most likely to be read and the basis for many reviews – the best book should be there. If you write great books and are building your career, push for your book to be there. Keep in mind that your book may be the center of many reviews if it’s first in the bundle – so kick butt, write a great book, and try to be first in the bundle 🙂
5. Keep it short term (with an option to extend) – Don’t lock your rights in for the long term…unless its really working 🙂 Your time is very valuable!!! Spending time marketing and promoting a bundle release can take time away from your other activities (not to mention family, friends, and writing other books!). Plan on it as a short term “experiment” and be willing to move on if you need to.
6. Buddy up! You’re partnering with other authors – so take advantage of it! One of the primary benefits (I believe) is the relationships you create with other authors (It’s a lot easier having 10 authors help you market than do it yourself!). Make an extra effort to interact with the other authors, participate with them on Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks. With any luck, after you’ve left the bundle way behind, you’ve made some amazing connections that you can take with you forever.
7. Don’t lose sight of the goal -If your goal is to hit a list and make a few extra dollars – try to keep that in mind. If you aren’t hitting your goals and it’s becoming a big headache, it may be time to move on. There are plenty of other great marketing techniques out there and quite a few right here on this site 🙂
Authors – what do you think?