After publishing the final book in The Conjurors Series, Edge of Pathos, I decided to look into the benefits of bundling the books in my series. I read a great blog post by Lindsay Buroker on the subject, which convinced me to package the first three books in the series together for marketing purposes. Bundling my books wasn’t difficult, but it did involve a learning curve, much like everything in the self-publishing world. To save you some time figuring it out on your own, below is a practical overview of how to build and publish a book bundle on Amazon based on my research and experience.
Creating and Formatting the File
If your book bundle will be on Amazon, you need to create a separate document with all of the books you are bundling combined that you will post as a new book. Include the title page for each book, but make sure that you don’t paste your back matter (e.g. About the Author, Afterward, Acknowledgements) more than once, so the bundle appears cohesive. For your table of contents, I recommend only linking to the titles of each of the books in your bundle, rather than listing all of the chapters.
Most authors who bundle their books create a 3D image of their books as cover art. Some have an entirely different and new cover image to entice readers, while others recycle one of the images from their series for the cover art. Because the cover for the first book in The Conjurors Series, The Society of Imaginary Friends, has been well-received, I chose to use that image with a new title (The Conjurors Collection, Books 1-3). The 3D image also showed the spines of the three books in the bundle, so it was clear what is included.
If you’re like me, writing the blurb for your book is a kind of torture. I spend more time crafting those 150 words than I spend crafting 5,000 of my novel. But it’s still valuable to create a unique description for your book bundle, rather than just repeating the descriptions for each of the books within the bundle. You want to hook readers with a pithy description that will draw them into your world and help them quickly identify what kind of series they’ll be reading. Also be clear about what is and isn’t included in your bundle. I specifically mention that the last book in the series is not in the bundle, so they aren’t disappointed or angry when they realize they have to purchase the last book separately.
When it comes to pricing your bundle, don’t sell yourself short. Your bundle should offer a significant savings from buying your books individually, but keeping your price higher will make discounting your bundle more powerful. I priced my bundle at a couple of dollars cheaper than the cost of buying the books individually. I chose this tactic not because I’m expecting to make a lot of money off of the bundle, but rather because if I give it away for free or at $.99, I’m hoping that I’ll attract a lot of readers who will go on to try out the last book in my series.
The last thing that you need to do once your bundle is published is to get some reviews for it, which can be the most difficult step. But in this case, you don’t need to find new readers to write your reviews. Tap existing readers who have written reviews on your books to write a review for your bundle, or even copy the review they’ve written for individual books for your bundle. I recommend providing bonus material, such as a short story, to boost your chances of having readers post their reviews. I also decided to solicit reviews through Story Cartel, because I had good luck with that venue in the past (check out my post on the subject here), as well as host a LibraryThing giveaway, which yielded a few reviews for me with prior books.
Have you bundled your books? If so, what tips do you have for creating and marketing your bundle?