Ah, book bundling—the Costco of the indie author world. Who doesn't love the idea of more for less? Or in your case, offering more and earning more. You see, the concept of book bundling is as simple as it is brilliant. It's like pairing wine and cheese (or, if you're me, Diet Coke and Gummi Bears) but here, it's your first book with your second—or your entire series with some tantalizing extras. When done correctly, it's not just an offering; it's an experience.
1) Increased Revenue:
This one's a no-brainer. You sell more books at a time, you make more money. What's beautiful about this is that the perceived value for the reader goes up. They get more content for what feels like a deal, and you get a customer who is now invested in more than just one piece of your work.
2) Reader Retention:
Bundling encourages readers to consume more of your content in a shorter amount of time. This increases the odds of them becoming loyal followers who will eagerly wait for your next release, be it a bundle or a stand-alone.
3) Bonus Content to Sweeten the Deal:
Ah, the little surprises that make a bundle feel like opening a treasure chest. Adding a short story or a guide at the end of your bundle can make your offering irresistible.
Before you jump into the bundling game, remember, not all bundles are created equal. All bundle content isn't created equal, either--but at least it should all go together (mixing horror and romance is likely a non-starter, as is erotica and Christian cozy mysteries, or unicorn parodies with legal primers, or--you get the idea).
The first step in creating a bundle is choosing which books to include. Here's a checklist to guide your decision:
Genre Consistency: Stick to one genre to meet reader expectations.
Series or Themes: Bundling works best when there's a common thread like characters, setting, or themes.
Standalone vs Series: Standalone books can also be bundled if they serve the same target audience or follow a thematic sequence.
Pricing is more art than science. Set it too high, and you scare away potential buyers; set it too low, and you might as well be giving your hard work away for free. Consider the following when pricing:
Perceived Value: The bundle should feel like a deal compared to purchasing the books separately.
Market Research: Check out similar bundles and their pricing. Don’t undervalue your bundle, but also don’t price yourself out of the market.
The real gold is in the keyword ideas Google will generate based on your input. These are words or phrases you might not have thought of but could be valuable in optimizing your book descriptions and website content.
With Amazon KDP, you can create a book bundle quite easily. If you're not sure how to do it, don’t worry. I once spent hours looking for the “bundle” button, only to realize there isn’t one—you create a new listing just like any other book. And that pretty much applies to all the eBook retailers: just create a new title...only this one will be a group of books within it. For example, I did a book bundle called Though Darkness Falls that actually has four books in it. But Amazon listed it as a single title, so...easy-peasy!
1) Limited-Time Offers:
Creating a sense of urgency can get your bundle off the shelves quicker than you can say, “Why didn’t I do this sooner?” Limited-time discounts or exclusive additional content can work wonders.
2) Leverage Your Existing Audience:
Your mailing list, social media followers, or blog audience can serve as a launchpad. Give them first dibs or exclusive offers on your bundle.
3) Paid Promotions:
Platforms like Amazon Advertising or Facebook Ads can target your specific reader demographic like a heat-seeking missile.
Look, the world of indie publishing is as competitive as my family’s annual "who can get cranky fastest" game, but there’s room for smart players. Book bundling is not just a strategy; it's a paradigm shift. It’s about moving from selling individual products to offering curated experiences. It's also one of those instances where 1+1 equals 3. Or maybe even 5, depending on how well you play your cards.
As promised, here’s your handy checklist for all things book bundling:
Below is a fast-and-dirty recap to ensure you're well on your way to making your work more visible online. Keep this checklist handy and tick off each box as you go along!
I'm Michaelbrent Collings, an international bestseller and produced screenwriter, as well as a multiple Bram Stoker Award and Dragon Award finalist, and maker of a fair-to-middling chocolate chip waffle.
Check out the posts for writing and publishing tips and tricks, as well as interesting tidbits on writing and the industry. And please join our community below!