Sell More Books by Bundling

A bundle is a group of things tied together as into a parcel. In marketing, bundling refers to offering several products for sale as one combined product.

Bundle

Bundling is a common strategy in the business world. Consider cable companies that offer bundled packages of cable TV, Internet, and phone, or fast food companies like McDonalds that let customers pick any two of a number of products for cheaper than the two items can be purchased separately.

Bundling is a marketing strategy that works to increase sales. Grouping two or more things that go together, and offering customers the two items together cheaper than they can be purchased separately, is viewed as a bargain by shoppers. Shoppers love bargains. Therefore, offering a bundle can drive more sales.

You can increase your book sales by bundling your print and ebook together. One survey found that 49% of digital readers said they had purchased both print and ebooks in the past 6 months. More and more readers are switching back and forth between print and digital reading. Bundling your print and ebook together provides readers an incentive to purchase both. In fact, studies show that reader purchase more books when shopping when the ebook is included with the print book for free.

You can offer a print and ebook bundle easily with the following two services:

• Selfie

The Shelfie app makes it easy for anyone owning a print book to get the digital version of the book—if the book is in Shelfie’s catalog. All book owners need to do is download the Shelfie app for free. Owners then use the app to take a ‘shelfie’ photo of a book they own and a photo of the copyright page of the book with their name written on the page to indicate that they own the book. Owners can then download or purchase the ebook version of the book from Shelfie.

If you have an ebook distributed via IngramSpark or Lightning Source, you can use Shelfie to offer a print and ebook bundle. Simply list your ebook with Shelfie. Then let purchasers know that if they purchase the print book, they can get the ebook free (or for a nominal fee) on Shelfie.

• Kindle Matchbook

Kindle MatchBook allows customers who buy a print book from Amazon.com the option to purchase the Kindle version of the same title for $2.99 or less (including free). If you have both the print and digital version your title for sale on Amazon.com, you can enroll the Kindle version in Kindle MatchBook . Then customers who buy your print version can also get the ebook version for free or cheap.

You can sell more books by bundling. Consumers view bundle as bargains. Bargains drive sales. Use these services to bundle your print and ebook versions together and encourage more readers to buy your book. Just be sure to heavily promote your bundle to your target audience.

Related Posts:
Create Book Bundles for Gifting
Sell More Books with Coupons
Market Your Book as a Gift

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Ingram Spark

Move over Random House. The publishing world is changing. No longer do large publishing houses have the same hold on the book industry. Now, small publishers and authors are producing books and selling them, sometimes in large quantities. In fact, small publishers now make up 20% of the publishing industry.

ingramSparkLogo

The publishing world is beginning to embrace this seismic shift. Ingram, the largest book wholesale company once only deigned to work with publishers with 10 or more titles. When print-on-demand appeared, they opened Lightning Source and allowed small publishers to use this service to gain distribution. Then, about 2 years ago, they allowed the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) to form an agreement with them in regards to IBPA member publishers. This agreement allows member publishers of IBPA to obtain distribution for a print book with Ingram (with a setup fee of $300) if they agree to participate in at least one of Ingram’s marketing programs.

Now, Ingram is going one step further to engage more small and self-publishers—all in an effort to stay in the game and to make more money. Next month, they are launching a new publishing platform called Ingram Spark.

Ingram Spark will be a “Publish on Demand” platform which will incorporate both print and ebook distribution. By combining print and digital platforms, the program is supposed to simply the entire distribution process while offering Ingram’s worldwide reach.

With Ingram Spark, it will be free to open an account. However, there will be setup fees. Spark will charge a $49 fee to publish both an ebook and a print book ($25 for just an ebook). In addition, there will be a $12 fee per year to be listed in Ingram’s catalog (as with Lightning Source). Publishers will be paid a royalty when books are sold—40% for ebooks and 45% for print books (not sure if that is after printing costs or not). Publishers will have the ability to set that retail price, but Ingram will set a fixed discount for retail sales (unlike Lightning Source where the publisher can choose the discount).

This leaves me with the question of what the advantage of Ingram Spark will be over Ingram’s existing Lightning Source program. The only thing I can think of is that it will make the process of setting up both print-on-demand and ebook distribution easier for a publisher since both will be under the same account. Currently, print and ebook distribution are two separate agreements and processes with Lightning Source. Other than that, I don’t see any other advantages. Maybe you do. If so, let me know.

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The Newest DIY eBook Publishing Program

First Amazon launched the Kindle Direct Publishing platform, and then Barnes & Noble launched PubIt! for the Nook. After that, Smashwords took the scene by storm followed by BookBaby. Not to be left out, Apple launched its iBooks Author program, and now, Author Solutions, Inc., has launched BookTango.

Each of these ebook publishing and distribution programs allows authors and publishers to upload and distribute ebooks very cost effectively. Anyone can create, edit, format, publish, promote, and distribute an ebook via these ebook publishing platforms.

BookTango, being the newest player on the field, is trying to grab as many authors as they can during their roll-out phase in order to cement their position amongst their competition. To that end, BookTango is offering the maximum possible royalties from ebook sales for those authors who use BookTango to publish an ebook before July 4, 2012.

BookTango’s current offer means that authors can publish an ebook for free and keep the entire sales price for their ebook (after ebook retailers take their standard fee). In other words, BookTango is not going to take a percentage from sales of books published between now and July 4, 2012, for themselves.

This is a great offer. It is also a great marketing strategy.

So many self-published authors and publishers I talk to hate to give away free books. They talk about how much these books cost them and how they feel they are throwing the money away while other people are benefiting from their handouts.

Remember, it takes money to make money. Companies pay to promote their products. Authors and publishers are not exempt. Author Solutions is paying to offer this program. Nothing is free. BookTango will not receive any monetary remuneration from any ebook published using their service for the next two months.

How much money have you been spending to promote and sell your books lately?

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