Kobo Writing Life

Five things I learned putting together bundles at Bundle Rabbit

By Barbara G. Tarn

Have you heard this great marketing tip? Include your book in a multi-author bundle, so that readers can cross-pollinate among various authors. There are plenty of bundling services, such as StoryBundle, but personally, I never made it there, in spite of trying a couple of times.

Enter BundleRabbit. It’s a do-it-yourself bundle service and it distributes to the usual suspects, including Kobo (they’re actually the fastest to send the bundle pre-orders live). You can join as an author first, then, if you feel like it, you can move to curator.

I spent a year as just another hopeful author waiting to be picked up. When you do get picked up, all you have to do is follow Diane’s adviceshe is one of the authors of my first bundle and I couldn’t have said it better. She explains everything about how BR works for authors.

One year after that first (now archived) bundle, I became a curator. In the meantime the marketplace had grown to over 1800 indie titles, so finding books was almost daunting.

I am currently on my third curated bundle (and I’m an author in a few more), so here’s what I’ve learned over the past six months.

Putting bundles together at Bundle Rabbit is great fun!

It’s exhausting too, and exciting, and I’m afraid I’ve been bitten by the bundles bug. If you’re tired of waiting for someone to request your books, become a curator. Yes, you can do a single-author bundle, but it defeats the purpose of cross-pollinating fans. So head for that daunting marketplace and start searching for books similar to yours! Or invite your indie friends and their friends who may have something that fits your vision!

Putting bundles together can be a hassle too

Unless you know all the authors you invite and their writing, it might be a good idea to sample the books you think could fit. Also, sometimes an author might decline your request but suggest another title that might be a better fit for your vision. Take your time in choosing the titles.

Note that while you don’t have to read the whole book before requesting it, reading at least a little of it is a good idea.

Start working on your bundle early

In the past six months lots of people have become curators, which means that the publishing calendar is very crowded and your bundle might have to wait behind other books. So be organized—don’t start working on it at the last minute, or you will have to delay the release date.

I tend to start working on any bundle a couple of months before the chosen release date—one month to check books and set up the line-up, and then one month to prepare covers, ads, videos and whatnot for the launch.

Limit the number of books

Even though BundleRabbit allows bundling from a minimum of 5 to a maximum of 25 books, try to stick to 10 (says the woman who has 12 books in her first bundle and 11 in the second), especially if it’s novels. Pricing at retailers should be a maximum of $9.99, so it’s too much of a discount for the bundle. It means less than $0.99 per novel. If it’s a bundle of shorter works (novellas or short stories), though, by all means put 25 together!

You don’t know how many books you’ll actually get…

Until you start requesting them. Sometimes you need to poke an author or two who didn’t see the BundleRabbit notice. Another problem I ran into when I started working on the current bundle was unresponsive authors. One author has a Facebook Page that has been inactive for a year and her website is down, along with the email provided for contact. Another I reached out to twice; first through the email he provided on BundleRabbit, then through his contact page on his website. No answer.

So, authors, don’t upload your book and forget about it! If you have a fan mailing list, have another email for other types of communication, just in case a curator’s request gets lost in your inbox among your adoring fans’ letters.

Have fun with bundles!

My first bundle will vanish in December and it’s now discounted. It’s the swan’s song, grab it before it’s gone! My second bundle will be archived in January. My newest bundle Vampires of the World is now available. It includes the first two books of the Vampires Through the Centuries series and you can get also Book 3 or the shorter works if you enjoy them.

Barbara G. Tarn had an intense life in the Middle Ages that stuck to her through the centuries. She prefers swords to guns, long gowns to mini-skirts, and even though she buried the warrior woman, she deplores the death of knights in shining chainmail. She likes to think her condo apartment is a medieval castle, unfortunately lacking a dungeon to throw noisy neighbors and naughty colleagues in. Also known as the Lady with the Unicorns, these days she prefers to add a touch of fantasy to all her stories, past and present – when she’s not wandering on her fantasy world of Silvery Earth or in her Star Minds futuristic universe. She’s a writer, sometimes artist, mostly a world-creator and story-teller. Two of her stories received an Honorable Mention at the Writers of the Future contest. She writes, draws, ignores her day job and blogs at: http://creativebarbwire.wordpress.com.

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