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The Beauty of Box Sets Part II: How Box Sets Drive Up Sales

on February 24, 2014

Last month, I released my first-ever box set, Books 1-3 of the Amish Hearts series. I also wrote a blog post about the beauty of box sets. The post outlined 5 reasons why any author writing a series should consider combining his or her books into a box set.

Here's the book cover from the Amish Hearts boxed set.

Here’s the book cover from the Amish Hearts box set.

Now that my box set has been on the market awhile, I’m revisiting the topic–specifically in relation to how box sets drive up sales of other books. The dream of any author is to get his or her hard work out there by selling tons of books. And today, I will share the story of how releasing my box set allowed me to get three books on the Amazon Hot New Releases, as well as five books on the Teen Short Stories best seller list simultaneously!

Releasing a box set is all about timing. I released my box set on Amazon on January 29, and placed it in the Amish fiction and Teen Short Stories categories. Book 3 of Amish Hearts, Mercy’s Fall, had just been released on January 11th, and was already on the best seller list in the Teen Short Stories category, and Books 1 and 2 of the series, Rumspringa Break and Amish Summer, were ranked on the list as well. Mercy’s Fall was currently a Hot New Release.

The box set was priced at $2.99, and started climbing its way up the best seller lists within the first week of release. Even though it had fewer reviews than my previous books, it sold well, probably because people could read the reviews of each component book separately if they wanted to.

On February 7th, I released the fourth and final book of the Amish Hearts series, Amish Valentine. The seasonality of the book, as well as the fact that it was highly anticipated by devoted readers of the first three installments, ensured it an almost-immediate spot on the best seller list. February 8th was the day that three of my books from the Amish Hearts series showed up side-by-side as Hot New Releases. And the week after that, all five of my Amish Hearts books (the separate novellas and the box set) were all ranked within the top 12 of the Teen Short Stories best seller list.

The box set, as well as two of my other Amish Hearts books, took over the Hot New Release list simultaneously!

The box set, as well as two of my other Amish Hearts books, took over the Hot New Release list simultaneously!

Another important business move I made was setting Amish Valentine up to be free on Valentine’s Day; it was downloaded 1600 times that day alone. Predictably, the sales of the box set rose, since free days are the best time to reach new readers. And after the free download day, Amish Valentine continued to climb the Amazon Paid best seller lists. This was when it skyrocketed to #1 in Teen Short Stories.  And when this happened, the box set sales rose as well. Surprise, surprise. 🙂

Here are some takeaways from my experience. I hope you find them helpful when you’re releasing and marketing your own box set!

  • Timing is everything. Release your box set when you have at least one book on the Hot New Releases list, so Amazon’s algorithm will recommend the box set to readers. And if you’re planning to release only part of your series as a box set, make sure to have the next installment coming out soon, so sales of the box set and new book can feed off each other.
  • Set up a free day. A free day on  one of your other books (especially the most current one) will drive up sales of the box set.
  • Be willing to learn. Creating and selling a box set is all trial and error, and it’s different for everyone. The success of the box set depends on the category of the book and a host of other factors. Plus, the learning process is ongoing. I will be releasing another box set in early March, and will have even more observations and hints to share with you then!

Has anyone had a similar success story with a box set? Do you have any more takeaways I missed? I’d love to hear your opinions.

 

 

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