Get More Bang with Bundles
I self-published my first book, an historical novel, in 2002, and immediately threw myself into the full-time job of marketing. As an independent fiction writer, there were many hurdles to overcome, and I put much of my creative energy into concocting out-of-the- box ways to attract attention for my story. And it worked.
But while I was plugging away at promotion, a voice kept whispering in my ear: Write another book. The voice belonged to my husband, a marketing manager for a Fortune 500 company. He knew that the more product you have, the better the results from your efforts. One of the benefits of producing more goods is the ability to bundle your wares. Back when I had just one novel, all of the hours I spent on promotion earned me one-off sales of a single item. Back-of-the-room sales were good, but not great.
Now, with six books all on a similar topic, I am able to offer two types of bundles, and my back-of-the-room sales have increased exponentially. People want a deal. And if they can get more than one of a product that appeals to them at a discounted rate, they will almost always go for the bundle. And this doesn’t just work with your books or written materials. You can bundle your services, or mix and match products and services. Most commonly, speakers offer books, booklets, e-books, CDs and DVDs as their tangible products. They might also offer downloadable video or audio courses, webinars, coaching or consulting packages, etc.
The key to a good bundle is the key to all business dealings: It’s about the customer, not you. If you are creating a bundle simply to move material that didn’t sell or to push as much product as possible, your motives are selfish, and customers see right through that. People want only what they want, and items need to be linked in a logical manner. Resist the urge to offer your coaching package and audio course with a copy of your book, How to Build a Shed. Buyers will shy away from a bundle that doesn’t meet all of their needs. They will also turn away from bundles if they suspect the speaker is simply trying to rope them into additional purchases.
Give people choices, but keep it simple. If I have to scroll down to figure out what you are selling, you’ve already lost me. I offer a four-book bundle of my children’s series and The Teresa Funke Collection, which includes all six of my WWII novels. But I also bundle my books with teaching materials to create teacher kits or classroom sets. Simple. There’s no rule for pricing bundles, but I’ve found a 20 percent discount works well. People can quickly add up the savings, and I still make a fair profit. Many speakers bundle their tangible products with their speaking fee. I often simplify things even further by including a certain number of books in my speaking fee, which creates goodwill and a wonderful take-away for the audience. And once they have one of my books in their hands, they are often eager to buy more.