By Teresa Funke
Reprinted: From Speaker Magazine (2014)
I self-published my first book, an historical novel, back 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. Okay, 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 to producing more goods is the ability to bundle your wares. Back when I had just one novel, all of the hours I spent in 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 as well, or mix and match products and services. You can offer books, booklets, e-books, t-shirts, notecards, etc. or create downloadable video or audio courses, webinars, or podcasts if you write non-fiction or book club visits, Skype visits to schools, etc. if you write fiction. 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 business 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 seller 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% discount works well. People can quickly add up the savings, and I still make a fair profit. If you bundle correctly and with the right intent, you will often find that people are grateful for the offer. They can buy presents for multiple family members or treat themselves to all of your books without having to choose, yet they still feel like you saved them money. It’s a win-win for all.
Post by Teresa Funke. Teresa is an award-winning author and a professional speaker. She is also a nationwide writer’s coach working with people brand new to writing up through published authors who want to create a promotion plan. Visit her website at www.teresafunke.com to learn more or her YouTube channel, Teresa Funke, to watch her popular writing videos.