Box sets became popular a couple of years ago and are now produced by most writers. I thought you might be interested in why so many writers are happy to sell several books -sometimes as many as ten - for under £2.
When I discovered you could have three or more titles put into a virtual box set and thus recycle single titles I was delighted. The first three I did were in June 2013 and I sold hundreds, making me believe that this was a new and very lucrative way to increase my royalties.
This is the first box set that I had done, and I have since put up another five – all of them so far Regency. Jane Dixon-Smith is my fabulous cover designer and owe a large part of my success to her covers.
I spread the word to all my writer friends and they all did the same thing with equally spectacular results. I think we caught the beginning of a trend because box sets certainly don't sell anything like the numbers they used to.
However, as soon as I have three or four single titles I bundle them together and put them up. I'm not sufficiently skilled to put in the contents page, so again Jane does that for me. Readers are getting a bargain and writers are getting extra royalties by recycling titles that have already been published. When trawling for something new to read I discovered a ten author crime box set. This included a title by an unknown to me writer - Diane Capri – this was, I suppose, Lee Child fan fiction as it was about two FBI agents searching for Jack Reacher. As there was an introduction from Lee Child this was obviously with his support and permission. I immediately downloaded the box set because of this book, and then found a couple of other writers that I enjoyed. I've now read all Diane Capri's books.
I thought this would also be a good idea for a group of Regency writers – we all have our own fan base but by grouping together we would introduce our own readers to different writers and we should all benefit. So the Regency Quintet was born and now a Summer Edition has been published because the Valentine Edition has done so well. The first edition has been far and away the best seller of all my books and although, Amanda Grange, Elizabeth Bailey, Melinda Hammond, Wendy Soliman and myself did this initially as a promotional and marketing exercise we now view it as an important part of our income. The Summer Edition includes Monica Fairview as Wendy had to drop out.
Although initially we thought of this as a way to add extra shelf life to already published single titles, we now think that perhaps putting new titles in a box set and bringing this out first might be a better way to go. The Christmas Edition of the Regency Quintet box set will therfore have at least two brand-new titles in it.
What do you think? Do you buy a multi-author book set because they are such incredible value, or in the hope of finding a couple of gems from writers you don't know?
What I do know is that I now look out for multi-author box sets rather than single author. A bit like a pick and mix bag of sweets – there might be something delicious you didn't expect to find.
Happy box set hunting.
Fenella J Miller