Monday, October 06, 2014

So You Want to do a Boxed Set

Lynnette Bonner, Author

Lynnette Bonner is the author of 7 novels and has remained consistently on Amazon’s best seller lists since releasing her first Indie title in 2012. Her latest book, Beyond the Waves, is part of a boxed set that releases today. The set contains 10 inspirational romances for only 99 cents – each is a complete story, and the first book in a romance series. You can find it here:

So You Want to Do a Boxed Set

by: Lynnette Bonner

Since participating in a boxed set is a technique more and more indie authors are incorporating into marketing plans (I know Brandilyn Collins blogged about marketing a boxed set here), I thought I’d tell you a little about how we put our set together and how we’ve gone about marketing. This will hopefully give some of you who try this in the future a guide to go by.

First, all ten of the authors in this collection are in a small group on Facebook. Hallee Bridgeman, author of Sapphire Ice in the set, posted to that group asking if any of us were interested in joining her in a boxed set. Nine of us responded that we were. And then discussion commenced on what focus we would give to the set. We settled on inspirational romance with each book in the set being the first book in a series.

Our two main goals for this set were:

1.   We wanted to introduce our own readers to other authors whose work we admire and hopefully gain some new readers in return.

2.   To see if we could hit some of the best seller lists like USA Today by combining our marketing efforts. (NY Times no longer posts boxed sets to their lists, from what we can tell.)

Step 1: Gather authors and decide on a focus – these steps could be interchangeable. You could decide on a focus first and then seek out authors you know have books that would work for that focus.

Step 2: Decide what your main goals for the set are. This will determine how you market down the line.

Someone needed to compile all ten books into one digital file, and we’d like to say thanks to Hallee’s husband Gregg who did a fantastic job on that part for us. Along the way we learned that unless the file is less than 3MB you won’t be allowed to charge 99 cents for it. So he stripped out most of the graphics he’d put in and the file was then just able to squeak under the limit.

Step 3: Find someone to compile all the books into one for you. If you want to price it at 99 cents, be sure to keep the size under 3MB. This step and step 4 really are happening about the same time.

At the same time as the book file was being created we worked on the cover and title for the compilation. We first decided to have a group chat which we accomplished via Google Hangout. The title we chose started out as a bit of a joke, but then we all liked it and it stuck. It’s catchy and memorable – who wouldn’t be intrigued by “Red Hot Squeaky Clean Romance?” ;) We had a bit of a difficult time coming up with a cover because even though the books in the series are all romance, they span from historical westerns, to swashbuckling pirates, to contemporaries. (There’s even a time-travel romance included!) So we finally settled on something a bit generic and came up with what you see here. It’s bright and vibrant and eye catching and we think it will do a nice job for us:

Step 4: Decide on a title and create or hire a cover design for the set. Make sure it fits your selected genre, and looks professional. This step and step 3 really are happening about the same time.

Once all that was done, and thanks to Amazon’s new policy offering preorders, we put the book up for preorder. (This is important because all preorder sales count toward the first day of release’s sales. So preorders can help us reach our number two goal.) From our research we learned that sales for the bestseller lists are counted from Monday 12:01am to Monday 11:59pm. So releasing the book on a Monday gave us our best chance at maximum sales to count toward our goal. For this reason, we launched the book on a Monday.

Step 5: Decide on a release date and list your compilation for sale.

After the set is listed for sale it’s time to go to work on promotions.
·      To encourage preorders we created a Rafflecopter giveaway with lots of prizes for those who preordered the set. (

·      Before release we also posted to a few blogs, and Pinterest, and Facebook groups about the set being available.

·      We set up many paid promotions as soon as the book was available for preorder. So now, during this our launch week, we have paid promotions set up for many of the days. (We will be featured on E-reader News Today, Digital Book Today, Kindle Nation Daily, BookSends, FKBooksandTips, and several couponing sites.)

·      We also have blog posts like this one scheduled throughout the week.

·      Each of us contacted those we knew to contact for promotions and then we just reimbursed funds to each other as needed.

·      We set up a Thunderclap campaign ( to launch today and all of us worked hard to get people on board for that.

·      Each of us sent out our newsletters to our lists.

·      We of course announced the launch on our social media networks.

Step 6: Come up with a marketing plan that works for your group. You’ve come this far and put this much effort into it. Don’t give up now! And you must be willing to spend some money to promote. 

~Posted by Heather Day Gilbert

Find it here on Amazon
Ten best-selling Inspirational romance authors come together to bring you the Red Hot Squeaky Clean Romance collection! If you're anything like us, you enjoy reading various genres -- a cozy mystery, a thrilling suspense, an adventurous historical, a catchy contemporary -- we love them all as long as the romance is piping hot and the story is comfortably clean. For the first time ever, as you turn the pages of these complete stories, you will meet ten of the most recognized names in inspirational romance today and read their award winning, critically acclaimed stories all in the same collection. You're in for such a treat!

Red Hot Squeaky Clean Romance Authors: Christy Barritt, Lynnette Bonner, Hallee Bridgeman, Cynthia Hickey, Kimberly Rae Jordan, Tamara Leigh, Lesley Ann McDaniel, Amanda Tru, MaryLu Tyndall, Susette Williams


Tamara Leigh said...

Fabulous summary, Lynnette! Thank you.

Julie Lessman said...

LOVE this idea, Lynnette, and LOVE so many of the authors in this collection, but I have one question:

What does "Red Hot" mean in your tag line. Are your romance stories edgier and more passionate than the norm in CBA, because if so, I'm buying this book RIGHT NOW!!

Hugs and GOOD LUCK!!