I was talking to my author friend, Guy Stanton III, today and he shared this with me. Many of you already know this, but it’s worth a mention anyway.
You know what’s really ironic, David, about combining all the books into one boxed set? I will make more money on the sale of the boxed set than if I had sold the entire series individually, but what’s even cooler is that the customer is going to pay less. They pay less and I make more. Can’t quite get over how it works out like that. I’m selling them currently for .99 which over five books adds up to $4.95. I combine those books into a boxed set and I reduce the price of the set to 2.99 thus giving the buyer a savings of $2, but since my price is 2.99 I get 70% royalty which is $2.09 versus the total of $1.75(my profit each book .35 cents) that the books all add up to if individually sold. I don’t know if this is common knowledge to everyone already, but for myself I find it rather astonishing how I make more for selling for less.
Plus, as I was telling Guy, for me the five novellas are a much better read as one large book. Win. Win. Win.
Assembling a boxed set: print and ebook
Assuming you have decent page layout software, this is very easy. I use InDesign, as you know. For print, you do not commonly have the resources to produce a custom box to hold the individual printed books. However, this is an easy task for most of the shorter books now. You just make one very large book which contains all the individual books. Just make sure how many pages you are allowed. It varies by book size, paper, and binding option. For example, Createspace allows 828 pages for a 6×9 trade paperback. Lulu allows 740 pages for a trade paperback, but 800 pages for a 6×9 hard cover.
Ebooks, ePUB or MOBI, have no such limitations. If you get huge, there might be some download charge based on the file size, but for novels and all-text books this is not really a problem.
Start with the first book fully formatted
If you have been following the blog or my publishing books you know this means that every paragraph is formatted with a style, all character styling is done with a style [bold, italic, font changes, and so on], and all images are formatted with a style. I cover that thoroughly in Writing In InDesign or the upcoming Publishing Your Trade Paperback.
The assumption is that the other books in the set are also formatted with the same styles. If they are not, fix that first. Then simply copy and paste each book into the insertion point at the end of the book set, and so on.
Do something special with the individual book covers
I can’t tell you what that is, but you do not want a huge break. The books in your set should look like an integral part of the set.
Because the styles are the same, TOCs are built-in
You are going to be collecting the same styles you used for the first book in the set—and using the same TOC styles for the formatting.
Build your set image with a custom cover
You can see an image style in the photo of the Narnia set above. Ebook sets tend to make the books look large and thick. I’m not sure why. Make the title of the individual books readable, if possible and right-handed [they are readable when you tilt your head to the left].
That’s it. Just upload like a normal book. Develop a blurb and description. All the normal stuff. Upload it to KDP and Draft2Digital (my current recommendations). You can upload any fixed layout version to KDP, iBooks, and Kobo Writing Life. Kobo and iBooks accept ePUB3 FXL books with no problems.