You’ve written your book. It’s your best work and now it’s ready to go. One part of the business of publishing is choosing vendors. This can be tricky at first. Of course you want to earn some money, but you’ll also want to establish a healthy community of fans eager for your next book! Which vendor will help you with the second part? For authors who are publishing in both print books and ebooks, BitLit is an option. BitLit is a company with a bundling program made to support authors with selling their books and marketing them.
What is bundling and why do I care?
Bundling occurs when two similar products are sold together, either simultaneously or separately. For years, film studios have bundled DVDs with digital copies. Print and ebook bundling is the same concept although the bundling often happens after point of purchase. Simply put, bundling exists because there’s a new reader in town: the hybrid reader. In January 2014, the PEW Research Center released the “E-Reading Rises as Device Ownership Jumps” study stating that while approximately 120 million people in North America own eReaders, only 4% of them read ebooks exclusively. Print books still matter immensely, but ebooks matter too. The hybrid reader is the dominant reader, so why not offer them the option to read how they want? Offer them the print book and the bundled ebook.
What is a bundled ebook?
The bundled ebook contains the same material as the ebook, but it is only available to readers who already own the print edition. The bundled ebook is offered at a lower price because it is an upsell on your print book. Choose the print book for $14.99, or choose both formats for $16.99? For many readers, it’s a no-brainer. The bundled ebook is often sold after the print book is purchased. Bundled ebooks are a chance for authors to make more money from books given as gifts. Readers digitizing their libraries? Bundling works here too!
Earn more money with bundling
It may sound counterintuitive to offer bundling because you might think your readers will pay for both formats. In fact, statistics show that less than 1% of readers natively buy both print and digital due to the high cost of purchasing both formats. However, 48% of readers say that they would pay more for a book if it came bundled with an ebook. This means that nearly 50% of readers are willing to pay incrementally you more to get the bundled ebook.
How do I get started with bundling?
Bundling starts with the technology. BitLit has you covered! BitLit is a free smartphone app available in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom. The app works for books bought anywhere. No receipt required. Readers use the BitLit app to verify that they own a print copy of your books by writing their name onto the copyright page and snapping a photo. It’s that easy!
Find your fans…and keep in contact with them!
As an author, the people you most commonly meet are active fans of your work. That’s great! There are many more readers though who simply don’t know where to find you. BitLit helps you connect with your readers. BitLit accomplishes this by allowing you to connect directly to readers who bundle your book. Connecting with your readers allows you let them know about your latest books, tours, and other offers. Sometimes this connection happens with books bought years ago too. These might be readers who read your first book five or ten years ago. These are hard readers to find with traditional marketing since you can’t track who’s buying your book at bookstores, online or offline. Bundling with BitLit is one way to find those elusive readers…and to keep them as fans!
The impact of authors on the success of bundling
Authors can have a true impact on the success of bundling. It’s not about advertising. It’s about letting your readers know that they can have both versions. Numerous authors are on board and promoting the program through their own channels. Some of the authors who have written about bundling to their fans are Joe Hill, author of HORNS and Heart-Shaped Box; Alex White of White Knight Press; Adam Baker of Morgan James Publishing; and Michael Patrick Hicks, self-published author of Convergence. Offering print and ebook bundling is a solid way to add money to your pocket and to connect with your readers. BitLit is one way to accomplish bundling with a low time commitment, but it can be done on your own website as well. It’s worth it. After all, a fan for life is a fan worth finding!