Digital Bundles and Anthology Splicing: New ways to deliver old content
In updating the coming soon catalog, I came across references to several publishers selling digital bundles. Kensington has Cynthia Eden’s novels, Eternal Flame, Eternal Hunter, and I’ll Be Slaying You in the Eternal Flame Bundle. Kensington has priced these at $28.00 for the three of them but Amazon has them discounted to $15.94.
Penguin has three bundles that I found including the Paranormal Holiday Anthology Trio, a collection of paranormal anthologies of holidays past: An Enchanted Season, The Magical Christmas Cat, and Hot for the Holidays. The price Penguin set for these three is $26.99. There is no discount by Amazon because it is one of the “Agency” priced books.
Harlequin first introduced bundles with its series books. It used to sell Harlequin Presents, Harlequin Blaze in monthly bundles. Apparently at least the HP bundle has ceased. It currently bundled titles like Gena Showalter’s The Darkest Fire, The Darkest Night, The Darkest Kiss and The Darkest Pleasure in Lords of the Underworld Bundle. Harlequin priced the collection at $18.95, probably the best of the bundle pricing I have seen and Amazon has discounted it to $9.99. There are also bundles such as Marriage and Babies Bundle and Bachelors of Bear Creek Bundle (and others like it).
HarperCollins will be doing bundles beginning at the end of December.
I’m unsure what I think of bundles. I like the idea of bundles but for me, the idea of a bundle is that you get more for less. I.e., you are getting a deal when you buy a bundle. I’m not sure if paying $25.00 or more for three books is quite a deal. I know for the holiday anthology by Berkley the books were originally released were trade paperbacks thus at $26.99, it probably is deal but for some reason the priciness of the collection doesn’t scream “deal” to me.
There is a digital drawback for bundles. When I bought the old Harlequin bundles, instead of getting three individual files for each book, you get one huge digital file containing the three books. This makes organizing the books more difficult and when reading, you can’t tell how far you are in a book given that the digital reader treats the one file as one book instead of three different books. I wish that you could get bundle pricing with individual book files instead of an omnibus of books.
I’m not sure what a good bundle pricing is but I like the $9.99 price point for three books, particularly as they are backlist titles and not new titles. I think it is interesting that publishers are experimenting with different packaging of digital titles. I would like to see cutting up anthology titles.
Carina Press has three holiday anthology collections: His for the Holidays, Winter Wishes, and Naughty and Nice. His for the Holidays and Naughty and Nice are priced at $9.99 and contain four stories each. Each story, however, can be purchased separately. (I particularly liked Shannon Stacey’s Holiday Sparks). I recently reviewed The Four Play collection containing a story by Maya Banks and one by Shayla Black. I enjoyed the Maya Banks contribution and wished that could have been purchased separately.
In pirate land, bundles and cutting up of anthologies have long been a staple of delivery of digital content. I’m curious to see what other readers want in terms of digital delivery. Did you like the Harlequin Blogger Bundles? Do you like bundling in general? What about the price point? Would you like to be able to purchase the collections separately? What else do you want publishers to be offering you in terms of digital content?