Sunday, March 8, 2015

Postmortem of Being in a Box Set: Did It Benefit Me? by @KarynGerrard #Sales #Opinion

I was in a box set, one of many Crimson Romance put together. It was available from August 2014 until March 2015.  The Wicked Bad (Wicked Men of Rockland #1) was part of it.

From what I see on Novelrank (I am aware it is no way accurate) but it appears it has sold thousands of copies in total, spending more than a few months in the 2000 range in sales rankings. Best ranking was 1345.

So, did any of this benefit me? (Now, I am talking of my own experience, not everyone's is the same)
In the short-term? Not really. And there is no money to be made being part of a box set, esp if you have to split pennies with 10 or more people. In the long-term? That remains to be seen.

Did I see a bump in sales or rankings on any of my back-list? No.

Did it cause a bump in sales with my new Crimson release, (released Oct 2014) Book #2 in The Wicked Men of Rockland series, HIS WICKED CELTIC KISS? Not that I can see or at least not in a huge way.

So all those thousands of people who bought Summer Heat did not feel compelled to continue with my series? I will bet you more than 85% of readers have this box set on their Kindles along with many, many other box sets, free reads, and 99 cent specials and they haven't been read at all. I only have to look at my own Kindle and there are 3-4 hundred free reads and 99 specials since I got the Kindle in 2011, and in that time, I've read maybe a couple of dozen. All this proves is there a major glut of e-books in whatever guise, and no way someone can read everything on their Kindle unless they read eight hours a day, everyday, until the grave.

So what exactly does box sets do besides make readers who love to one-click—giddy? I've read how box sets are merely a gimmick, a sales ploy to introduce authors no one has ever heard of before. A ploy authors use to 'cheat the system' to slip onto best-selling lists (NYT and USA TODAY) with very little effort. I've read these statements from bloggers and authors alike.

Is it true? Well, there are a lot of people I've never heard of that use the NYT (New York Times) bestseller moniker, but its never factored into my personal book buying anyway. And seeing "NYT Bestselling Author" is no guarantee of a quality product, traditional or self pubbed.

My opinion? Who cares how someone got on the list, kudos for getting there in the first place. The lists themselves now acknowledge e-book sales, so the game has changed anyway. Give congrats to the authors and move on.

Did this box set benefit me at all? In the short-term--no. Well, it did improve my Amazon author ranking. When the box set first came out I did see a flurry of activity at my website and some signed up for my newsletter. In the long-term? Still hard to gauge.

Will I be part of a box set in future?  If a publisher approaches me, and the book is more than 2 years old and not selling, what can it hurt?

In Conclusion: If a box set gets your name out there to a few people who have never heard of you, then bonus. If it slips onto one of the big bestseller lists—double bonus. Otherwise, you can bet the box set is languishing on people's Kindles, and maybe—just maybe— they will get to it.
Someday.

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