In December of2013, I collaborated with 10 authors and helped create Christmas on Main Street, an anthology of 11 Christmas stories. Most are novels. Some are novellas. There are a few short stories. We were each responsible for our own covers and editing, but one saintly author made our cover, another did all the formatting, one was responsible for running the ads, and two handled the money. We all promoted.
How did we meet? We all belonged to an e-mail loop for romance writers, and someone came up with the idea of forming a group blog. Since there were thirteen of us, we decided to each blog once a month.
In June of 2013, we came up with the idea of each writing a short story that centered on a wedding. I think we were so impressed with ourselves that we decided to collaborate on a box set.
Our Christmas anthology bounced around number one on three of Amazon’s lists and pretty consistently hung around #50 on Amazon’s bestseller list over all. Why do I think our collection rocked the lists?
It’s a bargain. 11 books for .99 cents. It’s hard to beat the economics.
It was timely. (People like Christmas stories.)
It’s got a great cover.
Something that I didn’t give much thought to, but in hindsight I think makes a huge difference is we didn’t know each other when we started. We don’t belong to the same (physical) writing groups. For the most part, we don’t even live in the same states. In fact, Susan lives in Canada. This means that we don’t all drink out of the same reader pool.
Why did I do this? It wasn’t for money. I didn’t know if I would make enough money to buy a doughnut. My goal was/is to gain readers. No one is going to read my books if they don’t know I write books. Thousands of readers now have a copy of one of my novels on their ebook device.
In six weeks we had more than thirty thousand sales. I can honestly say:
I never could have done this on my own. Even if I had 11 books to bundle, I wouldn’t want to. I don’t want to give all of my books away for 2.7 cents each.
I saw a dramatic uptick in the sales of my other books, more than a 200% increase in sales. Which may sound bigger than it is considering what my sales were at that time, but, hey—a 200% increase looks good on any spread sheet.
I have learned a lot from the flood of emails from the other writers in our set. They have marketing know-how and savvy that I’m still trying to grasp.
Since that first set, we’ve produced two more boxed sets. About two weeks ago we released Love Blooms on Main Street. 10 romantic novellas for .99 cents, each story features a flower, proving that love and readers just keep on blooming.
If you’re an author and have a boxed set, please share it with us.
Also, I have a book in the Kindle Scout program. If you nominate it and it’s picked up for publication, you get a free copy! You can vote for it here: