A group blog featuring an international array of killer mystery, suspense, and romantic suspense writers. With premises and story lines different from your run-of-the-mill whodunits, we tend to write outside the box. We blog several times a week on all topics relating to romantic suspense and mystery, our writing, and our readers. We welcome all comments and often have guest bloggers. All our authors can be contacted separately, too, using their own social media links.

We find our genre delightfully, dangerously, and deliciously exciting - join us here, if you do too!

NOTE: the blog is currently dormant but please enjoy the posts we're keeping online.

Julie Moffet . Cathy Perkins . Jean Harrington . Daryl Anderson . Nico Rosso . Maureen A Miller . Sandy Parks . Lisa Q Mathews . Sharon Calvin . Lynne Connolly . Janis Patterson . Vanessa Keir . Tonya Kappes . Julie Rowe . Joni M Fisher . Leslie Langtry

Friday, May 12, 2017

The Box Set Funeral?

Box sets have been a marketing staple in the publishing industry, but a lot of people are ready to call the technique dead and bury it. Queue the band and plan the funeral.

Or not.

The opportunities presented by setting up a box set remain as numerous—and practical—as ever. The sets offer a chance to collaborate with other authors to reach a different group of readers.

In well run ventures, many hands mean a combined promotional effort that expands the reach of an individual. And on a practical level, the book is already written, so the set adds another potential income stream.

Genres sets tend to perform better than literary sets, especially if the books share a similar audience. Many of the current box sets share a theme, setting, or type of hero/heroine.

Does that mean you should dive into the next set you hear about?

Probably not.

From the author’s perspective, understand why you’re joining the set and who you’re teaming with. Are their readers potentially your readers? On a more personal level, will the other members of the team pull their weight and take responsibility for their marketing or preparation tasks? Other decisions include financial management of royalties and/or required buy-in of advertising dollars.

Let’s say you’ve considered the options and assembled a team, chosen a theme and established a time line.What’s not to like about this decision?

The biggest criticism of the box sets is the same disdain leveled at all forms of “cheap marketing”—i.e. free or very inexpensive books.
“They devalue the written word.”
“They’re destroying the industry.

Yeah, yeah, the sky is falling.

There’s also the naysayers’ claim the book hoarders simply snap up the inexpensive sets and place them on their e-reader, where they disappear among the pixels.

That may happen. But there are also readers who dip and sample through the set (or even better, voraciously read all the stories). And they just might tell their friends about a new –to-them author (you!).

Because word of mouth marketing is still the best kind.

I’m sure you’re surprised to hear I joined a box set that released yesterday. 

LUCK OF THE DRAW features thirteen brand new stories centered on a life-changing stroke of luck.

It has a special release week price - so here's the link if you want to check it out.

My contribution to the set is DOUBLE DOWN.

Murder isn’t supposed to be in the cards for blackjack dealer Maddie Larsson. Dealing at the Tom Tom Casino isn't her dream job, but it pays better than anything else she’s currently qualified to do. A single mom, already struggling to make ends meet, she’s betting on college to provide a better future. Busted takes on a new meaning, however, when her favorite customer, a former Poker World Tour champion, is murdered. His family claims—loudly and often—Maddie is the gold-digging murderer. She better prove she’s on the level before the real killer cashes in her chips.

If the victim’s body had been dumped five hundred yards up the road, Franklin County Sheriff’s Detective JC Dimitrak wouldn’t have been assigned to the Tom Tom Casino murder case. Instead, he’s hunting for suspects and evidence while dealing with a nemesis from the past and trying to preserve his own future. He better play his cards correctly and find the killer before an innocent woman takes the ultimate hit.


Anne Marie Becker said...

Love when books have a theme or common thread, either as a series or a boxed set. Makes them even more interesting. :)

Sandy Parks said...

Cathy- You'll have to let us know how it turns out. Whether a yea or nay experience.

Cathy Perkins said...

Thanks Anne Marie - I thought the theme of this one offered a lot of potential!

jean harrington said...

Ah, my earlier comment was deleted. Not that it was controversial! Just mentioned that I like the idea of multiple authors "boxing" together. What of a single author boxing her past releases? Other than classics (in leather bindings), can't at the moment think of one but like that idea, too. Your thoughts.

Clare London said...

There are several opportunities, aren't there? Thanks for the guidance. I must admit as a reader, I love the idea of a box full of the genre and reading I like :)

Cathy Perkins said...

So far it's worked well, Sandy.
Everyone has pitched in and done their part. On release day, we were at ~500 on all of Amazon for most of the day and ~10 on three category lists. We've slipped back from those lofty levels but the set seems to be catching people's eye. :)

Cathy Perkins said...

Hi Jean - One of the many reasons other author friends have encouraged me to write a series is the ability to combine various books into single author sets. The combined volumes sell at a lower price than either individually (nice for readers( but are still at a nice royalty earning price point (nice for authors).

Cathy Perkins said...

Hi Clare - I've picked up several sets for that same reason. It's fun to see how different authors approach a theme or whatever is the unifying focus of the set. And (shhh) if I don't like one, a quick tap takes me to the next one. ;)

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