Foyles, a chain of 8 bookstores, will be running a pilot bundle program. They plan to sell 8 HarperCollins titles, including Catastrophe by Max Hastings, The Demon Dentist by David Walliams, Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and Faster Than Lightning by Usain Bolt, as paper/ebook bundles. Each paper book will come shrink-wrapped and include a voucher which can be redeemed online for a digital copy of the book.
The voucher will only be valid in Foyles' own ebookstore, which is powered by txtr, and cannot be redeemed in the Kindle Store or elsewhere. A Foyles spokesperson said the price of the bundles will be around £5 more than buying the hardback title alone, but that's not quite true.
A quick comparison of Foyles and Amazon UK reveals that the bundle price for, say, Americanah is higher than if you had bought the Kindle edition and hardback separately on Amazon (£25 vs £22.20). The bundle for Catastrophe by Max Hastings also costs more at Foyles than at Amazon UK (£36 vs £23), and that's not the only example.
Charlie Redmayne, CEO of HarperCollins UK, said the bundling scheme was a first for a UK bookshop. He said: “HarperCollins is always keen to experiment with getting our authors’ work into the hands of readers in as many different formats as possible. We are delighted to be part of this industry first with Foyles, and are very much looking forward to seeing how readers respond.”
If these prices are any indication then readers will probably respond by buying content elsewhere. While I am all in favor of bundles, I would think that the point would be to offer customers a better deal. This program certainly doesn't seem to do that.
image by fadilbotak