HarperCollins to Test Overpriced eBook Bundles in the UK

The2037650941_3ed16905b8_m[1] greatest publisher in the UK has announced a new partnership with Foyles, a London based bookseller.

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.

foyles ebook bundle

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.

The Bookseller

image by fadilbotak


Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. Andrew Blackman31 October, 2013

    Hmm, those prices don’t make me want to rush out and buy! You’re right, the point of bundles is usually to offer a better deal. Since hardbacks have a large markup anyway, couldn’t they include the ebook as a freebie?

    Personally I’ve never understood why you’d want the same book in more than one format anyway, but it seems a popular idea so I suppose other people have different reading habits.

    1. Nate Hoffelder12 December, 2013

      Sometimes it’s nice to simply pile paper books on my nightstand. that way i don’t have to go rooting for an ereader or tablet.

  2. […] by HarperCollins in the past year (actually, 14 months). Following a bundle launched in the UK in partnership with Foyles and txtr, over the summer HC launched two more bundles in North America, one in partnership with […]

  3. […] Amazon. In fact, many publishers believe in the print-and-digital “bundle” and have made efforts to engineer it for bookstores, but it is hard to do that cost-effectively. It isn’t hard for […]


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