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HarperCollins Partners with Kobo, Launches a Book Bundle Pilot in Australia

60614323_40f4109202[1]Clearly a believer in the idea that one can never have too many pilots, HarperCollins has launched a new print/digital pilot program today in Australia.

Developed in partnership with Boomerang Books and Kobo, the new program will let readers buy one of five books from Boomerang and get a coupon code for a free ebook from Kobo. Said program is being tested with 5 titles, including two novels and 3 biographies:

  • Cleanskin Cowgirls by Rachael Treasure
  • Ghost House by Alexandra Adornetti
  • Kerry Stokes: The Boy from Nowhere by Andrew Rule
  • Last Woman Hanged by Caroline Overington
  • The Menzies Era by John Howard

The books are described by Boomerang as being bestsellers, but a quick check of reveals that the books have hardly any reviews – with one exception.

That exception is a biography called The Menzies Era. It’s a bio of Australia’s longest serving PM written by another former PM of Australia.  That book has 40 one-star reviews, most of which focus on the subject’s eyebrows. (Yes, they are worth reading.)

Those 5 books can be found on the Boomerang website with prices ranging from $24 to $70 for the eyebrow biography. Australia or no, those are high prices, and that makes me wonder just what HC and Boomerang expect to accomplish here.

While Boomerang reminds us that we can "easily gift a bundled book without fear of what device (if any) someone reads on", I’m not sure who would want a copy of the biographies. I for one would not want to give the eyebrow biography to anyone other than as a very expensive gag gift.

But I could be wrong; we’ll just have to wait and see.

This is the 4th print/digital bundle launched 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 Vancounver-based BitLit, and the other with Bookshout.

And now HC has a bundle pilot in Australia.

image  by ~My aim is true~

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puzzled November 17, 2014 um 3:53 pm

'That exception is a biography called The Menzies Era. It’s a bio of Australia’s longest serving PM written by another former PM of Australia. That book has 40 one-star reviews, most of which focus on the subject’s eyebrows. (Yes, they are worth reading.)'

Welcome to Australian politics.

At least we don’t go ape-shit over the personal lives of politicians, unless it’s hypocritical to their public positions or statements.

puzzled November 17, 2014 um 3:58 pm

'I for one would not want to give the eyebrow biography to anyone other than as a very expensive gag gift.'

What you are seeing in the reviews is a partisan political attack. A well constructed and funny one, but a concerted attack all the same.

Nate Hoffelder November 17, 2014 um 4:54 pm

That is what it looks like, yes.

Ebook Bargains UK November 18, 2014 um 5:38 am

Not that there are many reviews on Kindle AU either, but while look on as a guide when the issue is Australian-interest books published by the Australian arm of HarperCollins?

It’s very clear from the ranking you get with a handful of sales that Kindle AU is no mega-store, and given these are recently released local-interest books ti’s unlikely they will be swamped with reviews even if Australians bucked the trend and reviewed more than readers in other countries.

In describing these books as best-sellers Boomerang is perhaps taking a trick from the Amazon world where a title can sell one copy and leap into some obscure best-seller chart created after several drinks too many.

Kindle Unlimited a Mixed Blessing for Authors | Digital Book World November 19, 2014 um 7:04 am

[…] HarperCollins, Kobo Take Bundling Down Under (The Digital Reader) A pilot program offers Australian readers one of five print titles from Boomerang Books plus a free Kobo ebook, in the latest of HarperCollins’s recent experiments with print-digital bundling collaborations around the world. Related: Digital Leaders at Kobo and HarperCollins to Share Insights at DBW15 […]

Self-Publishing Shifts Focus | Digital Book World November 24, 2014 um 8:02 am

[…] As leading ebook subscription services Oyster and Scribd launch new ventures and ebook bundling initiatives multiply, BitLit co-founder and CEO Peter Hudson foresees both models becoming more integral parts of the […]

Mark mcgreevey January 16, 2015 um 1:14 am

Just bought the biography of Frank Lowy the real estate mogul of Australia who started the Westfield malls. I was really surprised that no one on any amazon site had reviewed it and resale prices started at $50 for paperbacks.

I paid fifty cents for it in a thrift store. Interesting for me mainly because I lived I Hungary and travelled in Israel. Good writing by Jill Margo.

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