Skip to main content

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


Similar Articles


Andrew Blackman October 31, 2013 um 2:32 pm

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.

Nate Hoffelder December 12, 2013 um 7:19 pm

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.

HarperCollins Partners with Kobo, Launches a Book Bundle Pilot in Australia – The Digital Reader November 17, 2014 um 9:05 am

[…] 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 […]

Three points worth adding to the excellent account of the Amazon story in The Everything Store | The Idea Logical Company February 21, 2018 um 3:53 pm

[…] 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 […]

Write a Comment