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How Long Has Amazon Been Selling eBook Bundles in the Kindle Store?

3973877035_97e6799b48[1]When I reported yesterday that Amazon had started selling bundles of manga in the Kindle Store in Japan, I thought it was a new phenomenon. It turns out that’s not the case.

Earlier this morning Anthoney Wessel of Digital Book Today tipped me to the news that Amazon has been selling bundled series in the Kindle Store on for the last 2 months.

This is the first I’d heard of it, but he’s right. Select series in the mystery and romance categories in the Kindle Store are now being offered as bundles. For example, the Rebekka Franck series by Willow Rose can be bought as individual books or as a bundle of 7 ebooks. Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series is also available as a bundle.

Now, I’m sure that some are thinking that ebook bundles are not new in the Kindle Store; many series have been bundled into box sets. That’s true, but what we’re looking at here is something different.

These bundles aren’t omnibus editions with all the ebooks shoved into a single file. They’re the separate books, only now you have the option of buying them all at a single go with a single click (and pay retail).

That’s nice because it gives you the option of loading just a single ebook at a time, rather than carting around the single huge omnibus. Another benefit is that Amazon takes care not to sell you the same book twice.

I happen to own the first book in the Outlander series, so Amazon deducted the price of the first ebook from the bundle price:

outlander bundle kindle store

While we’re on the topic, I did read that book – recently, in fact. I’d heard that the tv series was based on a book so I looked it up. Interesting.

I’ve spent a few minutes this morning searching through the Kindle Store, and so far as I can tell Amazon is currently only offering bundles of romance titles (and mystery, according to Anthony).

I couldn’t find any SF or fantasy bundles, even though i can think of a half dozen series where it would be desired. The A Wrinkle in Time series, for example, is available as an omnibus but not a bundle, and the same is true with The Chronicles of Narnia series.

I can’t tell you why Amazon is only offering bundles in a couple categories, but it does explain why I hadn’t heard of them.

Did you know these bundles were available? Have you, as an author, had a chance to use them?

image by quinn.anya

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Anne March 29, 2015 um 9:59 pm

I noticed it the first time a couple of weeks ago on a two different mystery series. I liked the idea but just a reminder that you still have to check ASINs. If a book is republished under a new ASIN, Amazon doesn’t show that you already have the book. One author had self pubbed books 1-3, Pan Macmillan then picked up the series and republished the first books. I have already bought and read books 1-3 when self pubbed but on the series page Amazon shows that I only own #4. This ASIN thing is nothing new but if you had purchased a different edition of Outlander (maybe a new forward, excerpt from book 2, etc.) than the one that shows on the series page, you could end up buying twice.

On a fully self pubbed series, it told me I had 3 of the 4 books and it would have been easy enough to just click on the "Buy 1 remaining book for $XXX" but I’ll finish #3 first.

I never did figure out why it shows for some but not others. A Val McDermid mystery series was part of their daily deals today but I didn’t see the bundle buying option for it. Maybe it’s a publisher option? How is that going to work when this particular series started with Macmillan, moved to HC and is now with Grove Atlantic?

Maria (BearMountainBooks) March 30, 2015 um 12:44 pm

I hadn’t noticed. What I find most interesting is that Amazon used to beta these types of new ideas with Indie authors (mainly because the publishers wanted nothing to do with new Amazon ideas). I haven’t heard of any indies being invited to beta such a program (doesn’t mean it isn’t happening, but I’d be interested to know if any were invited). So this (to me) represents more of the same shifting I’ve noticed from Amazon in the last two years–which is to move from indies to their own imprints and to include various publishers in their "latest" plans. The shift to marketing their own imprints more heavily actually started quite some time ago (with the monthly "deals" where it was especially noticeable).

I couldn’t get into Outlander. Was too outlandish for me. :>)

Anne March 30, 2015 um 2:16 pm

Indie authors were invited to beta test the series listings though and I wonder if this didn’t grow out of that test.

Link to series page for the self pubbed author I mentioned above.

I just figured out there are six books in this series but only four are showing on the above page so maybe the bundling is just a work in progress for now?

If I click on the series link in books 1-4, I go to the four book bundle page. If I click on the series link in books 5 and 6, I end up on a page with all six books listed but no bundle. Maybe the author has done something incorrect? It looks to me like he has two different series titles for the same series.

Nate Hoffelder March 30, 2015 um 10:31 pm

Outlander isn’t my thing either, but I’ve been thinking about watching the show so I wanted to read this first. I downloaded it while stuck in an airport for a day and a half. It helped pass the time, but I didn’t feel compelled to read the next book.

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