Today’s guest blog post is brought to you by romance novelist Elizabeth Bailey.
How To Put Together A Multi-Author Box Set
How do you find them? The obvious way is to look amongst your writer friends and acquaintances. Often writer groups put out anthologies together. But if you are going to put out full-length books, you may have to go further afield. Do you belong to a writers’ organisation?
We are all members of the Romantic Novelists’ Association in the UK, and we often meet at events. We know each other, not necessarily well, but we were able to locate enough writers in the same genre from this large pool.
The hardest thing to face is that you want writers of similar calibre. This means taking a good look at your own ability and level. You may not be a bestselling author, but are your books of good enough quality to align with those who are? How experienced are you compared to the rest?
Also look at your prospective fellow authors. Check out their books. Would you read them? Would you be happy to recommend them? These are important considerations, because you all need to be rooting for success together, and you must believe in the value of the box set. Fortunately, our five contributions match very well in terms of quality, and we all like reading each other’s books.
Each author then has to decide which book will go in the set, ensuring no two books are too alike. Having chosen the book, you need to decide which platform to publish it on. Then make sure that all the books are available and meet the criteria of the platform. Amazon, for example, has a number of exclusivity clauses, depending whether or not you go into its Select program.
One of the authors has to take responsibility for publishing the box set on their account on the platform, and be willing to share out the profits after costs are met. All the authors need to agree on a publishing date and a promotion campaign, each one playing their part in getting the box set noticed.
Don’t forget the cover! It’s worth paying out for a good one as you need the box set format and a really attractive come-on general picture that will work for all the stories. Proofing is a must! You don’t want typos and errors all over the place. We each proofed the whole thing, so there were five pairs of eyes going over it and we must have caught most of the mistakes.
And that’s about it. Put the books together in one big document, just as you would a single novel, and format specifically for your platform. Upload, promote – and voila!
Our box set REGENCY QUINTET came out on February 1st for Valentine’s Day, which gave us a short lead-in time for heavy promotion. Always a good idea to use an annual event that fits with your genre. We’re thinking about Christmas for the next one.
A multi-author box set has to be a joint enterprise with everyone on board. Get that right, and it may prove a great way to introduce your writing to other readers in your genre.
Thank you, Elizabeth. That was really interesting and I love the idea of five eyes going over the books. I’m a freelance editor and almost without exception, every author I’ve worked with has said I’ve spotted things that they should have picked up on but missed (usually because they were too close to it and thought it said what it should have said).
Elizabeth Bailey writes Regency and Georgian historical romance, Georgian mysteries and contemporary fiction with a supernatural edge. Her career began with Harlequin Mills & Boon, with whom she published 18 historical romances. Turning to crime, she began the Lady Fan mystery series, set in the late Georgian era, with a heroine sleuth who starts out as a lady’s companion. Berkley published the first two, and Elizabeth is currently writing the third book and has plans for the fourth in her head. She was flattered to be invited to participate in the Regency Quintet box set, and delighted to find herself in such excellent company. With such a worthwhile enterprise, she is now wondering if she should release a box set of her own stories. Always plenty of ideas – never enough hours in the day. Elizabeth lives in Sussex and spends far too much time reading novels on her kindle instead of writing them! (Morgen: I know that feeling!)
Further information on Elizabeth’s books: http://www.amazon.com/Elizabeth-Bailey/e/B001KDEHQY, and her website is http://www.elizabethbailey.co.uk.
Introducing Regency Quintet – Valentines Edition. Five sparkling Regency romances:
A Gallant Defender by Fenella J Miller, in which the resourceful Eliza Fox joins forces with Mr Fletcher Reed to save her family from villainous Lord Wydale.
The Silverton Scandal by Amanda Grange, a rip-roaring adventure with spirited heroine, blackmailer and a lord masquerading as a highwayman.
At the Duke’s Discretion by Wendy Soliman. Surely there can be no future for Amos, who is a duke’s heir, and Cristobel, a nobody with a criminal past?
Dance for a Diamond by Melinda Hammond, award-winning romance: autocratic Sir Laurence Oakford crosses swords with dance academy owner Miss Antonia Venn.
Fated Folly by Elizabeth Bailey, the sweet and poignant tale of the ogre and the minx in a marriage of convenience.
- and from this blog, my guests who have written on collaborations: Andrew Crofts, David Coles, and Lauren Bailey.
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