Smart publishers realize that in publishing, a book is just the beginning. Sometimes people need more incentive to purchase a book than just the book itself.
Bundling other items with your books is a smart business practice. If you only sell books, you are unlikely to make much money. A book is a $20 or $30 item. You have to sell a lot of books to earn a living. It's not impossible, but if you can think of other items you can bundle with your book, you can increase your profits.
Are there other things you can bundle with the book that might help your readers and make your offer more enticing? Here are 17 items to consider.
1. Audio recordings and/or transcripts. We have bundled an audio package with our book Web Business Success, because a domain name is almost the first thing someone needs when they want a business Web site.
2. Newsletter subscription (print or online). Even if you already offer a free newsletter, you can offer it as a bonus. Although we don't offer it as a bonus per se, we do have an ad for this newsletter in the back of my book Publishize.
3. PDF ebooks. If there is any type of companion information you had to leave out for production reasons (such as the cost added of printing full color or extra pages), consider making it a bonus. If your book includes a lot of hyperlinks, a PDF or private Web page with clickable links can be a nice bonus feature too.
4. Checklists, "cheat sheets," or tip sheets. If your book describes any type of process, see if you can distill the process down into a list.
5. Templates, forms, or workbooks. People love fill-in the blank templates that help them accomplish a task or learn something new.
6. Software tools. Is there a type of software you can bundle with your book to help people do something more easily? Our IdeaWeaver software makes writing books easier, so we could bundle it with Publishize.
7. Laminated items like charts, booklets, or bookmarks. Does your book include reference material that people would like to have handy while they work?
8. Videos, such as training or "how to" material. If your book describes a process, consider making a video that shows them how to do it step-by-step.
9. Free consultation. Offer a free 15-minute consultation to help book purchasers move forward with tasks described in your book. (This option makes the most sense if you also offer paid consulting options you could up sell.)
10. Other books. If you have written multiple books, consider bundling them. Or find a complimentary book, buy it wholesale, and bundle it with yours. We sell our four Logical Guides computer tips books as a bundle.
11. Group coaching/mastermind, or membership. If you have a membership organization or offer coaching, consider including a discount with the purchase of your book.
12. Containers, such as binders or CD holders. If you are bundling some type of continuity product, like monthly newsletters or CDs, include a binder so people can save them.
13. Discounted or free critique or review. Many people who have purchased our book Web Business Success have returned for a Web site critique. Clearly, we should bundle them!
14. Tickets to an event (live or virtual). If you put on events, either online or in person, offer a discounted or free ticket to the event. Conversely, you can include your book as a bonus people get for attending. (People who purchase a premium pass for our Self-Publishers Online Conference get a free copy of my book Publishize, for example.)
15. "Toolbox" of Examples. People love seeing "real world" examples on a given subject. One of the speakers at our Self-Publishers Online Conference, Peter Bowerman compiled all of the letters, artwork, forms, emails and other goodies he used to market his book into a Toolbox.
16. Online training course. If you do any form of online education, you can include a free class with the purchase of your book.
17. Discounted consulting services. Many book authors are experts. Offer consulting on the topic of your book and give purchasers a discount. (In fact, some consultants actually only work with people who have read their books first.)
As you can see, the things you can bundle with your book are limited only by your imagination. Think about what your readers might need, and then see if you can bundle a product or service with your book that will help them.
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