Thursday, September 18, 2014

iBooks Launches Worldwide Book Bundles Promotion, Features 41 Smashwords Box Sets and over 200 authors

iBooks today launched a major worldwide merchandising feature that includes 100 box sets, 41 of which are from Smashwords.

For readers looking to discover their new favorite authors, the collections offer a treasure trove of amazing authors.  $99.00 will get you hundreds of books!

The featured Smashwords box sets include the works of over 200 Smashwords authors.  View the merchandising feature at iBooks, or view on your web browser via iTunes by clicking here.

The feature showcases books in the categories of Contemporary Romance, Crime & Thrillers, Historical Romance, Paranormal, Sci-Fi & Fantasy, and Teen & Young Adult. Apple plans to promote the feature globally in the US, Australia, UK, Canada, Ireland and New Zealand.

Last month I blogged about box sets as a significant audience-building tool for indie authors. With box sets, multiple authors collaborate to produce and publish an anthology of books organized around a theme.  Each author then co-promotes the box set to their respective fan bases, which thereby amplifies the overall reach for all participating authors.

Today we see that a great box set also opens the opportunity for merchandising love, as in the case with iBooks today.  The timing of the iBooks promotion is especially great for the participating Smashwords authors. Tomorrow is when Apple will release the new iPhone 6 family of larger-screen smart phones to customers.  But more importantly, yesterday Apple released iOS8, their new mobile operating system for iPhones, iPods and iPads.  For the first time ever, the iBooks app comes preloaded on the home screen of users.  As I blogged back in June, iOS8 is a game changer, and for anyone who doubts Apple's ambition to become the #1 global seller of ebooks, well... they're not paying attention.

iOS8 will drive millions of new readers to the iBooks store, placing readers that much closer to your books.  Yesterday (Wednesday September 17), the first day iOS8 become available to users, Smashwords authors experienced an 84% increase in downloads over the prior day (amazing).  Although one day doesn't make a trend, the surge in downloads is a strong sign that the transition to iOS8 will likely bring many new readers to iBooks and to Smashwords authors.

Most of the Smashwords box sets were created expressly for this Apple promotion. A few weeks ago I invited a number of Smashwords bestsellers to serve as anchor authors to orchestrate new box sets for this promotion.  I challenged them to partner with fellow indies they'd be proud to promote to their own fan bases.  The results were extraordinary.  Over 200 authors contributed.  They created amazing titles, themes and covers.  Many are raising money for charity.  Participating authors comprise New York Times bestsellers, USA Today bestsellers and up-and-coming indies who are likely to become your new favorite authors in the years ahead.

As you might imagine, it was a lot of work for these authors to pull it off in such as short time.  Their accomplishment points to an opportunity for every Smashwords author:  Box sets represent a great opportunity for Smashwords authors to collaborate with their fellow indies to publish and co-promote a value-priced book that will put your work in the hands of more readers.

Congrats Smashwords authors, and thanks so much for your hard work in pulling this together!  And thank you iBooks for creating such an awesome promotion and selecting these titles!

Participating Smashwords Box Sets

Below is a listing of the selected box sets and their participating authors, in no particular order.  Click the link to view or purchase the iBooks page for each box set.

Faery Worlds - Six Complete Novels featuring: Jenna Johnson and Anthea Sharpe

Dangerous Lovers featuring: Becca Vincenza, H. D. Gordon, Cambria Hebert, Janelle Stalder, Jamie Magee, A.M. Hargrove

Sassy Seven: Sexy, Stylish, Scintillating Novels from Some of Today’s Top-selling Authors featuring Gemma Halliday, Serena Robar, Eileen Cook, Barbara Ferrer, Robyn Harding, Shannon McKelden, Eileen Rendahl

Natural Born Thrillers: 11 Electrifying Thriller Novels from 11 Bestselling Authors featuring Jeremy Robinson, Joseph Nassise, Steven Savile, David Wood, Kane Gilmour, J. Kent Holloway, Sean Ellis, Jon F. Merz, Casey Neumiller, David Sakmyster, Rick Chesler

Intense Anthology - Ten Bestselling Authors, Ten Powerful Alphas, Ten Passionate Novels featuring: Kahlen Aymes, Sandi Lynn, Aleatha Romig, Vi Keeland, Penelope Ward, S. E. Lund, Julie Richman, Penelope Ward, Kailin Gow, Liv Morris, J.L. Mac

From the Ballroom and Beyond, A Limited Edition Nine Book Regency Romance Box Set featuring: Rose Gordon, Ava Stone, Julie Johnstone, Catherine Gayle, Deb Marlowe, Jane Charles, Christi Caldwell, Claudia Dain, Jerrica Knight-Catania

Epic Apocalypse - Apocalyptic Horror Box Set featuring: Mark Tufo, Shawn Chesser, John O'Brien, James N. Cook, Armand Rosamilia, Heath Stallcup

Dark Roses: Eight Best-Selling Authors of Paranormal Romance featuring: Terah Edun, P.T. Michelle, Anthea Sharp, Trisha Leigh, Cameron Jace,  Lola St.Vil,  Erica Cope, Sarra Cannon

Playing for Passion: A Limited Edition Collection of Bestselling Sports Romances featuring: Carly Phillips, Toni Aleo, Chelle Bliss, V.K. Sykes,  Pamela Aares, Allie K Adams, Jami Davenport, Catherine Gayle, Mindy Klasky, Roz Lee, Dakota Madison, Bianca Sommerland

California Dreamin' Boxed Set (Four mature YA Romances set in California to Benefit "A Chance for Children") featuring: Melissa Pearl and Anna Cruise

Skirts & Swords (Female-Led Epic Fantasy Box Set for Charity) featuring: L.P. Dover, R.K.  Ryals, Melissa Wright

Love Potion No. 11 featuring: Liz Schulte, Melinda VanLone, Myndi Shafer, Olivia Hardin, L.K. Rigel, Tawdra Kandle, JoAnna Grace, L.P. Dover, Melissa Lummis, Autumn Dawn, Stephanie Nelson

When Darkness Falls - Six Paranormal Novels in One Boxed Set featuring: Shalini Boland, Sarah Dalton, Rebecca Hamilton, Laura Howard, Patti Roberts, Suzy Turner

Wings of Fantasy featuring: John H. Carroll, Valerie Douglas, M. R. Mathias, M. A. Nilles, Stephen L. Nowland,E.M. Sinclair

The Fates of Worlds (Science Fiction Writers Supporting Literacy) featuring: J. Daniel Sawyer, Stephen Goldin, T. Jackson King, Paul B. Spence, Anna Erishkigal, Steven J Pemberton, Rachel Cotterill

Waking Snow White: A YA Book Bundle Based on the Classic Fairy Tale featuring: Katherine Pine, Jean Haus,  K. D.  Jones, Cindy C Bennett, Laura  Briggs, K. Sean Jennkrist

Darkly Dreaming: A Five Book Fantasy Romance Anthology featuring: Elizabeth Hunter, Grace Draven, Danielle Monsch, Kristen Painter, Cate Rowan

Doorway to Destiny (A Thirteen-Book Fantasy and Science Fiction Adventure Box Set) featuring: TC Southwell and Vanessa Finaughty

Love's Sweet Surrender featuring: KF Breene, Erica Stevens, Brenda K. Davies

Tall, Dark and Paranormal: 10 Thrilling Tales of Sexy Alpha Bad Boys featuring: Opal Carew, Lori Handeland, Laura Kaye, Caridad Pineiro, Stephanie Julian, Randi Alexander, Terry Spear, Paige Tyler, Sara Humphreys, & Judi Fennell

Destiny Calling Box Set 5 Unknown Fates - Five Authors featuring: Devyn Dawson, Michele G Miller, Tressa Messenger, Brea Essex, Tia Silverthorne Bach

Otherworlds: Twelve Young Adult Fantasy Books to Benefit the Hungry featuring: Eva Pohler, Angela Corbett, Sophie Davis, Desiree DeOrto, Rebecca Ethington, Rose Garcia, Dani Hart, Allie Juliette Mousseau, Alison Pensy, Airicka Phoenix, M. Clarke, RaShelle Workman

From Dark to Light (a romance bundle containing 7 titles from 6 bestselling authors) featuring: Lilliana Anderson, Lili Saint Germain, Callie Hart, T Gephart, Natasha Preston, C.J Duggan

Touched by Love: 4 Mind-blowing Paranormal Tales featuring: Rebecca Ethington, Karen Lynch, Melissa Haag, Dean Murray

Danger and Desire: Ten Full-Length Steamy Romantic Suspense Novels featuring: Amber Lin, Pamela Clare, Katie Reus, Dianna Love, Carolyn Crane, Kaylea Cross, Norah Wilson, Dee J Adams, V.K. Sykes & Misty Evans

Perception: A New Adult Anthology featuring: Nealy Gihan, Scott C. Davis, Linda Davis, Mary Laufer Heather Hildenbrand

The Butler Didn't Do It featuring: Claudia Hall Christian, Jean Sweeney & Christopher Geoffrey McPherson

Holding Out for the Superhero featuring: Nana Malone, V. J. Chambers, June Gray, & Joni Hahn

Owned By Him featuring: Kendall Ryan, Emma Hart, Claire James

Mastered: Ten Tales of Sensual Surrender featuring: Opal Carew,  Portia Da Costa,  Madelynne Ellis, Marie Harte, T.J. Michaels, Kate Pearce, Sasha White, Emily Ryan-Davis, & Jennifer Leeland

A Fatal Four-Pack: Four Complete Mystery Novels featuring: Rae Davies, P.B. Ryan, L.L. Bartlett, & Deb Baker

What Lurks in the Dark featuring: Kody Boye, Gabrielle Faust, Rhiannon Frater, Emily Goodwin, Erin Hayes, Liz Long, M.R. Merrick, & Alexia Purdy

Legendary: 10 Otherworldly YA Romance Novels (Box Set) featuring: Kira Saito, Nikki Jefford, & S.M. Boyce

Fantasy 101 featuring: Jeffrey Poole, Lindsay Buroker, B Throwsnaill, Steve Thomas

Captured: 9 Alpha Bad-Boys Who Will Capture Your Heart featuring: Opal Carew, Sharon Page, Teresa Morgan, Mandy Rosko, Eve Langlais, S. E. Smith, Cathryn Fox, T.J. Michaels, & Pepper Winters

Girls On Fire: 10 YA Novels in a Multi-Author boxed set featuring: Elana Johnson, Amber Argyle, Angela Corbett, Christy Dorrity, Tamara Hart Heiner, Cindy M. Hogan, Laura Howard, Elana Johnson, Rachel Morgan, Lee Strauss, & Lani Woodland

Courage: A Collection of 10 Full Length Bestselling Novels featuring:  J.L. Berg, L.A. Casey, Kirsty Moseley, Erin Noelle, Tess Oliver, Kate Perry, Julie Richman, Aurora Rose Reynolds, Hilary Storm, & Pepper Winters

Three Realms (3-Book Special Edition Box Set) featuring: Michael Dadich, Ciara Ballintyne, & Dionne Lister

After Twilight featuring: Julia Crane, Sophie Davis, Lizzy Ford, Ella James, Morgan Wylie, Tara West

Three Cold Steps featuring: Sophie Davis, Airicka Phoenix, Mercy Amare
Second Chances—7 Sweet & Sexy Romances in 1 Book  featuring Diana Fraser, Tracey Alvarez, Janet Elizabeth Henderson, Joanne Hill, Kris Pearson, Shirley Wine, & Serenity Woods

Buy them all!


Jeff said...

Woohoo! The promo is live and looking great! Thanks for including me in this!

Smashwords rocks!!


Vanessa Finaughty said...

I'm so chuffed to be included! I hope everyone makes lots of extra sales.

Sarah Dalton said...

Excited to be a part of this and looking forward to checking out boxed sets from fellow Smashwords authors! Good luck everyone. :)

adan said...

Had no idea certain folk were being invited to create box sets. I'm definitely envious :-)

Re "Apple's ambition to become the #1 global seller of ebooks" -

That will be a good thing to see develop. The key, I believe, will be a non-exclusive subscription service. said...

It looks like our box set, Paranormally Yours, is also included as a best seller on the Apple page.

Inkling said...

Sounds marvelous. Unless an author can churn out a book a month, he's not competing with other authors in his genre. His problem is that he's unknown and thus unread. Bundles will help fix that.


A couple of months ago I queried Apple about a problem. With the latest upgrade to InDesign, it's now easy for authors to publish an ebook in both reflowable epub (for iPhones) and fixed-layout epub (for iPads). The latter will look precisely like the print edition.

Apple said at the time that the two formats would have to be sold separately, which means customers would be stuck with two purchases for one content. Even the books would only be loosely linked as part of a series.

Q1. Can bundling be used to release the two formats of the same title as a single purchase?

Q2. To release fixed-format epubs, authors must go directly to the retailer. Any chance that Smashwords will become a pass-through distributor, distributing both epubs created by authors to willing retailers?

Apple, Nook, and Kobo either have or will so have the ability to display fixed-format epub. It'd be great if Smashwords could handle that distribution, including bundling the two formats together.

Dean said...

A big thanks to everyone there at Smashwords and the great people at iBooks for making this possible! All four of us in the Touched By Love bundle were thrilled to be able to participate!

Annie Edmonds Author said...

Congratulations Indie's. Smashwords just keeps opening doors for all independent authors.

Kelly said...

That's cool. I hope we are able to put stuff like that together again. Really happy for the authors that got in. Hope I get to someday!

Shalini Boland said...

Thanks a gazillion to Mark and the guys at Apple for including 'When Darkness Falls'. We're SO excited to be included in the feature.

Mark Coker said...

Thanks for your comments everyone, and a big thanks to iBooks for running this great promotion.

@Adnan - I think it speaks to the importance of authors partnering with fellow authors. Authors can do more working in partnership with fellow authors than working alone. A number of the invited authors wanted to participate but bowed out because they didn't have relationships with fellow authors in their genre. On the subject of a subscription service at iBooks, I don't have any knowledge of such a thing but they have gotten into subscriptions in a big way with music, so a move into ebook subscriptions wouldn't be such a stretch.

@LauraLynnElliott - I see that's not the Smashwords version, but congrats nevertheless!

@Inkling - If Apple told you you can't combined both fixed and reflowable in the same book, then I'd go with that and not try to create a combo version. We're not doing anything with fixed format at present. Not seeing a lot of demand for it but go ahead an email me a sample if you want me to look more closely. mc@...

@kelly, usually when iBooks tries something once and it's a success, they do it again. I think it definitely plays to every indie author's advantage to orchestrate a box set set per the advice in my prior box set post because once the box set is out there, not only help you reach more readers but it will also make you a contender when iBooks or some other retailer is looking to do another box set promotion. Box sets are a tool, just a series linkage via Series Manager is a tool, and preorders are a tool. By taking advantage of these tools, the author opens up new possibilities for increased virtual shelf space at the retailers.

Emile Sissac Jr. said...

Great work Mark as always!
Thanks for your support and encouragement!

Arial Burnz said...

OOPS!! Looks like you missed our set, Mark. HIGHLAND SHIFTERS is also part of the promo:

Arial Burnz

Skye Eagleday said...

Our set of authors were part of the first ones to participate in the Apple promotion--so sorry Mark accidentally left us off the list--most of us are already NYTimes and USA Today Best Selling authors--and I always appreciate my quarterly royalties from Smashwords! HIGHLAND SHIFTERS is also part of the promo:

Mark Coker said...

Hi Arial and Skye, that box set at iBooks isn't from Smashwords, but congrats nevertheless! I see the Smashwords version is at but it's not in the Premium Catalog because it's not ready for distribution. It has a pseudo-3D cover and the author names aren't linked in the metadata.

Arial Burnz said...

DOH!! Yeah, our team lead and organizer just told us it was with iTunes directly. Sorry about that!!

Jan Springer said...

1626Great news! Congratulations!!
May our sales soar!