How to Make Your Boxed Set a Success

Boxed sets are a great way to boost your visibility on ebook retailers and can be a good source of extra income, but what does it take for a boxed set to find success? I’ve been in boxed sets since the beginning and I’ve had flops as well as wild successes. Here’s how to avoid flopping.


1.High concept drives sales.

Gone are the days of slapping any ol’ group of stories together. For a boxed set to sell well now, it has to have a hook beyond the fact that it is a 99 cent mega deal. There are enough boxed sets for sale that readers can be picky. Give them a reason to pick yours.

My last boxed set (now unpublished) was a mash-up of the Outlander trend with shifter romance. Titled Highland Shifters, the set hit the USA Today bestseller list and part of its success was due to having a very tight concept that was instantly communicated via the cover.

2. Author brands should be equivalent.

80% of the authors in a boxed set should be about the same size in terms of their marketing platform. You want most of the authors in the set to have similar numbers of newsletter subscribers and a strong social media presence. This means most everyone brings the same number of readers to the table which enhances your marketing efforts.

Boxed sets with a handful of bigger author brands and then one or two medium sized brands followed by a lot of newbies are going to struggle. They won’t reach as many readers, which means rank and visibility will flounder.

(If your boxed set is mostly newbies, you should be pooling money for an aggressive paid advertising campaign. Just, in general, you should be doing paid marketing, but newbies need to use a higher volume of paid marketing to compensate for the lack of author platform.)


3. Market like your life depends on it.

Create a marketing plan that encompasses:

  • Third Party newsletters similar to Bookbub. (Although Note: Bookbub won’t accept multi-author boxed sets.)
  • Social media ads.
  • Posting on authors’ social media accounts.
  • Other promotional opportunities such as Facebook events, Facebook groups or blog hops.


4. Budget time to market your boxed set.

This is the Achilles heel of every boxed set. A lot of times, authors don’t actually follow through on marketing their boxed set. Posting on Facebook and Twitter are usually the first to fall by the wayside.

I always tell my authors to plan on spending an hour or so a day in the first ten days a boxed set is published. This is the window in which, if you move enough copies, you can make a bestseller list. Also, you want to make good use of the 30 day ‘new release’ period. Don’t waste the boost Amazon gives new books. Hit it hard to maximize sales.

If you’re in a boxed set and there’s not much support from the other authors, don’t be shy about sending polite prompts to try and get everyone moving. This isn’t just your money being left on the table, but theirs, too.


5. Use the momentum of a boxed set to sell more books.

If you can time a new release to come out at the same time as your boxed set, you can ride the wave of extra visibility the set gives you and move more copies of a stand alone title. This is a relatively new technique that people are just starting to be aware of and it’s a good one.

So, don’t let the algo love pass you by, catch the wave and let it push your stand alone title high.

If you follow these five tips closely, they’ll take your boxed set far. Happy selling!

Michelle Fox

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Michelle Fox

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