Combining Books for a set?

ZuperbuuZuperbuu England Reader
edited April 2018 in General Discussions
I'm writing a series of short stories, about 80 page pocket-sized books, and wanted to combine the series into a set with a guide I am also working on for the same series. So basically, instead of buying the guide on its own and then getting the first volume of the series, I want to give the reader the option of getting the guide and first volume together in a set for a better price.
Here's a better example: The Guide is released at £28. The first volume of the series is £4. Instead of buying them separately for £32, I want to give the reader the option of getting the guide and first volume together for £30.

Also, I can't see any way of letting readers know that a book is part of a series without having to type the volume number into the title or description. It would be nice to have an option on the LuLu creator process for flagging that a book you are making is part of a series you have already started, and to state which volume/issue the book is in that series. Unless there is also a way to do this that I have missed?
All work-in-progress projects can be followed at http://www.zuperbuu.com/wp/
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Best Answers

  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym Teacher
    Accepted Answer
    So, skipping all the back and forth, and addressing your first post only:

    As I see it, your only really option is to produce both a "Volume 1" and a "Volume 1 + Introduction" as two separate projects. So you would have a 80 pp. book, which could be bought by itself, or as part of a larger volume (say, 270 pp.) which includes story 1 and follows it with the introductory matter, artwork, etc.

    As an alternative, you could divide the introductory matter, artwork, etc. into two volumes.

    That's not to say that you have to do that... Another way to address the issue would be to publish the books themselves as per your original plan, but to add several pages of advertisements for the other books in the back.

    During the 1960s and 70s, many paperback publishers did this. I can remember reading pulp Westerns that would have a full a full-glossy cardstock leaf in the center with a cigarette add on both sides, or reading science fiction books (DAW Books was infamous for this) that had lists of other books, with tear-out order sheets and the publisher's address on them.

    So that could be a solution for you.

    Personally, I would either make the artwork and explanatory matter into multiple volumes, or else I would make both a book 1 and a book 1 + introductory matter.


Answers

  • ZuperbuuZuperbuu England Reader

    May I ask why a series of short stories requires a guide? And at such a high price?

    Unfortunately it's a 190+ page documentation on the species the books are related to, that is heavy in artwork. I would rather have it in colour, so I tried reducing the number of pages by looking at bigger book sizes, and even cutting out some artwork, but that's the lowest I could get it for full colour. That's before I can even add any revenue to it. This "guide" is supposed to help enrich what is already in the stories, without cluttering them with factual jargon.
    The short stories are a small branch from the larger series I am working on, and they don't require the guide, but the bigger ones definitely will when they're finished. I made the shorter ones to be read by anyone, so I reduced a lot of the lore-heavy parts into something more basic to read, but the bigger volumes I flat out refuse to do that.  
    It sounds fair enough, but I would spend £4 on the first story, to find out if it is worth buying the rest, at any price, and I assume other people would, also. In fact they may work that out from the Preview. The addition of a guide puzzles me. In reality the stories total just 640 pages. Even fewer pages if it was A5. And how many pages does the guide have for £32?

    Please see above. The short stories aren't the problem I'm having, I intended to sell them on there own anyway, it's just the guide driving me a little loopy since it doesn't have any stories in it, it's all factual lore stuff and a history for the series development. I have just crammed it all down from 380 pages to just shy of 200 to fit in a 21.59 x 27.94 book, but all the artwork still isn't finished, so this could easily go back up to 300 pages. The problem is it needs to be in colour because of all the artwork spread out inside, because not every page in the document has a picture.

    It is often on the book covers, and in the blurb on the back cover and in the Description on the book's Storefront page. 'Also By' is also often on the back pages of books. At the front with some. It's not unusual.

    Ah that's alright then, I've done that already. Thanks for clearing that up.

    All work-in-progress projects can be followed at http://www.zuperbuu.com/wp/
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    Unfortunately it's a 190+ page documentation on the species the books are related to, that is heavy in artwork.

    Is there some reason they cannot just be described in the stories? That's the usual method. Or even artwork on the Books' covers relating to them. They can be in colour.

     I would rather have it in colour, so I tried reducing the number of pages by looking at bigger book sizes, and even cutting out some artwork, but that's the lowest I could get it for full colour. That's before I can even add any revenue to it.

    Indeed, full-colour POD is very expensive, so often avoided! However, one answer to that is create it as a downloadable PDF 'book.'

     This "guide" is supposed to help enrich what is already in the stories, without cluttering them with factual jargon.

    However, that is just what fiction does. It's not clutter, it's detail. But if you think it is clutter, then perhaps it has no place anywhere. But that you say "species," one assumes it is one you made up? So it's not factual. It's just part of your stories.


    The short stories are a small branch from the larger series I am working on, and they don't require the guide, but the bigger ones definitely will when they're finished. I made the shorter ones to be read by anyone, so I reduced a lot of the lore-heavy parts into something more basic to read, but the bigger volumes I flat out refuse to do that. 

    Why would people want to read the non-abridged version after reading the short ones? Your method is a strange way of doing fiction. You make it sound as if the "bigger ones" will be too boring!  Nothing is clutter if written right.

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    The short stories aren't the problem I'm having, I intended to sell them on there own anyway, it's just the guide driving me a little loopy since it doesn't have any stories in it, it's all factual lore stuff and a history for the series development.

    Well, no offence, but who would wish to read that? People wish to read the stories. It sounds a bit like J. R. R. Tolkien's son taking over his dad's works to do with T L o t Rings, which were so boring they were hard to read.

     I have just crammed it all down from 380 pages to just shy of 200 to fit in a 21.59 x 27.94 book, but all the artwork still isn't finished, so this could easily go back up to 300 pages. The problem is it needs to be in colour because of all the artwork spread out inside, because not every page in the document has a picture.

    I would not worry about it. Wait to see if your other books sell first. Then maybe people will want the 'guide.' But often such things are created by 3rd parties who thought the stories warranted a guide or even artwork. Things such as these >>   https://www.amazon.co.uk/Art-Discworld-GOLLANCZ-S-F/dp/0575077123

    https://www.artistsuk.co.uk/acatalog/DISCWORLD_____BY_THE_GREAT_JOSH_KIRBY.html

    Although Terry Pratchett had sold more than 85 million books, and still rising, and 4 of his books about to be made in to yet more TV series.

  • ZuperbuuZuperbuu England Reader
    Skoob_ym said:

    That's not to say that you have to do that... Another way to address the issue would be to publish the books themselves as per your original plan, but to add several pages of advertisements for the other books in the back.

    During the 1960s and 70s, many paperback publishers did this. I can remember reading pulp Westerns that would have a full a full-glossy cardstock leaf in the center with a cigarette add on both sides, or reading science fiction books (DAW Books was infamous for this) that had lists of other books, with tear-out order sheets and the publisher's address on them.

    I hadn't even considered this as an option, I was too busy thinking about making it work and all I had on me for ideas were DVD's which usually had a "bonus disc". Putting adverts in the back makes so much sense, I honestly don't know how I missed that. Thank you!

    However, that is just what fiction does. It's not clutter, it's detail. But if you think it is clutter, then perhaps it has no place anywhere. But that you say "species," one assumes it is one you made up? So it's not factual. It's just part of your stories.
    Factual stuff is relating to the history for how the stories and relevant species were made. It's there for people who are curious, or want to know more. Unfortunately this isn't a book series for everyone, it never was intended to be.
    Yes, Tolkiens work was intense and had a lot of content, but that's because he literally had this huge world in his head that he had to get out and share, this is the same thing. If anything I was inspired by the silmarillion.
    I've had this world stuck in my head for 20 years, it's massive. The guide thing helped me refine all my notes over that period, and worked well as a reference for me to look back to as I wrote the actual stories, and I want to share it. If that means only ever selling one or two copies of the guide, then so be it.
    All work-in-progress projects can be followed at http://www.zuperbuu.com/wp/
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    Factual stuff is relating to the history for how the stories and relevant species were made. It's there for people who are curious, or want to know more. Unfortunately this isn't a book series for everyone, it never was intended to be.

    Few books are for everyone.


    Yes, Tolkiens work was intense and had a lot of content, but that's because he literally had this huge world in his head that he had to get out and share, this is the same thing.

    He did actually write it all down. There are  side stories within some of the books, in fact, filling in some background detail.

     If anything I was inspired by the silmarillion.

    It really did not receive good reviews because it was based on his notes that his son thought it a good idea to turn in to a story. He did not have his dad's 'gift.'


    I've had this world stuck in my head for 20 years, it's massive. The guide thing helped me refine all my notes over that period, and worked well as a reference for me to look back to as I wrote the actual stories, and I want to share it. If that means only ever selling one or two copies of the guide, then so be it.

    Quite a few writers do not write a novel without planning it out in detail first, but they rarely then publish the planning and notes. It could spoil the story for people, in fact. (I am one who does not plan a story. I have a general idea of the plot and where I want it to go, but parts of stories can also be spontaneous, and sort of write themselves.)

    But look at it like this, from other media. I like to watch the Making Of (etc) on DVDs, but only after I have watched the film. But I do know of many people who never bother watching the 'Extras' because they have no interest in them.


    (BTW. Amazon's Author Central allows you to link books in the way you want, and offer series discounts etc. But I am not sure if they are only books created using Amazon's Createspace. I have never tried it with my 'Lulu' books on Amazon. There's only so many hours in a day!)

  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym Teacher
    Kevin, sometimes an artist makes artistic choices because the muses say so. If that's the case, then don't argue with the muses. Just let it be.
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius
    I will leave it to the original poster to reply.
  • Hi All,

    I am planning to write a book on interior designing and different styles, how one should pursue the same keeping my firm www.origamispaces.com as the center point. I am planning to gather multiple articles available online and bring it into one. Need pointers.

    Regards,
    Chetan Hatti
    www.origamispaces.com
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    Publish them as a book?


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