ionR: Multi Author Box Sets – Deal or No Deal?

Posted July 5th, 2014 by in Blog, Features, ionR / 47 comments

Multi Author Box Sets – Deal or No Deal? 


As a reader looking for deals… a Multi author box for 99c is a Steal. Multiple Full length novels for JUST 99c? Wow! Couldn’t get a sweeter deal than that.

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These are just an example. No finger pointing involved.

I for one am not a big fan of box sets… If it is a box set of a single series from a single author, maybe I will consider buying it. Multi authors box sets with multiple stories without any real connection or link between the stories is just overkill IMHO. Plus they mess with my e-library. How do I sort and eventually find these books??!!

I don’t mean to single out any authors or box sets, Just using the current Top ranked box set as an example here:

The Spice Box Box set is currently sitting at #13 on Amazon’s bestseller list. This box set per the blurb has something for everyone be it contemporary romance or romantic suspense, alpha vampires, shifter stories, or BDSM romance???!!!! Huh!!! Again how do I file this on my e-reader? Yea, I’m Kinda OCD about my books 😉

As I see these Multi Author – Multi book box sets pop-up all over the place, It makes me wonder if the “box set” deal at 99c are truly a deal for the reader or a Fast Track Deal to hitting a best seller list for the authors…

Are readers truly reading every book within the multi book box set? I highly doubt it. So readers, I would like to know what you think of this new “Multi Author – Multi book – box set” trend in the publishing industry.  – Deal or No Deal? why?

For any Authors who might be reading, I would like to hear your thoughts on this emerging trend: Do you think the 99c price point is overkill? Are we setting up reader expectations here? If you are a part of a box set what was your true motivation for being part of a multi author box set. Oh and did your box set make the bestseller list?

Hit the comments, I’m curious to read your thoughts on this trend…












47 Responses to “ionR: Multi Author Box Sets – Deal or No Deal?”

  1. Margaret

    I don’t mind them – it’s a great way to discover some new authors and I don’t feel guilty if I DNF those that I don’t like. I prefer the ones with novellas, just so it doesn’t take that long to finish.

    To keep track, I log the box set into Goodreads and created a category call “own as part of anthology” so I can mark the individual books included in the box set as owned and know that I need to look for it in a boxed set…helps me keep track of them – not the best way, but it does kind of work!

    I don’t like when what is included is a later book in a series where you really need to read the series in order – that drives me crazy!

  2. Tammy Y

    I like this idea – I can find my favorite authors and new authors at a 99 cent price. That is a great deal. Have any bought many of these book sets on Amazon

    • Sara HJ

      Thanks for sharing Tammy. Have you read every book within these box sets? Or do some of them get forgotten over a period of time?

  3. bn100

    Not interested; most of the stories were already published separately by the author

  4. Vicki Clevinger

    I don’t mind them but I’m more apt to buy one from the same author

  5. howehowse

    I have a couple sets but I end up feeling like I have left a book unfinished. Anthologies do that to me, too. If I had a choice, I’d rather have a “set” by the same author of a series, i.e., BJ Daniels “Whitehorse MT” series; C Dodd’s ‘Chosen’ series…

  6. dholcomb1

    I think they tend to have novellas–not always, but can be a bargain as long as it is easy to navigate through to books. It’s sometimes a cheaper way to get one or two books from authors I like at a bargain price.

  7. Cathy P

    I have bought quite a few box sets. I have some of my favorite authors as well as discover new ones. As mentioned however, the box sets show up as separate books, and you have to search for them.

    • Sara HJ

      @Cathy P thanks for sharing. Have you read every book within these box sets? Or do some of them get forgotten over a period of time?

  8. Terri

    I don’t mind them. I’ve found new authors to read. It’s a cheap way to see if you enjoy their writing style. I hope they keep doing this deals.

    • Sara HJ

      @Terri it is definitely a cheap way to find new authors, Have you read every book within these box set? Do some of them get forgotten over a period of time?

  9. nicoleflockton

    Timely post. I’ve been thinking about these for a while. I’m an author part of an anthology with 8 other authors. Ours is an anthology of 9 novellas so a bit different to the full length, limited time, proceeds for charity boxed sets which seems to be the most current trend in boxed sets. I did it to dip my foot into the indie publishing pond. I liked the idea of doing it with someone holding my hand 😉 LOL We all enjoyed the experience we’re working on another anthology of novellas for next year. So I did it for the experience and of course we want to have good sales. Did I do it to hit a list? Nope, if that happened that would be a happy bonus but was never my motivation for being part of an anthology.

    A lot of these boxed sets have created a lot of NYT bestselling authors now that will forever have that title, awesome achievement for them. Some might argue they haven’t deserved it because how many of those one-clickers will actually read the book and actually love it. And others will read them all and find some new favorite authors.

    I do wonder what the next big thing will be 🙂

    • Sara HJ

      LOL Nicole! Every changing world of publication. I’m eagerly looking forward to the next new trend. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Good Luck with your box set.

  10. Melody Gonser

    I enjoy reading the boxed book collections. I like finding new authors. There are times I get one I’ve read but not often. They are also a great value. Thank you

    • Sara HJ

      @Melody to you point it is indeed a great way to discover new authors with very little investment. I’m curious, Have you read every book within these box sets? Or do some of them get forgotten over a period of time?

  11. Leanna

    I have gotten a few box sets before when there was a book I wanted that was part of the box set. I hate that it makes it hard to organize your Kindle. I will not buy a box set if there is several books I don’t want to read, unless there is one I really want to read and its a good price.

  12. Taswmom

    I have bought a number of boxed sets for several different reasons. My favorite reason is when I can get a series I like for a lower price in a boxed set. I have even bought a .99 boxed set because it contained a book I needed to read, and the separate book was 2.99. The big boxes of multiple authors I have bought, I have done it because I liked the genre, and wanted to become familiar with more authors, or I already liked one or two of the authors, and the set was cheaper than a single book……..
    I do not, however know how to organize them! I’ll have to try the goodreads way, but was hoping you had some helpful hints! Thanks!

    • Sara HJ

      @Tasmom, If I figure out a way to organize book sets on my e-reader I will be sure to share 🙂 Margaret has a great suggestion on how she organizes her box sets above.

  13. Leslie P Garcia

    I’m an author who reads a lot. As a reader whose day job doesn’t pay a lot, the low price is attractive. I have tons of books I couldn’t afford at full price. As an author, my first release with Crimson Romance went to #5 on Amazon Contemporary because of a .99 deal. I can only imagine what bundles at .99 do for readers–but–as both a reader and an author: no one can live indefinitely on very small income. Books that I read and enjoy or write and hope others enjoy are an investment in time, labor, craft–and I think .99 breeds a culture of readers and writers who expect a lot of quality for less than they would spend on pretty much anything else.

    • Sara HJ

      @Leslie, You make a great point of breeding a 99c culture… I’m not sure quantity is really the key to success.

  14. Ada

    For me, it depends on the authors involved. If it’s a set based on one author’s books, I’m usually in given that when I like an author, I totally glom on to all their works. I like those anthologies that focus on maybe 3 or 4 authors at most because if I do like the majority of authors, I can justify spending money on the books should I not have them already (that’s assuming it’s the type that are released as separate novellas). But if I’m looking at these 8-10+ multi author sets, I’m really hesitant to buy it just for one or two authors. I’d rather get the single novellas and pay more or just pass to altogether. It’s not really worth it to clutter up my Kindle with books I won’t ever read. They’d have to have some really compelling blurbs from authors I’m not familiar with for me to want to spend any amount of those ones.

    • Sara HJ

      @Ada Great points Ada. I would rather buy the books separately than clutter up my e-reader. At the end of the day every KB/ GB of space counts.

  15. marcyshuler

    I have bought several boxed sets (and won a couple more). I prefer them to be from the same author or a multi-author series instead of just books with a related theme. There also have to be several books included that sound like I’ll like them or are part of a series that I already read. I do find them difficult to find again on my e-reader because you have to recall the author name they’re listed under.

  16. Brooke

    Depending on the authors involved and the types of books in the boxed sets, they can be a great deal. I do like when they’re all at least the same genre, like all contemporary romance type stories. I like, if the books are part of a series, that they are the first book in the series. I do not want to pick up a box set and feel like I need to read 3 other books by an author to be able to enjoy their one contribution to a boxed set.

    I have a Goodreads shelf for boxed sets so I know I can find the book in one of the sets that I’ve bought. Sometimes that 99 cents is hard to pass up for that many books, though I do try to buy only ones I’m actually interested in reading several of the stories.

  17. Alice

    I used to buy them like potato chips… for .99¢ it was hard to pass them up! But really quickly I had too many books to read, and now they’re just sitting on my ereader, gathering virtual dust, waiting for me to be confined to my bed for a lengthy amount of time… which may or may not ever happen. Now, I’m much more picky, and save my dollars for a book I really want to read instead of a bunch I may never read.

  18. Jennifer Zorko

    It depends. I have purchased some in the past, similar subjects (Christmas, Military, Summertime) but I like you are a little ocd over the organization of my books. I have found myself adding a Bundle Books shelf to hold them.

  19. nerdy06

    I am personally not a fan of box sets as they are overpriced and it is not guaranteed that every book in the set would be keeper.I also tend to lose my patience if there are more than 5 books because the story tends to drag unnecessary to fill up more books.

  20. Sue G.

    I have bought them, but usually only if cheap. I know there was an author who’s last book in a series I had not gotten yet (was waiting for it to go on sale). Well a box set came out, with this book, with other author’s books for cheaper than if I just paid full price for the book I still needed. So that was a deal. Also, I like that you can try out different authors and if you don’t like their style, you still have quite a few other stories to read.

  21. Amy Rickman

    I will buy them when they have at least one book I want to read, to me $0.99 is worth it. I have also heard that if you have Calibre you can break up the box set into individual books, I haven’t tried this yet.

  22. Katina Fragakis

    I often purchase boxed sets to experience new authors or to get a good deal on books of a specific genre. These deals are important to someone on a fixed income, as I am.

  23. Nicole Potter (@NiiArt)

    I agree with most of the comments here – I like the deal boxes to find new authors to read and get to ‘sample’ their writing. Usually I only like one or two of the stories in the whole box set, but for $0.99-$3.99 I think it’s still a great deal!

  24. nicholskathy

    I enjoy them for discovering new authors and checking to see if a first book in a series is in there whether or not I think I’m going to like the series by reading the first one. I think there a great deal for authors and readers we both win in the discovery phase. Thx for asking!

  25. Nikki H

    I’ve bought them, but I will admit that I haven’t read all the books in the ones I bought. I usually am enticed by authors I already know/love, and sometimes do discover someone new. I figure for 99¢, it’s a great deal.

  26. ndluebke

    Some of them I like, some not so much. What I don’t like is when a author puts their story in several sets and then publishes it as a single. I do like when a single author puts their past series in a set. However, I’m finding more and more are stories that have been in another series, It’s no deal if there is only one or two new stories.On the other hand, for someone like me me who has a very small budget for books, it’s alowed me to read new authors and learn if I like their style of writing.

  27. Crystal Cox

    I love box sets for finding new authors, especially if I have been on the fence about buying their books. I always read them all but I also do not grab the mixed bags box sets because there are some genres I’m not that excited about.

  28. Katina Fragakis

    I buy multi- author sets if I like at least one of the authors. I guess I assume she/he wouldn’t be associated with a poor product. If I don’t care for the stories, I haven’t wasted a lot of money. If I enjoyed them, I’ve found new friends.

  29. Bonny Bordeleau

    I love Christmas multi author books or like you books with a complete series or theme. Theme books I love are historical, cowboy, and dystrophy. But, I HATE when the multi authors books have already been published! I too am particular about the set up of my books. I want to be able to grab the themed book I want to read at that moment! Thank you for doing this giveaway!

  30. rbeeyswan

    Multi box sets sometimes confuse me?! I wonder sometime what I’m getting into. If Iam familiar with the Author there’s no panic. My love swept bk. is an oldie but goodie. Sandra Browns Sunny Chandler’s Return. I loved the heroine found love after a hurtful break-up. The heroine was a independent woman but still needed that special someone. Thanks!

  31. penny42058

    I love multi boxed sets. They introduce me to authors I may not have read otherwise.