A story bundle is an ebook box set that has a few characteristics that make it different from standard ebook box sets.
The main story bundling websites right now are BundleRabbit, StoryBundle, and Humble Bundle. StoryBundle and BundleRabbit only bundle books; Humble Bundle also bundles games.
Bundles can be purchased through a bundling website and, depending on how that site works, may also be available through online stores like Amazon, iBooks, etc.
Most bundles are available for a limited time only – for example, a bundle might be available for three weeks, and then it’s gone forever. Availability is determined by the rules of the bundling site, and by the duration the curator sets.
For example, The Escapist Bundle is currently available on Storybundle, but only for another eighteen days. The Witches’ Brew bundle is available on BundleRabbit, Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, and Barnes & Noble, and at present there is no set end date for this collection.
How does one create a bundle?
The person who organizes a bundle is referred to as the curator. For StoryBundle and Humble Bundle, someone wanting to curate a bundle should contact the site; for BundleRabbit, anyone can create an account and put together a bundle.
The curator determines the theme, invites authors to participate, writes the sales copy, handles creation of marketing images if needed, sets the price, determines the duration of the bundle, decides if a portion of the sale price can be donated to charity, etc.
How can an author participate in a bundle?
If you know someone who is or will be curating a bundle, you can request to participate. Or you might suggest another author create a bundle, and offer one of your stories (this approach has the added advantage of you not having to do the organizational work…).
BundleRabbit is unique in that authors can upload stories they’d like to have in bundles; curators can search the available content and extend invitations to authors through the website.
How does the revenue split work?
The bundling site will take a percentage of the proceeds after taxes and fees, then the rest is split between the curator and the authors.
Unlike a typical anthology, the bundling website handles splitting and delivering the revenue. This is a huge plus for the curator as he/she can focus on the content, images, marketing, etc.
Why should an author want to participate in a bundle?
Bundles generally include stories from multiple authors, each of whom has their own set of fans. By participating in a bundle, an author’s work is exposed to readers who might not have come across it otherwise.
The authors typically each do some form of promotion, whether it’s posting on Twitter, sharing information on Facebook, or talking about the bundle in a newsletter or on a blog. Because there are multiple authors all doing promotion, each individual author gets more exposure than they would be able to on their own.