Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Operation Omnibus

One of the reasons I was happy to get A Hero's Journey (Tales of the Scarlet Knight #1) back from the old "publisher" was because I was toying with the idea of putting together a Scarlet Knight omnibus.  That would be to package all the books together for an even more discounted price than they already are.  The hope being maybe $6.93 is too much for some people to pay for 8 books, but maybe they'd be willing to pay say $4.99 thinking they're getting a great deal--which they are.  Then I could make more money not only in sales but also I could get the 70% royalty from Amazon.

I've been going over the 8 books for another editing pass, which takes a while.  I'm not changing a whole lot, mostly just taking out justs and thoughs and things like that.  Plus changing the size of Emma's feet because certain people were unhappy about that.

Anyway, something I have been wondering is if instead of all 8 books in one set to maybe make two omnibuses.  Which begs the thought:  is it really an omnibus if it's not complete?  Well according to the dictionary the word means a volume of reprinted works of a single author or of works related in interest or theme.  So I guess I can have more than one, which is good.

The obvious idea would be to split it down the middle with 4 in one and 4 in another.  But since I always have to do things differently, I was thinking of a 3-5 split.  So we'd have:

Tales of the Scarlet Knight Omnibus Volume 1:  The Call featuring:
  • A Hero's Journey
  • Time Enough to Say Goodbye
  • The Hazards of Love


Tales of the Scarlet Knight Omnibus Volume 2:  The Wrath of Isis featuring
  • Change of Heart
  • Betrayal Begets Blood
  • Future Shock
  • Living Sacrifice
  • The Heart of Emma Earl

The logical reason is that in book 4 we set the whole big story wrapped up in book 8 into motion by introducing the multiverse, so it wouldn't see right--to me--to put that with the first three books.  The first three books really do serve more as an introduction of introducing the Scarlet Knight, Black Dragoon, witches, and Isis and then the next five build on that while forming a more intricate storyline.

The other thing is I've noted a few occasions where someone will buy just the first three (or presumably they get the first for free and buy the next two) so maybe committing to 8 books is way too much.  This way they could sample the first three books and (hopefully) want to read the next five.  Plus the first three books are all shorter than the last 5, which are all near the 100,000 word mark or longer, especially books 6 and 8.

An issue of doing it that way is price.  The first three right now only cost $1.98 because the first one is free.  So really for it to be any kind of deal I'd have to make it 99 cents, which really is like paying for one book and getting 2 free.  This of course means less money for me.  This is the same issue I'd have with doing the Chances Are books as an omnibus.  Since there are technically 4 Girl Power ones that would be slightly less of an issue.

I think the simplest solution for the first Scarlet Knight one would be to include the two prequels:  Dark Origins (Volume 0) and Sisterhood, the one that focuses on Sylvia the witch.  Then I could charge $2.99 and get the 70% royalty if anyone buys them.  As for the Girl Power or Chances Are ones, I need to write a couple more books.  I was thinking maybe a Girl Power prequel, but then I remembered prequels are boring so I came up with more of an Agents of SHIELD idea.  The Chances Are I have that new idea I still haven't got to yet, so when I write that and maybe a sequel then I'll have enough.

To test out the idea I created an omnibus for the Children of Eternity quadology or whatever a four-book series is called.  It's not really that difficult, but to get the table of contents to show up on Amazon requires some advanced formatting I'll tell you about on Friday.  For the cover I just took the first book and filtered it in sepia.

I enrolled it in KDP Select for now since nobody hardly buys from Smashwords or B&N.  This week you can get it for FREE!  That's 4 books (almost 1000 pages) for nothing.  Click the link!

It seems like most of my Blogger buddies don't have a series requiring an omnibus, though I suppose Andrew Leon could use it for all those Shadow Spinner stories.

I found a free program for making 3D boxes for covers.  I'm not all that happy with the image quality, especially on the text, but I guess you get what you pay for.  I've seen a lot of that style of cover on Amazon, so I thought I'd give it a try.  I'm not sure if that's what I'll go with.  Here are the prototypes:


  1. So this is an E-omnibus, right? I just got your free books on Amazon. I'm such a cheapskate. Then again, I'd need a second job to buy all the books you publish.

    I have on my "do someday" list the idea of doing a really nice collection of my favorite stories. A Pagel Omnibus, only with hardcovers and illustrations and stuff, to make it kind of an attractive thing. I never thought about just lumping every book I'd ever had together into one and selling them all. In the case of a series, it makes a lot of sense.

    The $2.99 price point, though: that's the killer price, as noted in the excellent article by Briane Pagel in the first issue of Indie Writers Monthly. All the 'experts' say it should be $3.99. Then again, since I made my books $3.99 I've sold zero copies, but at least I'm not making any money off MORE EXPENSIVE books.

  2. I think all the books should be sold in one package. That's where I stand on this topic. Calling it an omnibus and then having only four or five books is a lie.

  3. Originally J. R. R. Tolkien had LOTR in one book, but the shortage of paper led to releasing it in three. Not that there is a shortage of space on anyones Kindle, but the idea that you have an anthology to work with is cool.

  4. I like how you have it set up..4 books per box. It will be better for marketing and sales. You don't have to call it an Omnibus. If you use an image that clearly shows how many books are together, it's called a box set.

  5. I've already collected the Spinner stories up into just 4 collections.
    Do the Scarlet Knight books have any interior arcs? Do the first three form one story? I think that's the best way to decide where to divide them.



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