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How To...

Preface

In this book we will show you how to make and sell bundles of books on Leanpub.

Rather than simply setting out some dry instructions, in this book and the accompanying video we hope you’ll follow along by going through the process yourself. (The latest videos and more information can be found at http://leanpub.com/help).

In the following chapters, we’ll walk you step-by-step through:

  • creating a new bundle
  • adding books to the bundle
  • proposing the bundle to other Leanpub authors
  • viewing the bundle’s unique landing page

One last thing before you get started: like many other Leanpub books, this one is also a ‘living’ book that will be changed in response to reader comments and suggestions. So if there’s anything you’d like us to cover that we missed, or if you have any suggestions for improvement, please email us at hello@leanpub.com. Or, you can email Len Epp, our lead of author development and the main author of this book, directly at len@leanpub.com.

Thanks!

The Leanpub Team

How To Create a Bundle of Leanpub Books

In the following sections we’re going to show you how to create a ‘bundle’ of books on Leanpub. A bundle is a bunch of related books that can be bought together at a discount to what you would pay if you bought each of them separately. As a Leanpub author, you can create bundles of your own books and other authors’ books.

This book follows the Leanpub Bundle video, in which Leanpub’s Len Epp shows you how to make a bundle including your own books and another author’s books, and a second bundle that just includes your own books. You can watch the video on Leanpub’s Help page at http://leanpub.com/help and on YouTube.

For an example of a successful Leanpub bundle, check out the landing page for Manuel Kiessling’s book The Node Beginner Book. Under the ‘About the Author’ section, you’ll find a ‘Bundles Available’ section where you’ll find some information about The Node.js Bundle, which includes both Manuel’s book and another book by a different Leanpub author, Hands-On Node.js by Pedro Teixeira.

Just like an individual book sold on Leanpub has its own dedicated landing page, so does a Leanpub bundle. Here’s a screenshot of the landing page for The Node.js Bundle:

The bundle landing page includes a bookshelf that shows the covers of the different books in the bundle, and has a section for information about the bundle itself, the authors, and it has sections covering the books individually. It also has pricing information that shows what kind of a deal you’re getting by buying the books in a bundle - that is, the difference between the minimum and suggested prices for the bundle, and the minimum and suggested prices you have to pay if you bought the books separately.

Creating A Bundle

After you sign in to your Leanpub account, you are automatically taken to the ‘Your Books’ section of your Dashboard. There, you will see all of the Leanpub books you’re currently working on.

At this point it might be useful for you to open up the landing pages for the books you’d like to be in your bundle in separate tabs, so you can easily copy their URLs when you’re creating the bundle. In the video, Len opens up separate tabs for his books How To Get To Mars and How To Build Reusable Spacecraft. You should also open up the landing page or pages for the books by other Leanpub authors that you’d like to include in your bundle. In the video, Len opens the landing page for a book called How To Build Robot Astronauts by the demo Leanpub author, Robot Man.

Now go back to your Dashboard. To the right of the ‘Your Books’ tab, you’ll find a tab called ‘Your Bundles’:

Click on ‘Your Bundles’ and you’ll be taken to the ‘Your Bundles’ tab in your Dashboard. You’ll see some similarities to the page where you create a new Leanpub book: you’ll be prompted to enter a Bundle Name and to create a URL for the bundle. You can also set the minimum and suggested bundle prices, though you can also set these later, and change them at any time. When you’re setting the minimum and suggested prices, you should make sure they’re lower than the collective minimum and suggested prices of the books when they’re sold separately.

When you’re choosing a URL for your bundle, it’s best to choose something that’s close to the title of your book, and to use lower-case letters (upper-case letters look weird in Internet browser address bars). Also, you can’t have any spaces in your URL! Note that you can change your bundle name at any time, and you can change the URL up until you make your first bundle sale.

Next, you can enter some information about your bundle in the ‘About the Bundle’ section. You can update this section at any time, trying out different approaches to catching the interest of readers who come to the bundle’s landing page, and responding to their comments.

When you’ve entered this information, just click the ‘Create My Bundle’ button at the bottom of the page, and Leanpub will generate your bundle’s landing page, and let you start adding books to the bundle!

This takes you to a page called ‘Edit Bundle’. To add the first book to the bundle, scroll down to the ‘Add a New Book to Your Bundle’ section. Then you can go to the landing page for the first book you’d like to add, and copy the URL ‘slug’ for the book. In the video, Len takes the slug ‘howtogettomars’ from the landing page address ‘http://leanpub.com/howtogettomars’ and pastes it in to the URL section:

Next, you need to assign a royalty percentage to this book. This is the proportion of the bundle’s royalties that will go to the author of this book for each bundle sold. To assign a royalty percentage, enter the percentage in the ‘Royalty Percentage’ box:

Now, click the ‘Add Book to Bundle’ button, and you’ll see your book appear at the bottom of the page in a section called ‘Books in Your Bundle’:

Next, do the same thing for the other books you’d like to include in the bundle. In the video, Len adds ‘howtobuildreusablespacecraft’ and ‘howtobuildrobotastronauts’. You need to make sure that the royalty percentage adds up to 100% when you’ve added all the books you want in the bundle. Leanpub helpfully tells you the remaining percentage is:

Propose Your Bundle

When you’ve added enough books to your bundle so that the royalty percentage adds up to 100%, the ‘Propose Bundle’ button appears at the bottom of the page. Click it to propose your bundle!

The reason you have to ‘propose’ a bundle is that any author you’re inviting to join the bundle has to approve your proposal before it is published on Leanpub. After you click ‘Propose Bundle’, a couple of things happen:

  • The bundle status of your own books is automatically updated to ‘accepted’. That’s because Leanpub knows which books are yours, and it would be redundant to make you accept your own proposal!

Please note that if your bundle is comprised entirely of your own books, as soon as you click ‘Propose Bundle’, the bundle will be published, and its landing page will be live. Congratulations and good luck!

If you’ve invited other authors to the bundle, the following two things happen:

  • An email is sent to any authors you’ve invited to join the bundle, giving them the chance to accept or reject your proposal. Please note that you can invite authors you’ve never met! If your offer is fair and appealing to them, they can accept the proposal without having to contact you separately.
  • Invited authors will see that they have ‘Pending Invitations’ next time they sign in to Leanpub and go to their Dashboard:

When the author clicks on the ‘Pending Invitations’ link in their Dashboard, they’ll see something like this:

On this page, the invited author will see the name of the bundle, and can click on the name to see more information. She can also see her proposed royalty percentage for each bundle sale and the minimum royalty amount she’ll get from each sale. Finally, she has a chance to ‘Accept’ or ‘Reject’ your proposal.

Once all bundle proposals have been accepted, if you go back to your Dashboard and to the ‘Your Bundles’ tab, you’ll see something like this:

The ‘Bundles You’ve Created’ section will now show that the bundle’s state is ‘published’. You’ll be able to use this section to edit your bundle and to track the sales of your bundle, as it shows you the total royalties the bundle has earned. The royalties shown here are split between the books in the bundle according to the agreed upon percentages. To see the royalties for the books in this bundle, look at the sales page for each book. (The book sales page shows the royalties for normal standalone purchases and bundle purchases.)

To the right, you’ll also see the ‘Delete Bundle’ button. Until you’ve made your first bundle sale, you can delete the bundle completely, and you won’t see it on this page anymore. However, if you have made at least one sale, you’ll ‘retire’ rather than ‘delete’ your bundle, so that there’s a record of the sales available.

The Bundle Landing Page

Now if you click on the bundle name - in this case ‘Space Exploration’ - you’ll be taken to the landing page for your newly published bundle:

In the example in the video, you can see the three books on the bookshelf, and you can see that sold separately, the minimum price for these books would be $22 - but in the bundle, you can buy all three for just $15.

Finally, if you now go the individual landing page for any of the books in the bundle, you’ll now find the ‘Bundles Available’ section has appeared, detailing some information about the bundle and providing a link to the bundle’s landing page:

Please note that your book or books can be packaged up in any number of bundles, so you’re not blocked if you find another combination of books that you’d like to make into a bundle.

Now that you’re bundle’s published, it’s time to start telling the world about it! With your landing page already public and formatted for you, you’re well on your way. Good luck!