Trends in publishing in the 21st century are as varied and fleeting as anyone's imagination. With over ten million books on Amazon - and over two million of those books on Kindle - every published author's main concern is to be findable by readers.
We have all seen the free reads and the 99-cent reads touted as a way to garner interest. In my own experience, the "free" didn't translate into sustained sales. I believe that's because readers grab and hoard books when they can, but don't always get around to reading through their pile. As for the 99-cent offerings, those can be a good idea for a day or two. The danger there lies in the glut of 99-cent monstrosities; poorly written and hastily published, these cheap reads are rarely worth the cost and they scare readers away.
The next trend has been boxed sets. Whether done by a group of authors with a single theme, or by single authors "boxing" connected books, these sets generally offer four to six full-length novels at a ridiculously low initial price. After a set period of time, the price goes up, and eventually the set is unpublished.
The goal of the set is, as always, to garner new readers. That is a good thing. Linking arms - or books - is also a good thing. Limited-time offers are good things. And promoting the heck out of them is not only a good thing, but a very necessary thing.
I am currently in two boxed sets. "The Wrong Guy" was released in May 2013, and features six authors from my Arizona Dreamin' 2013 reader event. The collection was fairly successful, netting each of us over $1,000 in the first four months. The thing that made me happiest was an email from a reader who found, and loved, my entire Hansen Series as a result of the collection! Mission accomplished.
The second set is mine alone. In "Hansens in America" I gathered the stories of three generations. Father: "Leaving Norway" brings the family to the colonies in 1749. Son: "Finding Sovereignty" is the Revolutionary War captain who marries into Norwegian royalty. Grandson: the trilogy which started the Hansen series includes "A Woman of Choice" - "A Prince of Norway" - "A Matter of Principle."
I created this set as a Christmas gift to readers. Five full-length books - 500,000 words - for $9.99. I could have set the price lower, but I wanted to rise above the sludge. My stories are worth it.
The set will be unpublished on January1st. Gone. Will I ever bring it back? Maybe.
That depends on the next trend. ;)