Episode # 20 – Book Bundles (and plush toys) with Joseph Lallo

In Uncategorized by Simon Whistler4 Comments

Joseph Lallo cover

This week I had got to talk to Joseph Lallo, author of the Book of Deacon series. Joseph was one of the first authors to do a ‘book bundle.’ This is where several books are brought together and sold as a single item for a special price (chosen by the buyer). We also talk about self-publishing back in the early days (2010) and how he made a killing in his first year.

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The Book of Deacon – The first book in the series.

Amazon Profile

Joseph’s Website


Twitter: @jrlallo


Blog hopsJoseph’s post on these

KBoards – no explanation necessary

GoodReads – as above

StoryBundle – book bundle company

The creator of his commission plush toy (click)

Show notes:

TRANSCRIPT AVAILABLE! (Click to view, right click to save)

Published at start of 2010 and made $19 in his first year. He says that self publishing wasn’t the bonanza it is today.

In 2011 wasn’t really selling anything so decided to put the first book free. Got picked up by Pixel of Ink and then after people finished the first book he saw about 10% of the number of free copies given away buying the second book in the series.

On Traditional Publishing

Made a list of agents, around 50 (who weren’t scammers). Waiting for a reply or six months to go by. 24 rejections (form letters), most of them hadn’t even read his work. Gave up on traditional and started down the self-publishing path.

‘Blog Hopping’

A bunch of people with related blogs agree to make similar content at one time and share what they create with each others fans. Joesph did this with seven others and agreed to give away all seven of their books to a lucky winner.

Found the people to do this with through his editor who brought all the authors together. If you are looking to do this Joseph says GoodReads, KBoards, and Twitter can be great places to network.

It didn’t cause an ‘explosion’ in sales, but did bring up a lot of chatter about the book on social networks.

Book Bundles

A group of authors with books to release get together and create a ‘bundle’ for sale containing all the books. Often done on a basis of the buyer choosing the price with a $2/3 minimum to cover transaction costs and bonuses for those who donate more. The bundle runs for a limited time only.

Joseph was introduced to the guy who started Story Bundle and the relationship went from there. He was later asked to curate some bundles and helps pick out the books that will be involved in the bundles.

You can submit to this by going to StoryBundle and clicking the submission button at the bottom.


For the Book of Deacon he has the first book free. Later wrote a prequel, but didn’t want to make this the free as then he’d have to charge for Book of Deacon which he was uncomfortable doing after it already having been free.


Has always been into art and getting work commissioned based on his work. Latest was having a plush toy of one of his characters made. It was an ‘odyssey’ getting that made – easy to find a flaky artist.


Spent $3000 on three covers! Tripled his sales.


“I’m very good at self-deprication, so when I get a chance to dislike myself more, I jump on it” (on getting rejected by agents).

“I never went exclusive with Amazon, a lot of people did and it caused some promotion problems”

“I don’t want to say that artists are flaky… but it is easy to find a flaky artist”

“I started getting reviews saying ‘4 stars would have been 5 but it’s atrociously edited’ – crap”

“I used to put my book out and wait to earn enough money to get it edited, which is a silly way of doing things”


Leave a comment below or get in touch with Simon by email at simon@rockingselfpublishing.com

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Simon WhistlerEpisode # 20 – Book Bundles (and plush toys) with Joseph Lallo