Book boxes have revolutionised the bookish world, playing into readers’ obsessions with collectibles and merchandise related to their favourite books. Who wouldn’t love receiving a box every month or so, packed as though it came right out of your favourite fictional world, and filled with magical items you’ll never find anywhere? That’s every reader’s dream.
What is a Book Box?
A book box — or a book subscription box — isn’t simply a box with a book, as the name suggests. It contains one book (usually with a special edition cover) plus several items related to that book. These items can be anything like scented candles, bookmarks, jewelry, keychains, enamel pins, etc.
What’s most exciting about these book boxes is that their contents remain a mystery until unboxed by book-influencers, especially famous bookstagrammers. Some popular book subscription boxes are from OwlCrate (for Young Adult books), FairyLoot (for YA fantasy books), The Bookish Box, etc.
Book boxes are also a great way to find merchandise for fandoms that are not as renowned as the likes of Harry Potter and Hunger Games. Ever felt like the only person in the world who read and loved a certain book? A book box for that book will remind you that you’re not alone!
But remember, book boxes can sometimes turn out to be disappointing — some subscription boxes actually just include items you can easily get off of AliExpress! So, if you’re picky like me, remember to take a sneak-peak at whatever box you’re going to get beforehand so you can avoid being disappointed.
How Can Indie Authors Use Book Boxes in Their Marketing Campaign?
Now comes the ultimate question: how can you, as an indie author, use these magical boxes to your advantage?
When you look at these large subscription boxes like OwlCrate and FairyLoot, it can get a little overwhelming — how can you compete with them, right? But, turns out, you can and it’s not so daunting at all!
1. Decide how many boxes you’re going to make
Choose which of your books you’re going to include — whether you’re going to make a book box with every new release or one box for a series. Then decide how many boxes you’re going to make. This depends on your fanbase and the level of engagement you have on your posts. How many readers on average would like to purchase your box?
If you’re unsure, all you have to do is ask your readers! Put up a question sticker on Instagram or tweet about it on Twitter, and see how many would love the idea of a book box.
2. Think of the theme and design
The theme and design of your book box will depend on the theme of your book — if it’s horror, you can make a nice spooky box for your readers!
3. What are you going to include and where will you find them?
The merch you’re going to include is the most important part of the box. You can get really cute handmade items from Etsy or, if you’re just starting out and building your fandom, you can even make the merch yourself!
4. Cost and advertising
The cost of your book box depends on how much you spent to make it. The usual prices range from 30-40 USD, with extra costs for shipping depending on location.
Remember to advertise your book boxes throughout the process! You can even give your fans a sneak-peak into the process — glimpses into the items, the packaging, etc., just enough to incite curiosity.
5. Partner up with other authors!
If the whole idea of book boxes makes you nervous, you can partner up with another author and make a box including their book and their merch as well. This way, you can support each other and even grow your fanbase!
Sharika Hafeez is a nerd, and she’s proud of it. Growing up, she fell in love with books and writing, and is currently following her undergraduate degree (for some mysterious reasons) in Physics. She likes procrastinating by watching the stars with a steaming cup of tea, composing poetry in her head.