As you might expect from the co-founder of a book swap, I love getting books in the post. Subscription boxes particularly are the best, because while nobody enjoys getting random stuff they don’t want, receiving a box of books and related goodies based on a theme and genre which interests you can be a really great thing. The fun of opening the box and discovering all the goodies inside along with the added bonus of a surprise book is something that I really get excited about, but when I looked around I couldn’t find any boxes based in the UK which didn’t focus primarily on young adult fiction. There are many ‘one book a month’ type subscriptions available, but I wanted to have the more immersive experience of a box of things which relate to and teach you about the world of a book, rather than just another great book to add to my shelf. I like to have context for a book, particularly if it features an event, country, character or period I don’t know much about.
What is Ninja Book Box?
A quarterly box featuring a title from an independent UK based publisher and a selection of other useful and quirky gifts with additional items themed around the book. Where possible we will source additional items from UK small businesses.
Why do I need it?
Because independent publishers are excellent and often get so much less of our attention! They are also often able to publish a much more eclectic range of titles. The box is intended to expand reading horizons by introducing you to new authors, publishers and genres that you might not pick up on your own, supported by additional items to help you discover more about themes and topics included in the book and immerse yourself further in the reading experience.
Is it genre specific?
No! The aim of the box is to be completely diverse in terms of genre. Books picked will be from many genres including (but not limited to) mystery, graphic novels, historical fiction, science fiction and fantasy.
Why should I trust you to pick books for me?
I've been a reader ever since I can remember and I've also been reviewing books on my blog for over five years. I am a very eclectic reader and will be reading outside of my own broad comfort zone to bring you brilliant books. I run a twice yearly book swap and also organise bookshop crawls so I come into contact with a lot of booklovers and hear about a lot of books. In 2016 I set myself the target of focusing on supporting independent publishers and bookshops and have been learning (and reading!) all that I can.
You mention the UK a lot. Can I still get the box if I live overseas?
Absolutely. The emphasis on UK is purely because there are fewer book boxes here than in the US and shipping can make things expensive. Shipping to the UK is included in the price of the box but if you live abroad and don't mind paying a little extra for shipping we would absolutely love to send you a box!
With this project I am making something that I not only really want to exist but also which I absolutely believe in and think will make people happy. This box could be a thing of greatness. I will do my utmost to make it a phenomenal experience each quarter, with lots of awesome and crazy extras, but there’s no point in me doing that for nobody. I need you to support the project with your finances, your blogs, social media, and word of mouth, your recommendations and your belief. If you’ve been involved with any of my past and ongoing projects then you know that I can make this great, and if you haven’t then please check out the hashtags and the websites and trust me. Get behind me and the project and add a little bit of Ninja Joy to your life.
Risks and challenges
As with any project there are a few things that could throw a spanner in the works of getting the box out, and as with anything I'd rather focus on how to solve the problem. Running the Ninja Book Swap means that I'm used to dealing with delays and postal issues and have experience with how to communicate with people to make things run as smoothly as possible. I've also worked in retail and customer service for ten years so I'm well aware of the issues that can occur and am experienced in ensuring that customer experience is the best that it can be.
The major issue that I can envisage would be to do with suppliers and the postal system. In the case of suppliers being unable to deliver products at all or on time, I will make sure that I always have a backup supplier, and of course will inform my customers of any potential delays as soon as I am aware of them. Although postage issues can occur we will always aim to use tracked postage to minimise the risk of parcels going astray, and will be happy to send replacement boxes or issue refunds should the parcel fail to arrive.
I am building the website and doing all of the marketing myself and have undertaken training to fill the gaps in my knowledge. There has been extensive research carried out so in the event of any issues with the website someone will be on hand to get it back up and running as soon as possible.
I hope that any mistakes will be minimal, but I plan for the box to be constantly evolving and will use all of my experience to make it the best that it can be.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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