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Dreams in Action: Launching My Book Subscription Box

Woman standing being desk with boxes
August Literary Road Trip Subscription Boxes

From skin care products to fashion and jewelry, I've been a long-time fan of the subscription box. I love opening my front door to find a box filled with curated surprises. It's delight in a box.

I'm a bookseller at an independent bookstore, and a few months ago, I learned that one of our bookstore locations was closing. This was my primary work location and, although I'm still employed with the company, my hours were dramatically slashed. I was considering my next steps, including looking for a completely different type of job, when I started day dreaming.

It hit me that although I absolutely love being a bookseller, I was not so much sad about the cut hours, as I was upset about the loss of a bookstore location. The location that closed was in a mall, and it wasn't due to poor sales so much as an inability to negotiate rental terms.

However, in the year and half that we operated in the mall, we had created a familiar customer base. The mall crowd is different from people who might frequent a stand-alone store. We had regular teen customers who preferred spending their allowance on books, senior citizens walking the mall in the mornings, new parents with babies in strollers, fellow mall employees picking up the latest release...We had created our own bookstore community.

You know the saying that a house without books isn't a home? Bookstores and libraries are the heart of a community. This loss made me pivot. I knew that I wanted to promote indie bookstores and share my love of both books and travel.

Books Inside Boxes was born.

I took two concepts and merged them for my book subscription box. The travel component of the box is setting each month in a different state and theming the box to the state. Each box includes a book with a strong sense of setting, and items either themed to the box or state, and a few other bookish items. The other concept, Indie Bookstores, is supported through bookstore collaborations. Each month, a bookstore in the featured state is highlighted and supported through buying products from that store to include in the box and sharing the store via social media.

My hope is that subscribers will discover new indie bookstores and might feel compelled to give them business or visit their store locations. I also hope that it will encourage subscribers to seek out indie bookstores in their own communities.

I had no idea who would join me on this literary road trip, but nine people subscribed to the first box. Of these nine, I only knew three in real life, so I have some strangers on board and this was encouraging. People value indie bookstores!

I have big plans and big dreams. Stick around and watch this idea explode!

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