In July, I joined Usborne Books & More as an independent consultant. My goal at the time was to get a discount on some books that would work as supplemental resources for school. We love our Usborne books, and even after everybody (even Annie) has investigated them, they’re fine. EVEN THE PAPERBACK BOOKS. They’re worth what I pay for them. But if they don’t cost me quite as much, then I can get more of them.
I’m in Facebook groups with other consultants and they talk about stuff they want to try and ideas customers have presented. You know that I like to dream and to plan. I like to organize projects. Direct sales is not my super-power, but working in this direct sales environment gives me the tools to play around with fun book-related ideas.
One of the ideas I’m excited about is a monthly (or seasonal – I might make it seasonal so that it can be more full but not be a financial burden) book box! I just can’t decide exactly how to go about it. Shipping is my nemesis; the idea of doing one $10-$15 book at a time and having to charge $5-$8 for taxes and shipping on top of that really makes my blood boil. I want to be able to charge about $20 for a base package and include some FUN things that will make it special and give enough added value that I’m not fuming about the shipping. I also want to have levels – so you can add other theme-consistent books at a little less than retail cost (which will cover taxes and shipping and still leave me a little of the commission) for a bigger haul.
I posted a call for volunteers (to test a deluxe edition of the book box) on Facebook. I sorta want people to trust me and let it be a surprise, but I know that for people who aren’t already familiar with Usborne it’s kinda scary to say “SURE, here’s $45 for some books!” and trust that they’ll be worth it or that I’m not somehow taking advantage of people. So I’m doing this blog post, to sneak a preview of the book list.
The books that I’m looking at for this first box (and it’s the full-on, most-stuff-included version) retail for over $40. There’s a baby board book (that even the big kids get a kick out of), a coloring book, a super-fun book to investigate, and an Accelerated Reader with organic gardening info at the end. I picked books that I want to use to supplement our fall school material, while the kids are getting school credit for helping me plan next year’s garden. I am already planning activities to go with these books, and I’ll be blogging about it and posting to Instagram and Facebook.
I also have ideas about reading journals and book clubs, but that will take some more planning.
I’m trying to build a Facebook Page with information about Usborne deals and building literacy. I want it to be helpful, to go beyond selling books so that I can share how important reading (and writing!) are. So far I have a few links to articles about reading, and photos of some of our Usborne and Kane Miller books.
::: I need at least five volunteers to get enough of a bulk deal as a consultant to be able to offer this deluxe edition book box for $45. I want to be able to send out PayPal invoices and get the money by Thursday (September 3rd). That way I can get the books and send them out in time to get feedback and make plans for how to proceed. :::