The excitement of receiving a long-awaited package in the mail can be palpable. And Bethany Beach Books hopes to give book-lovers the chance to get excited each month with a new book subscription service, called the Book Drop.
“A lot of our customers ask, ‘What are your book clubs reading?’” explained Amanda Zirn, assistant manager at Bethany Beach Books. “So we knew our customers wanted to be in ‘the loop’ to a certain extent and were also open to guidance when it came to selecting their next read.
“That knowledge, in addition to us noticing the popularity and success of box subscription services, like BarkBox and BirchBox, sparked the idea for the Book Drop.”
Zirn said that the longer they mulled over the idea, the more they thought many customers would appreciate reading hand-picked titles without having to commit to a book club.
“The more we thought about it, the more we realized our customers might appreciate a ‘book-of-the-month’ program — especially our customers who are only seasonal and can’t visit the store as often.
“Deciding what to name the program proved to be a little more difficult,” Zirn noted. “A lot of names we liked were already chosen or being used by other book-related programs. My brother actually ended up coming up with the name, ‘the Book Drop.’”
Those who sign up for the service may choose a type of book that best suits their reading preferences.
“We offer a few different subscription packages for adults, ‘The Jane’ and ‘The Ernest,’ both named after two of our favorite classic writers,” said Zirn.
“When subscribing to ‘The Jane,’ you are going to receive books that fall mainly into contemporary fiction, historical fiction and literary fiction genres. This is our most classic ‘book club’ subscription, and we will be sending books that will be great for book clubs and discussions.
“‘The Ernest’ is for more for our adventure readers. Subscribers will receive thrillers, mysteries and action-packed novels, as well as a few non-fiction books every now and then.
“We also offer a subscription for young adults,” she noted, “which we suggest is for readers with a maturity level of 14 to 15-plus, and a children’s subscription for ages 8 to 12.”
The cost for the subscription ranges from $13 to $30 per month, and subscribers will receive a handpicked book sent right to their doorsteps, mailed out on the 24th of each month.
“Our books will be chosen based on a few different factors and sources. All of the books will be recently published, within the last six months. Our hardcover subscribers will be receiving books that have been published within the last three months,” explained Zirn.
“With the help of our publishing reps, customers and staff, we will be selecting some really great reads that our subscribers may not have discovered otherwise. This is not a subscription service that will be sending out all the bestsellers,” she added.
“Anyone can go online and look up the New York Times Bestseller List. Instead, we will be sending books that are perhaps by debut authors or authors that aren’t necessarily on the radar or in the spotlight — not always — but the objective is to expose people to really great books that they may not have otherwise discovered.
“We will also be sending signed copies of books, especially during the summer months when we host all of our author signings.”
Zirn said choosing one’s next read can be a difficult and sometimes intimidating process. With the Book Drop, Bethany Beach Books hopes to give readers the chance to enjoy reading the latest books without having to figure out what’s next on their “to read” list.
“We are trying to help people find amazing books to read — especially those who feel they have no time to read. If you’re trying to find more time to read, I’m not sure there’s anything easier than having someone else pick out an amazing book for you and then mailing it straight to your home,” she said.
“We understand that anyone can download an e-book on their tablet within seconds, but most e-readers don’t come with a friendly, reading-addicted staff who will hand-pick a book for you.
“That’s the independent bookstore edge we are trying to create with this project — allowing people from all over the country, as well as our customers who live a few hours away (and locals, too!), benefit from the ‘indie love’ we can extend,” Zirn added. “Not everyone is lucky enough to have an independent bookstore in their town, so we are trying to bring the independent bookstore to them as best we can.”
If a subscriber already owns a book chosen for the Book Drop, it may be returned to Bethany Beach Books for a store credit.
Not only is a subscription to the Book Drop a great gift to oneself, Zirn said, but she also recommends gifting it to a special someone for their birthday, Christmas or even Valentine’s Day.
“A subscription to the Book Drop makes a great gift because, in addition to being thoughtful (and effortless), it’s a gift that will show up on their doorstep month after month. The surprise factor of not knowing what book you’ll get is also very exciting.
“This is a great gift for people who read all the time, as we will be sending books that are ‘off the beaten path,’ as well as for people who perhaps don’t read as often as they’d like. With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, this will definitely be a gift that your significant other will be excited and surprised by!”
With the subscription service launching later in February, Zirn said this week that the books for the month have yet to be finalized.
‘We also won’t be announcing what titles are being sent until they have already been mailed and received by our subscribers. We really love the surprise factor about the Book Drop.”
Zirn said Bethany Beach Books hopes the service will give booklovers the chance to find some new favorite books, and help perpetuate the customers’ love of reading.
“We really hope our customers enjoy and appreciate The Book Drop. We are hoping this will be a way for our out-of-town customers to still feel like they are part of the Bethany Beach Books family, even though they can’t visit very often. We especially hope that this helps people read more often!”
For more information about the Book Drop, visit www.thebookdrop.com or call Bethany Beach Books at (302) 539-2522.