I love the idea of literary subscription boxes. We tried offering Family Reading Crates for awhile, but they may have overwhelmed families with too many books. If you have followed Build Your Library at all, you will no doubt have seen the heavy emphasis we put on reading to your children and building a spectacular home library.
So with our next offering, instead of a picture book, family read aloud, book for older children and a book for the parent – we will just concentrate on the family read aloud book.
“Subscription Boxes are pretty much the only way you can buy yourself a gift and be surprised when you open the box!”
Without giving away spoilers, each of our Read Aloud Book Club (RABC) packs will include a family read aloud book. This curated reading selection will be a fantastic read that you will be excited to share with your entire family. Nine times out of ten, it will be a hardcover book, but we may occasionally find a softcover that is just too good not to include.
In addition to the book, you will receive a booklet with discussion questions and ideas for rabbit trails that you could choose to pursue – a mini unit study, if you will.
Of course, you will always receive some collectible themed bookmarks. There will also be access to an accompanying private, moderated Facebook group to participate in online book discussions to help you get the most out of that month’s theme.
Previous and Current Themes:
Note: Any book contained in a Read Aloud Book Club pack will be a new selection, that was not already assigned in any previously released BYL full year curriculum, unit studies or Family Reading Crates.
[SPOILER ALERT] Don’t watch an unboxing video for a Read Aloud Book Club pack you have not received yet, if you want to be surprised when your package arrives!
The following videos are official BYL / ARRRGH! Schooling “unboxings” of all of our released Read Aloud Book Club packs. We don’t want to spoil the surprise so we wait until the first set of packs go out… But again, if your pack hasn’t arrived yet and you don’t want to be spoiled, watch these video later! If you are looking for an idea of what to expect in future Read Aloud Book Club pack, here is a glimpse into the contents and thought process going in to creating these crates. Order one of this month’s RABC here, while supplies last.
Each pack will be $11.99 including shipping in the US (continental, Alaska, Hawaii and FPO/APOs).
International shipping is currently TBD. We had issues with trying to keep the cost of a 5 pound Family Reading Crate reasonable. It cost nearly the same to ship a crate overseas ($35-50), as the purchase cost of the original crate ($34.99) – if not more. We are expecting the Read Aloud Book Club packs to be much lighter, so we will see what the final cost totals and details will look like.
Technically, we can First Class Mail International (FCMI) a package anywhere the USPS delivers to… But offering it poses two issues. First, our shopping cart is being difficult and setting it up properly to manage the remaining FRCs and new RABCs, with different weights, to different countries was causing issues. It shouldn’t, and we can probably figure that out eventually 🙂 .
But the biggest issue is the significant cost associated with FCMI. There are not “Media Mail” rates once you cross normal US boundaries. You get First Class or more expensive Priority Mail. So, the shipping upcharge for a $11.99 RABC pack would be approximately $13.12 to Canada and $19.53 to Europe. That would make the total package cost between $25.11 and $31.52, give or take depending on country (Australia was $0.50 cheaper than Europe, even though it is geographically much father away).
To us in the US accustomed to a $3.27 Media Mail envelope, the $16.39 to $22.80 FCMI seems ridiculous! This is the same issue we were having with international Family Reading Crates, except those were 3 times as heavy, and the upcharge was in the $36 to $52 range.
We can, of course quote the actual upcharge and provide a manual invoice if these international shipping rates are “normal and expected,” but they seem unreasonable to us.
All Build Your Library sales and discount codes are only valid on our digital PDF products (curriculum and unit studies – unless specifically noted). The profit margin on a Read Aloud Book Club pack is extremely thin, so to keep the price as low as it is, we are typically unable to offer additional discounts on the $11.99 pack price tag. We are sure you will find the value of these packs well worth our asking price! (We offer previous month Family Reading Crates at a discounted price, but RABC packs are not usually eligible for additional “percent off” codes.)
Our Family Reading Crates were offered as a subscription-style box, that needed to be purchased individually month to month. We are currently investigating the possibility of an actual reoccurring subscription that you can sign up for once, and receive a RABC pack each month billed to your card. Worst case, we would use an individual purchase each month again – TBD.
We are running the Read Aloud Book Club packs as a 6 month experiment starting January 2020, to see how well received they are. If they are popular enough, we will consider continuing this offering after June 2020.
We cannot accept returned RABC packs, whether they have been opened or not.
If you receive a book that you already own, please consider re-gifting that book to a friend! Spread the love! We will announce the theme before the boxes are ready to pre-order so you can decide if it sounds like a pack you would want to explore. But we promise all of our books are pre-screened and hand picked in order to be something that your whole family will enjoy.
We USPS track every box we ship, and will hold a couple “emergency reserve” packs in safe keeping in case one of the packages goes missing in transit, or somehow becomes damaged beyond use. Most of the time, if a corner gets crushed, the contents should still be fine… Once we see the packs look like they are all safe and sound and do not hear of any immediate casualties, we may private sale a “sold out” pack to someone that missed out. But we cannot guarantee that we ever have “a few extras,” so please notify us ASAP if you have a problem. Typically once we place our original order from our supplier, it may be difficult to procure additional copies.
Our schedule is as follows:
Basic rule of thumb: All crates pre-order around the 1st of the month, and ship out by the third/fourth week that month. We would rather be a couple days early, but please allow us a couple days late if any unforeseen problems were to arise.
Unless we still have packs available late in the month, and you are one of the last few to order, then we will get your envelope out within a few days if it misses the bulk ship out.
As a business, we hope all of our RABC packs sell out. But as a person, we hope our customers are not disappointed if they are unable to obtain a certain month’s offerings. Much like we did with the Family Reading Crates (and hopefully better), we will increase the number of available Read Aloud Book Club packs as customer demand dictates.
We will have a limited set amount available when the pre-order goes live, but we are trying to not have a large surplus left over each month. Please place your order as soon as possible when available to guarantee you are on the list to get your copy.