A Charming Idea for Book Boxes
One of our very own has launched her own book box business, and we think you'll love it!
Wordsmith people are the best people, and lately we’ve been extra in-awe of the awesome things some of our members are doing. Today, I’d like to introduce you all to Amber Couch, who attended the very first Wordsmith Retreat (before we were even called Wordsmith!) and who’s launched a new business in curated book subscription boxes!
Before we dive into the interview with Amber, I wanted to remind everyone that Word Lab for September is now open! You have your option of going twice a week or once a week, which provides a great way to sample Word Lab at half off. Be sure to read the description in the link for the coupon code! We hope to see you there!
Sofa Spuds and Young @ Heart Book Boxes
Amber currently hosts two book box book clubs: the Sofa Spuds Book Club is for teens and the Young @ Heart Book Club is for the over eighteens who still love and read YA.
When you subscribe to either of the book clubs, you get a a collectible bookmark with your first books. Each following month includes a themed charm that you get to add to your bookmark!
It’s basically a charm bracelet for your reading adventures! Neither of Amber’s book clubs are limited to just one genre. In her own words:
Part of my mission is to ensure I provide a wide range of genre with a diverse group of authors. We've been to 1957 Spain, been romanced in Paris, played hide and seek with a minotaur, relied on okra warriors during the Great Depression, solved murders in Kentucky diamond mines, stolen flowers with a masked prince, and fought monsters under the library of UNC, Chapel Hill.
Recently, I picked Amber’s brain about her book boxes, and I loved what she had to say about how important reading widely is, plus where the inspiration came from.
Why did you start the Sofa Spuds and Young @ Heart book boxes? What was your main goal and inspiration?
When I was a 4th grade teacher, my favorite part of the day was when my students were sitting around me and we shared books. I asked myself, “how do I do that all the time?” That's when I decided to become a librarian. After almost 15 years of being a librarian, my favorite part was the students who would come in and say "Ms. Couch, I need a book!" I loved talking books with my students. When being a librarian stopped being fun, I again asked, “how do I share books all the time?'“ That's when I decided to form my own book subscription box.
How have you been able to inject your love of writing into curating these boxes?
Every time I read I'm reading like a writer. I annotate heavily in my books with lots of highlighting and note taking. I'm making marks for plot, character development, world building, sentences that make me say "WOW!", and anything else that might make me a better writer. As I'm doing this, I also know that these same things are what's going to make it a great book for my subscribers. These same highlights will then help me at the end of the month to lead book discussions at our book club meetings. I also have a special color I use to help me find the special gifts related to the book to use in the boxes.
Why is it important for writers to stay in the loop of reading with book boxes such as yours?
Many subscription boxes stick to just one genre, like fantasy and science fiction. I have all genres available highlighting a diverse population. Just because you might be writing a Fantasy novel, doesn't mean you can't benefit from picking up romance tips from a contemporary novel. Your Sci-Fi novel might need the intricate subplotting that can be found in a mystery novel. An Historical Fiction novel may have the same plot as a Fantasy novel, it's just that one rides horses and the other rides dragons. Many of my subscribers say they never would have picked up a romance novel and now it's the book they talk about most from the past year. You never know where you will find that inspiration.
Most recently, The Young @ Heart Book Club shipped out boxes that also featured our very own Cristin’s Terrill’s newest book, The Stars Between Us! This box has just shipped but be sure to follow the Wordsmith Workshops Instagram page for a giveaway that will be happening soon!