What It's About
A recent college graduate goes old-school Netflix, but for book lovers.
Words of Wisdom
Subscription-based models, especially niche ideas can be really great but it's important to find a passionate community looking for a product or service you can provide. Kaylin did an awesome job of identifying her target audience and making sure to curate an experience just for them.
There are more than 168 different book subscription boxes on Cratejoy, and at least 37 of those are just young adult-focused.
Notes from Chris
Episode 1063Kaylin Peyerk has an insatiable love for reading, especially young-adult fiction, also known as YA. One day, she noticed that her local bookstore was selling used books for as little as $1 each, and they were flying off the shelves. It got her thinking: if they could make a profit off used books, why couldn’t she? While she had just graduated from college and landed a full-time job as an accountant, she’d also been looking to make a little extra cash. With her love of reading, selling books seemed like it could be the perfect side hustle. Kaylin was familiar with the monthly subscription box model and thought it might be a great way to package used books. To sweeten the deal, she added a stash of tea and a bookmark to create an ideal gift. Wanting to keep things simple (and concentrate on books she loved) she decided to offer boxes focused on one of three genres: mystery, romance, or young adult fiction. Her first books and boxes cost her just $150, and with that, Literary Dream was born. She hosted her book box subscription on a website called CrateJoy. The site provides her with a built-in audience of subscription box enthusiasts and a simple e-commerce platform. There are no upfront costs, only a fee for each transaction. In her first month she received seven subscribers—a good start, especially since they’d be paying monthly! However, she quickly learned a couple important things. Her audience really just wanted to focus on the books and didn’t need the tea or bookmarks. So she replaced her original box with a straightforward envelope containing just one or two books, and offered plans starting as low as $6.25 per shipment. Additionally, she was also forced to remove young adult fiction from her genre options, after discovering that used copies were difficult to find. However, after a year of running Literary Dream Crate, Kaylin found herself a bit uninspired. Young adult fiction was her favorite genre, and she was disappointed not to be working with it. So, she decided to launch another book based subscription box focusing only on newly released hardcover YA fantasy. She called this one Fantasy Monthly. Kaylin invested what she had learned for Literary Dream Crate into the rollout of Fantasy Monthly. She planned a deliberate prelaunch, spending time to build up a targeted social media following (something she wished she’d done with Literary Dream Crate). She pulled in other organic marketing strategies, such as reaching out to YouTubers for exposure. Not stopping there, Kaylin got serious about Instagram, spending time on the platform daily to grow her account to over 5,500 followers. Her thoughtful roll-out worked, leading to 40 subscribers in the month after launching. With nearly 200 active subscribers, she’d profiting more than $1,000/month. Catering to fellow bookworms has allowed Kaylin to pay off her credit card bill each month and enjoy nice meals from time to time. Plus, the work revolves around something she already loves to do, with the added perk of attending book festivals every now and again, as well as interacting with a community of passionate readers. Kaylin is looking forward to gaining more subscribers in the upcoming holiday season. When she’s not boxing up the next delivery, she’s working on publishing a novel of her own.
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
- Learn more about Kaylin's literary subscription boxes at the Fantasy Monthly and Literary Dream pages.
- Kaylin uses the online marketplace, Cratejoy, to sell her subscriptions.
- Kaylin also mentioned an online resource called Subscription School, which has a bunch of free YouTube tutorials and a Facebook Group.
- Subscription Box Service Delivers Candy from Japan: An expat living in Japan packages candy twice a month and sends it around the world to hundreds of people who pay $29/month.
- Coffee Lover Bets His Beans On Workplace Coffee Subscriptions: A corporate HR professional turns his love for coffee into a fully brewed hustle.
- Marketer Creates Six-Figure Subscription Box Success: He looked for a simple solution for a client, and didn’t find one—so he spent the next year building it.
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