Uppercase Box is amending its duplicate book policy, effective October 1. For background, see this post. There have been no policy updates from other book subscription boxes, but see the bottom of this post for some information from Owlcrate!
Duplicate Book Policy Update
When I first created Uppercase over 2 years ago, it was the first and only YA book subscription box.
Since then, many other YA book subscriptions have popped up and that means that if you subscribe to more than one, there is always a chance that you could receive the same book in any given month.
I understand that this can be frustrating and disappointing.
Some of you have asked why Uppercase doesn’t have a theme or offer hints about what book we’ll be including. If you’ve wondered why, I would love to explain our philosophy:
Uppercase Manifesto – Why There Are No Themes or Hints
Uppercase has always been about the books – not the items – and I want you to experience the best YA books every month.
I personally read dozens of advanced copies of books every month to find the absolute best book to send you. We even created the interactive reading experience and send you signed books because to us, the book is what matters most.
We don’t give hints about the book because we know you value the element of surprise – receiving your package in the mail and being delighted at what’s inside.
Many of you have followed my reviews from my book blog over the past 6 years, and I am incredibly thankful that you trust me to choose books that you enjoy reading and look forward to receiving, even if you have no idea what book you’ll receive. Your trust is so valuable, and I don’t take this responsibility lightly.
The reason there is no theme is because having a theme would prevent us from choosing the best book. To have interesting and varied themes would require us to let the theme dictate, at least in some part, the books that we choose. Since we want to send you only the best books, that’s a trade-off we’re not willing to make.
Having a theme would also impact what items we send you every month. We know you value practical and useful items – things you will keep and use. I would rather send you items you like, enjoy, and use instead of sending you items that are vaguely connected to an arbitrary theme.
Duplicate Book Policy Update
This June was the first month that another book subscription box sent the same book as Uppercase.
We choose the books we send several months in advance, so there was no way to know ahead of time this would happen or to prevent it. And, since the book is most important to us, we would never change what book we chose for that month even if we could know in advance.
In June, when this first happened, we created the Duplicate Book Policy and committed to offering active subscribers who received a duplicate book their choice of an extra bonus item in their box or a refund for 50% of the Amazon.com price of the book.
This wasn’t something we had to do – we just felt it was the right thing to do.
We value our subscribers (that’s you!) and want to do everything to delight you. We understood the disappointment and acted immediately to do what we could to help rectify the unfortunate circumstance for those affected.
We had no idea that in July and August some subscribers would receive a duplicate book again. Despite it happening again, we gladly upheld our Duplicate Book Policy and continued to offer our subscribers who were affected a 50% refund off the Amazon.com price of the book even though this was completely out of our control.
We’re thankful that in September no other book subscription choose the same book as us.
Now that the risk of subscribing to multiple book subscriptions is understood, we want to give you advance notice that we will be ending our Duplicate Book Policy, effective October 1, 2016.
Over the past 3 months we’ve gone above and beyond to keep our subscribers satisfied, even though the situation was out of our control, and we could do nothing to prevent it – and we were happy to do so.
However, our focus is on sending you the best YA books every month and as a small business, we can no longer continue to offer refunds if a duplicate book is received from another book subscription.
My hope is that the risk is now clear – signing up for more than one YA book subscription box might mean that you receive the same book.
If receiving duplicate books is a concern of yours, you may want to ensure that you are only subscribed to one YA book subscription at a time.
In addition to being the most affordable YA book subscription box, Uppercase offers several benefits that add value to your subscription – including an interactive reading experience with author videos and exclusive content, in addition to being the only YA book subscription that sends you signed books every month.
These extras increase the value of your subscription and hopefully the depth to which you can experience and enjoy the book.
I sincerely hope you understand our philosophy and our position regarding duplicate books. We value your support and want to be transparent with you by giving you this advance notice.
If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions about our Duplicate Book Policy please reply to this email and let us know.
As always, thank you for being a subscriber to Uppercase. Your trust and loyalty mean the world to me – and I am so thankful to have the opportunity to share the most incredible YA books with you every month.
Founder, Uppercase Box
Here’s the information from OwlCrate:
Hi lovelies! We’ve received comments from you guys asking how we pick our books and themes. I thought it was a good time to explain our process in a bit more detail, for those of you who are interested!
? I receive roughly 15-20 early manuscripts of books releasing in a given month. These books come from many amazing publishing companies. We work with great teams at these companies, and selection ALWAYS comes down to which book is truly the best read. To give you an idea of how far in advance we select our titles, I am now reviewing books for April 2017. I personally read and love EVERY book that OwlCrate sends out.
? Once I’ve found a book that blew me away, then I begin brainstorming fun themes. THE BOOK IS ALWAYS CHOSEN BEFORE EVER CONSIDERING THE THEME. Having themes does NOT limit our book choice in any way.
? From the very beginning of OwlCrate we always knew we wanted to do monthly themes, for a couple of reasons. First of all, we think it’s just a lot of fun! Second, we want you guys to feel confident in purchasing from us. We will always provide a few hints ahead of time, and give you the option to skip a box if we’re sending out a particular genre of book you don’t care for. Giving monthly themes and hints allows you to plan your book buying for the month as well.
? Why don’t we send out signed books? We wish we could, but the logistics involved make it virtually impossible. We have to have books printed quite far in advance, which doesn’t give the author time to sign all the copies. We have begun sending signed bookplates in our recent boxes though! This gives an author more time and freedom to complete this crazy task, and we think signed bookplates are super special too! Authors may not always be able to do this for us, but we won’t let that stop us from selecting their great book. We were also the first YA book box to begin including letters from the authors! Every single box includes a handwritten letter, explaining their inspiration and other fun details about the story.
? Have anymore questions? Feel free to comment and I’ll try my best to answer them. Much love! Thank you all for your incredible support!
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