How do book subscription boxes work? aka FAQs

What is it all about?

• What is it?
Queer Book Box is a curated book subscription service. Every month we deliver one really great book, written by a queer author, with queer main characters and themes. Depending on the type of subscription you go for, we'll also send you related bookish extras. Check out The Boxes for more info.


• Is it just all about coming out?
No, it’s the opposite of that actually. It’s about sharing honest stories about our lives, the hilarious things that happen to us, the poignant things, the time we discovered we had a super power, or that time we solved a murder. You know, standard queer things. It’s regular books, but with us in it. And maybe some romance you actually relate to.


• Is it going to be all Oscar Wilde and Sylvia Plath?
No, there's so much contemporary queer lit out there that although we may throw in the odd classic, we'd rather send you things you might not have heard of. Not to mention, the queer misery trope has been done to death. What we’re sending you is less Well of Loneliness and more “well this is interesting”.


• Can I order previous boxes?
Is this something you’re interested in? Tell us here: What’s next for Queer Book Box?


• Can I get more than one book per month?
Right now we’re only sending one per month, but depending on the box you choose we’ll also send “if you liked that, try this” recommendations (and loads of other things). If you want the option to have more books let us know here: What’s next for Queer Book Box?


• What’s next for Queer Book Box?
Right now we're working on worldwide shipping and launching a YA crate. Tell us what you would like to see here: What’s next for Queer Book Box?


• Where do you ship to?
Almost everywhere! There are only a couple of countries we don't ship to. See a full list and their postal regions below.


• Do you offer discreet packaging?
Yes, we offer discreet packaging and billing, as well as a "super discreet" option for a small extra charge. Discreet packaging is unbranded with no reference to Queer Book Box externally. Super discreet packaging will place your unbranded package into another unbranded box. Choose the option you want when you add a box to your basket. We appear on bills as "QBB" or "QBBuk". 


• When will my next box be?
The first of the month is our cut off date and your book will be shipped in the first week of the month. If you order on or after the 2nd your box will be shipped at the beginning of the next month.


• Shipping times
Boxes ship by the 8th of each month. At the moment we have been told by Royal Mail to expect UK orders to be delivered up to 10 working days later than usual, and possibly more for international shipments. If it has been more than 3 weeks since you received your shipping email, get in touch and we'll see what we can do.


• Countries we ship to and their postal regions (you need this at checkout)

UK- England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales


Europe - Albania, Andorra, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Guernsey, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Jersey, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Republic of North Macedonia, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine


USA, Canada, Mexico


America (Central) – Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama


America (South) – Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela


Caribbean – Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Bonaire Sint Eustatius and Saba, Cayman Islands, Cuba, Curaçao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Sint Maarten, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands


Africa – Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Djibouti, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique,

Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sudan, Suriname, United Republic of Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Western Sahara, Zambia, Zimbabwe


Middle East – Bahrain, Cyprus, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia


Asia (West) – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Russia


Asia (Central) – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan


Asia (South) – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Viet Nam


Asia (East) – China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Taiwan


Oceania – Australia, Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu


• Do you offer gift subscriptions?

Yes! Just choose the gift option at checkout. After entering the address and payment details you'll be able to choose the length and start date of the subscription before you buy.


• When will I get my box?
The first of the month is our cut off date and your book will be shipped in the first week of the month. If you order on or after the 2nd your box will be shipped at the beginning of the next month.


• What if my payment is declined? 
Your subscription will renew on the 1st of the month. If the order bounces we'll try again, but it's possible this will delay your book getting to you or cancel your subscription altogether. We'll send a reminder email when your subscription is due to renew to help avoid surprises! 


• Do you use discount codes/student discount?
As we source our books from a queer-owned independent business we don't get the same huge discount on our stock as we would if we went to a big distributor. This is a decision we've made to support our community and which upholds our values (we're not Fox Books if you know what I'm saying). We do share discount codes and run competitions on our facebook, instagram and twitter accounts so make sure you enter those for perks and freebies!


• Can I return books if I already have them?
If you already have the book we've sent, get in touch ASAP on [email protected] and we can chat about what to do next.


• Can I change my subscription?
Of course, you manage your own subscription, so you’re in control. Everything is done through your account when you log in. You can pause or skip a delivery month if you're going away.

Accessibility and safety

• Accessibility
The books we send are always paperbacks. We're working on more accessible ways to access queer books. If you have suggestions for what we could be doing better, please tell us here: What’s next for Queer Book Box?


• Coronavirus/COVID-19

All subscriptions were paused until July 2020. This was because book shops and distributers closed for the lockdown. If you were a subscriber prior to the lockdown you don't need to do anything, your subscription will continue as normal. If you subscribed during lockdown before 1st July 2020 your first box will be in July. If you cancelled your subscription during the lockdown you will have to resubscribe to start up again.

All of our suppliers are compliant with all government safety guidance.

Queer Community

• The use of “queer”
We recognise that the word queer doesn’t sit right with everyone. We use it as an umbrella term for the whole LGBTQIA+ community. We think it’s more inclusive and, frankly, easier to say. We know that for some people “queer” invokes pain. We recognise that. This group has always found power in taking the words used against us and owning them. We are reclaiming the power of the word Queer, and using it to show strength and unity in our community.


• Where do you get your books?
We are proudly supplied by independent retailer Gay’s The Word, the UK’s oldest Gay and Lesbian bookshop. Founded in 1979, Gay’s the Word provided a place for queer people to access resources and literature, meet socially, and feel connected to their community. Selling queer books was a radical move in 1979. Sex between men was still criminalised in parts of the UK, the age of consent was still 21 and Section 28 was looming. HM Customs and Excise, a department of the government, called the books pornographic and regularly raided the shop, seizing thousands of pounds worth of stock.

Gay’s The Word survived this, rising London rent, the arrival of Amazon, and still receives the odd brick through the window. In the face of all this, what we’re left with is a jewel of our community. The shop is warm and inviting. The staff are friendly, conversational, full of recommendations and regularly offer a shoulder to cry on for the people who are overwhelmed being in such a special place.

This is why it’s so awesome that we are partnering with them! By subscribing to Queer Book Box you’re supporting this radical and iconic institution. Click here for more info on them.

Getting in touch

• I’m a queer creative and think my work could be included in Queer Book Box.
Great! We’d love to hear from you! Tell us more about your work here: The call out for All Out


• I’m a YouTuber/instagrammer/blogger and I want to review Queer Book Box. 
Awesome! Tell us more about yourself here: Reviewer requests


• I’m a publisher/author/agent and want to send you a book for consideration.
If your book is by an "own voices" author and is distributed in the UK in paperback we'd love to see it! Physical books are preferable to electronic, as the size is important for our custom boxes. Tell us about your book here: Sending books to us


• I need help with something that hasn't been answered here
Sorry you didn't find what you were looking for. Contact [email protected] and the team will be happy to assist.

The YA box

• What's in the box?

In this box you'll find the book, the bookmark which tells you why we chose this book for you, and 1-4 extras. These will vary month to month but could be anything from stationery, artwork, fun things like temporary tattoos, samples of other books you might like, a cool t-shirt or water bottle.


• What age is it suitable for?

We recommend the box for ages 14 and over. The books themselves are all in the young adult genre and are aimed at 14-17 year olds. 


• What things are covered in the books?

This will vary from month to month. First and foremost we aim to have excellent representation of a variety of lived experiences of young people in the LGBT+ community. This means there will be diversity in the gender, sexuality, race and disability/impairment. The authors are always 'own voices', so they are writing from their own authentic lived experiences. We have read and approved each book and would never send something we thought inappropriate or too mature. If there are difficult themes in the books, we'll send a content warning so you know in advance of reading it.


• Why buy this box?

It's very important that young people see themselves represented in the media they consume, for them to see how life can be, to click with characters like them, to feel seen and heard, and to know that they have a community. In these books we want young people to find themselves like we, happy and out LGBT+ adults, once did.


• Can you say what the books are in advance?

That's not possible for us right now, but to get an idea of the kind of books we send, we're working on a 'past boxes' feature where you can buy one-offs of previous boxes.

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