How do book subscription boxes work? aka FAQs
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.
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”.
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 only 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.
Do you offer discreet packaging?
Yes. If you are not out, not sure, or just not into rainbows, we offer discreet packaging and billing. Choose the discreet option when you add a box to your basket, you'll see photos of the discreet option in the product images. Your delivery will be made in a plain package with nothing but your address, postage details and a sender address (in case of delivery failure) which won't include "Queer Book Box". We appear on bills as "QBBuk".
Do you offer gift subscriptions?
Yes! Just choose the gift option at checkout.
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, get in touch at [email protected]
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). Discount codes are rare, but we run competitions on our facebook and instagram accounts so make sure you enter those for perks and freebies!
Where do you ship to?
We ship everywhere in Europe! Worldwide shipping will be launching soon. Sign up for emails to hear when it launches.
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.
Can I order previous boxes?
You will be able to soon! Sign up for emails and we'll let you know when this option is available.
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!
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.
What’s next for Queer Book Box?
We're working on international shipping, relaunching the All Out Box (bigger and better!!) and a YA crate. Tell us what you would like to see!
I’m a YouTuber/instagrammer/blogger and I want to review Queer Book Box. Will you send me a free box?
Get in touch and let’s talk! [email protected]
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! Contact [email protected] for our address. Physical books are preferable to electronic, as the size is important for our custom boxes.
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.
On reopening, all of our suppliers will be compliant with all government safety guidance.
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