Today, I am very excited. I’m coming to you as part of the Ninja Book Box blog tour, and I have been given free reign just to talk about why I’m looking forward to its release so much. However, before I do, I should probably let its creator Bex explain what the box is:
Ninja Book Box is a new quarterly box shipping worldwide from the UK and featuring books published by independent publishers. We aim to introduce excellent books (both backlist and new releases) particularly those which our team & the publishers we work with feel haven’t received the recognition they deserve, and help you find favourites in genres you wouldn’t necessarily pick up for yourselves. Supporting primarily UK based small businesses, each box will contain a book (often signed by the author & with additional material) plus at least two gift items and lots of other fun extras and will take its theme from the book. We want to support excellence and promote exploration and discovery in all aspects of the box. Subscribers will also gain access to lots of additional community perks. For more information sign up to our newsletter, or check out our website for details of how to get the first box!
I love subscription boxes of any and all types. Receiving recommendations of things people think I will like—books, films, TV, snacks, recipes—is one of my favourite pastimes, and when you subscribe to a box, you’re getting advice and input from someone who’s put a lot of thought into the process. I’ve actually been looking for a UK-based book box for a while, but I’m not particularly interested in YA. Since that’s the primary focus of so many things associated with the bookish community, I was coming up blank—until now. One of the things that really appeals to me is that the Ninja Book Box is genreless (or, rather, not tied to any particular genre). I want to read books from all genres, and I’m so excited about that aspect.
Another reason I’m looking forward to my first box is because of who is running the project. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Bex, she runs the Ninja Book Swap in February and October every year. She also organised the London Bookshop Crawl back in February, which has been one of my bookish highlights so far this year (even though I never got round to publishing my recap of the event). Because it is Bex organising this, I know it will be professional, thoughtful, and well-managed. If you have a look at her blog, you can see how widely she reads, so there really will be something for everyone over the months.
Lastly, I am eager to learn more about independent publishers. Honestly, I know very little about publishing, and have never bothered to look in detail at who puts out the books I love. My first introduction to the concept of independent publishers was the visit we made to Persephone Books during the bookshop crawl. I was hugely impressed by the clear passion Persephone has for rediscovering forgotten voices, and by the love that everyone we met seemed to have for their work. I picked up The Expendable Man by Dorothy B Hughes based on a recommendation by Lydia (I think), and it is one of the best books I’ve read this year. I never would have heard of it without that trip to Persephone, which suggests there are many more books for me to discover!
A quick note—the Kickstarter for the project is over (it raised 300% of the original goal, which is pretty impressive), and the first box is sold out. It is still possible to sign up for a mini box, which will contain the book, one bookish gift, and access to any online content. Alternatively, if you still want to get your hands on the first full box, theme “Slightly Surreal”, you can enter the giveaway linked below. (There should be a widget, but try as I might I cannot get it to display–the link will take you to the giveaway). Even if you’ve backed the Kickstarter, you can still enter—if you win, you can either get a second box for someone else, or you can wait and redeem the February box for free.