Hello everyone! Today, I am absolutely thrilled to bring you an interview with Kaylin, the owner of Fantasy Monthly. If you haven’t heard of Fantasy Monthly yet, be sure to check out my May unboxing post, which also goes into more detail about the box.
Fantasy Monthly is a relatively new book subscription box, which started up in May. It offers two options: a classic box, which contains an art print, two bookmarks, and a hardcover book, and a deluxe box, which contains premium items like candles, bath bombs, tea, and more in addition to the same items from the classic box.
Now that you know a bit about the box, let’s get into the interview with Kaylin!
1. What inspired you to start Fantasy Monthly?
I have been an avid reader for my entire life. Starting with Harry Potter at age seven and progressing to visiting my school and local libraries daily. I had found I didn’t care for romance books but loved a good fantasy novel. Anything that had an alternative plotline to our current world had me hooked. My first venture, Literary Dream Crate, is another subscription box that sends used books in both romance and mystery/thriller genres. I had originally sent young adult books as well but found it increasingly difficult to source quality young adult books in bulk that are both gently used and reasonably priced. And while I love packaging my boxes for Literary Dream Crate I knew my true passion was for young adult fantasy. Thus Fantasy Monthly was born! I wanted to share my love of young adult fantasy with other book lovers in the community while keeping it affordable for people who cannot afford the more expensive options.
2. What makes Fantasy Monthly different than other book boxes?
Fantasy Monthly is a more affordable option than other book boxes which I believe is a big differentiator. Most book boxes are between $35-50 plus shipping. The classic options for Fantasy Monthly is $22.99 including shipping in the US. And you still receive extra merch to use and hang up on your bookshelves! We also have an online Facebook community where we do weekly live videos to discuss the book club question card that comes in each box. This goes along with my inspiration of creating a great community of like minded readers! And while we also have a deluxe option everything included in the deluxe box is made my other small business owners found on Etsy. I loved the idea of supporting small businesses.
3. What’s it like being a young business owner?
It’s incredibly rewarding and fulfilling to know that I’ve found what I’d like to do with my life. And while I have a fulltime job currently, I would love to someday move to running my two businesses fulltime. And creating the community and cultivating top tier customer service has allowed me to have incredible relationships with subscribers and followers on social media. I’ve also made friends with other book box owners, vendors, and artists. It’s been an incredible experience but it is a lot of work to curate boxes each month with new items and continued quality.
4. Before your boxes ship out, you announce the designs for the art print and bookmarks. What inspired you to do this?
Other book boxes keep things mysterious which some people may enjoy. However, I personally have never liked the concept of ordering something that I wasn’t exactly sure what I was getting. I assumed that other people had the same view point and would like to know the book and contents of the box before agreeing to a purchase. Also, I reveal the artwork on my website and not as a post on social media usually so the element of surprise can still be in effect for subscribers who wish to have it.
5. How do you pick your monthly books?
I generally look at the Goodreads list for the upcoming months of the year for new releases in young adult fantasy. I also ask subscribers what they’re most excited for between my final choices. But I would love to include YA fantasy picks that are not popular enough to make the lists or to be published by the top five publishing houses. However, I’m not sure that would be something subscribers would prefer. I’d love some feedback on that for whoever may be reading!
6. The Classic box is definitely one of the more affordable options when it comes to book boxes. How did you decide on that price point?
I was able to calculate a low price point by keeping the box simple and only including prints and a hardcover book. And by only including printed merchandise I can utilize media mail which is a lower cost in the US. This allows for the total price to round out to about the price of a hardcover book in store including tax. And I did this for people who prefer less merch or who are looking for a more affordable option.
7. What are some of your future plans/goals for Fantasy Monthly?
I would love to create custom covers for each book, and include an author letter and signed bookplate. However, the book boxes who are able to do this have hundreds or thousands of subscribers which makes publishers willing to work with them to include these extras. Smaller book boxes have a harder time customizing our orders. So as I grow I plan to add those features when I’m able. I also plan to start including enamel pins in each deluxe box!
8. Anything else you’d like to add?
I’d like to say that I appreciate everyone who orders from smaller book box businesses. While I know Owlcrate, Fae Crate, or Fairyloot are fantastic options, they have thousands of customers. So every sale for a small business counts and helps them to grow! And I appreciate every single person who decides to do that!
Thank you for reading, and thank you to Kaylin for agreeing to do this interview! I hope to conduct more interviews for all of my readers, but in the meantime, please go check out Fantasy monthly and maybe even try a box for yourself! Also, my rep code STARLIGHTREADS is still active, so if you decide to get a box, you can get a bit of a discount! It’s a win-win for everyone!
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