February 22nd - Behind the Scenes


Hey!

Welcome to our Crime Fiction Book Box Blog...Quite the mouthful eh?

To start, thank you to the dozens of subscribers so far. In our wildest dreams we didn't think we'd be averaging one box per day within our first month.

I wish we could have captured the moment we made our first sale, it's a feeling I know I'll never forget and comes with the realization that we built something people actually want. Ask any entrepreneur: that's what keeps you up at night.

Like everything we do, this Crime Fiction blog is going to evolve as we do. For now, it's going to be everything from an inside look at running a book box company to what's new in the Crime Fiction world.

This post might ramble more than future ones, but our first one needs to cover a few things.

Let's dive right in.

Operations

I swear they're not paying me when I say this, but Shopify has been AMAZING to work with. Obviously there's still lots to do and changes we want to make (I.e Font, Logo) but this side of the business has been a pleasant surprise.

Also thanks to our main Apps: LeadDyno, ReCharge, Privy and Stripe.

Big thanks to Canada Post for all their help setting up our business account. For example, when we switched to a small business account with Canada post, our shipping price from Ottawa to Toronto dropped by 33%. Given that shipping is our biggest cost, this was the single biggest reason we were able to drop our monthly price to $29.99.

We're also not quite big enough to have our own suite of offices, so right now we're running things from a home office, with storage and mail help from the amazing team over at Dymon Storage.

Honestly, every vendor we've worked with so far has been top notch and would recommend to anyone starting a monthly box business.

Sales and Pricing

If you frequent the site or follow us on Social Media, I'm sure you've noticed we've been toying with the pricing. We're a business, so we obviously need to make a profit but at the same time, the book box needs to remain affordable.

When we launched, shipping and the purchase price for new books was a huge concern of ours (and our biggest cost) so we built it into the price on the higher end. As mentioned above, thanks to Canada Post we were able to significantly cut down on shipping costs and this week we decided to move into the $29.99 range for monthly boxes.

Since we made the change, we've had a small uptick in business. Weird huh? Make something cheaper and people buy it. I wish they had a phrase for that....

Social Media

Oh boy, where do I start.

Well, to begin with, we have no business experience whatsoever with Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. So suffice to say this has been an adventure.

Don't even get me started on Pinterest..

That said, it's been fun to see what works and what doesn't. Twitter is actually the hardest because the biggest community in the book world on Twitter relates to writers, whereas #bookstagram focuses on avid readers and is more geared toward what we're selling.

Facebook for small business (specifically the ads) is unnecessarily complicated. Realistically, we want to boost a few posts and get a few likes. The over zealous engineers at Facebook apparently don't think "simple" is the way to go and if you find an ad blocked (This was a simple post boost) for "violating" Facebook policies, don't expect to receive anything resembling a real answer.

Over time we'll get the hang of things and learn as we go. This week? Tackling the mystery that is Pinterest.

We're going to a whole post on our experiences with staged photos so I'll save that for another time. Suffice to say, we're out of our element.

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What's next?

Right now, we're working on adding more content: Featured Author, Featured Book and Upcoming events. If you have any thoughts, suggestions or just want to chat books please email us at orders@crimefictionsubscription.com

That's all for now. Thanks for reading and I promise next one will be more focused...and you know...related to actual books.

Mike.

 


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