Hachette UK is launching the Feminist Book Box, a subscription service intended to highlight the best in feminist writing and storytelling across its 10 divisions.
Starting at £60 for three months, with packages available up to 12 months and including a gifting option, each box will include two paperback titles from a list submitted by divisional publishing teams and handpicked by a diverse staff panel from across Hachette UK. The books may come from HUK's frontlist or backlist publishing, and may be works of fiction, non-fiction or poetry. Subscribers will also receive a piece of specially commissioned art in postcard format with the books, as Hachette UK declares its intention to work with creatives from underrepresented groups to produce artwork and materials for the books. Postage and packaging is included.
Those who subscribe will be eligible to participate in a book club forum exclusive to Feminist Book Box members. Online-only for the time-being, also to ensure total accessibility to all subscribers, here readers will be able to engage in lively discussion, share stories with other members and hear direct from both the authors and publishing teams behind the books.
The intention is to forge partnerships across the media, with Stylist already on board to help spread the word among its readership online, and with charities to help make the Feminist Book Box "truly inclusive".
The inaugural box launches on 8th March 2021, in time for International Women’s Day. It has been developed in conjunction with Virago, showcasing the best writing from the feminist imprint under the theme of "forgotten women from history". The chosen two titles will be announced at launch.
The books in further boxes, aimed at the general reader, will come from frontlist and backlist titles (one of each) and will be authored by writers who are "women or from other underrepresented genders" to explore an aspect of feminism, identity, equality and/or gender from the breadth of Hachette UK’s publishing list.
The team of Hachette UK volunteers who select the books for the boxes will change every six months, to ensure that staff from all areas of the business are involved. Among those in the first cohort are Aashfaria Anwar. marketing assistant at Hachette Children's Group, Ebyan Egal, studio manager at Headline and co-chair of THRIVE, Eleanor Dryden, publisher at Headline Review, who co-founded the Feminist Book Society, and Melissa Cox, editorial director at Coronet.
The Feminist Book Box is the first product to launch as a result of cross-divisional staff innovation at Hachette UK and there are plans in motion for further themed boxes to follow.
David Shelley, c.e.o. of Hachette UK, said: "I’m so excited to see the Feminist Book Box launch. I am really proud of the innovative, entrepreneurial team at Hachette UK who conceived this and made it a reality. I hope we will be able to add real value to readers with this subscription service and bring the work of feminist authors from across our lists to thousands of people around the UK."
Bethan Ferguson, marketing director Quercus and FBB project leader, said: "I feel incredibly lucky to have been part of this project, which has brought so many talented and motivated people together from across Hachette. The FBB will give us the opportunity to showcase some of the amazing feminist writers on our lists, as well as bringing readers closer to the authors and publishing teams behind them."
Sarah Savitt, Virago publisher, said: "The heart of Virago is our relationship with our readers and our writers, and the Feminist Book Box is an exciting way for us to bring them even closer together. I’m thrilled of course that the first box is a special Virago collaboration, but it’s also been really inspiring to work with a passionate, diverse group of feminist book lovers from across Hachette to get this project off the ground. We can’t wait to share our favourite feminist books with our subscribers."
In addition, to celebrate the launch and celebrate feminist writing, The Feminist Book Box and Virago have launched a survey to find the UK’s favourite feminist book. Results will be announced on International Women’s Day on 8th March 2021.
Details on how to take part and claim a 10% discount on a FBB subscription can be found at thefeministbookbox.com.