Last week Story Surprise, a modern day book club for kids, launched to deliver hardback children’s books to kids via subscription. Serving infants through teenagers, Story Surprise selects the books in five age ranges to be sent each month. Not knowing what book will be delivered is part of the fun, say the founders.
Subscriptions cost $6.99 a month for month-to-month plans, $6.25 a month for six-month plans, or $5.79 a month for annual subscribers. Additional books can be added for $3.99 a month, and shipping is included in the subscription price. Plans renew automatically, but can be canceled at any time, and they can be purchased by parents or given as gifts.
Story Surprise founders Eric Shmuely and his wife came up with the concept after spending an emotional time in the hospital with their daughter. There was little for children to do, except watch TV. The Shmuelys, who were already in the book business, saw an opportunity to provide a healthy distraction for kids.
“That’s how Story Surprise was born,” said Shmuely, a book wholesaler and founder of Story Surprise, in the company’s launch video. “We saw in real time the power of the combination of the story and the surprise. Children absolutely loved it.”
In addition to offering the subscription service, giving back to communities is important to the founders. Story Surprise is working with Boys and Girls Clubs to donate new books to schools across the country through its 5,000 Books program. To kick off the program, Story Surprise donated 450 books to the Boys & Girls Club of Suffolk County, New York in December.
“Our goal to improve literacy among children is clearly evident in our 5,000 Books site-wide initiative. Story Surprise will donate brand new books to school districts, community organizations and nonprofits,” says the Story Surprise website.
According to Broadway World, the books retail for $15 to $20 each, and there are no other subscription services offering similar selection, quality or price.
Love, love, love it! Our kids today are inundated with digital activities, media and television in a variety of formats. While there are many educational and innovative subscription options for these types of services, there is still a need for instilling a love of reading in children, and Story Surprise has combined two things children love – surprises and books they can call their own – into one simple, affordable subscription service. Disclaimer: We’re parents.
We love that Story Surprise has chosen a subscription model with different price points, plan durations and an upgrade option. In addition, the website is colorful, well organized and so easy to navigate. Terms are clearly spelled out, it is easy to sign up or give a gift, and there is enough information but not a lot of clutter.
We also appreciate that the company is looking beyond its own customers at the outset to provide books to children in need. This can be hard to do when a company is first starting out, but it sounds like the book wholesalers are in a unique position to launch their community giving at the same time as their company. Two thumbs up.