The books and two of the book marks (the third bookmark was ruined by rain) courtesy of my BOTM subscription. Photo by Kate Ota 2022
I received a three month subscription to Book of the Month Club for Christmas this past year. Now that my three months are up, I thought it would be worth reviewing.
Book of the Month Club (of BOTM) a service where each month, you get to choose from 5 (or, starting in March, 7) new traditionally published books. Some are debuts, some are an author's subsequent books, and some authors have been featured multiple times. Near the start of the month, you receive an email with the books to choose from. They tend to have different genre options, for example one month I chose from a thriller, a mystery, non-fiction, romance, and another romance. Unfortunately, the additional two choices in March didn't offer more genres, just repeats of ones already represented in the pool. You get to see a blurb, some additional details like lengths and tropes, and a review. Your chosen book arrives somewhere in the middle of the month with a cute bookmark.
Interestingly, BOTM is not some new thing, it's been around since 1926.
$12.50/month or $16.99/month, depending on your membership plan, per their FAQ page. Despite searching, I couldn't get more details about what the plans were without rejoining and paying $15.99 for another month of books. Why wasn't I given more options for my rejoined membership plan? Their website needs way more transparency here.
You can skip months if nothing looks good or you're busy, and you're not charged for the skipped month.
If giving as a gift:
$49.99 for 3 months ($16.66 per book)
$99.99 for 6 months ($16.66 per book)
$179.99 for 1 year ($14.99 per book)
You can also add on books (for extra cost) if you can't decide between the offered books.
I tried not to repeat genre choices in my BOTM picks because I wanted a sense of the different books they offered. I chose Reckless Girls by Rachel Hawkins, a contemporary thriller; A River Enchanted by Rebecca Ross, a secondary-world fantasy; and Dating Dr. Dil by Nisha Sharma, a contemporary romance. I found it a bit hard to choose a book each month, but not because they all sounded great. It was because none ever really tickled my fancy. I never said "oh this one's for me!" There also appeared to be an over abundance of thrillers and romances compared to other genre options. That may be because BOTM has been running long enough that they know what their typical users want and select. I guess the question really is: did I enjoy the books I got? You can read my reviews of the three books and see that each of them left me lukewarm. I'd never say any was my favorite, but I wouldn't say they were poorly written either.
The website was easy to use (although not easy to find out the subscription package prices for non-gifts) and they emailed me when it was time to choose a new book, when the book shipped, and when it had been delivered. Some of their other more marketing-minded emails were too frequent though.
Is It Worth It?
If you're tired of hunting for books and are a voracious reader, you'll probably enjoy this subscription. Especially if thrillers or romances are your jam. If you're more into SFF, you'll have fewer choices. If you would happily pay $16.99 for a hardback of a new book (which is a pretty good price. For example, at Barnes and Noble, the hardcover of Reckless Girls is $22.49) then this is a great service for you. If you'd rather buy paperback or ebooks, it's easy to get these books cheaper.
I do think it's an excellent gift! I thought my sister was super creative in thinking of this and felt like three books that I'd pretty much get to choose was a good deal. I'd happily receive this subscription again, and maybe even gift it.
Have you subscribed to Book of the Month Club? Do you find it worth the price? Let's discuss in the comments!
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