I am Gayatri Nair. The founder of Book-O-Box! It’s a book subscription service that caters to all the readers out there who still like the idea of owning paperbacks and are brave enough to set themselves on a ‘blind date with a book’.
What is Book-O-Box about?
Book-o-Box is all about the love of reading and everything printed. It’s a book subscription service that caters to all the readers out there who still like the idea of owning paperbacks and are brave enough to set themselves on a ‘blind date with a book’.
It’s an easy way of getting to read interesting books each month without lifting a finger. Because you are leaving all the hard work to me—researching, interacting with publishers and authors, visiting umpteen number of bookshops and libraries, scouring book blogs, bookstagrams, articles, talking to book experts, and more to find the books that cannot be missed.
Along with the book, the box will also carry other bookish goodies. So each month, I collaborate with independent artists to create these unique literary products. The idea is to promote the love of reading as well as to do my small bit in supporting these talented artists.
When did you begin the company?
It was launched in March 2017.
Did you study or go through any special training for the business?
No special training at all. Before starting Book-o-Box I worked as a content and digital marketer. I used some of that knowledge to help me get started. But most of all it was about having the courage to start a new business. A lot of people helped me and encouraged me along the way. I picked their brains, did my own research and finally started up.
How did it all begin? The hurdles? The milestone journey!
I used to follow the beautiful book subscription boxes they have in US and other countries, on Instagram and wished we had such varied options available in India as well. During one such conversation with my husband, he encouraged me to start one myself, and I thought why not. From there on it was quite a few months of research on packaging, designing and book curation. At the end of all those trials and experimentations, we finally launched Book-o-Box in March, 2017.
What is the significance behind the name “Book-O-Box”?
There is no deep significance behind the name. It was just a fun way of saying box of books. I liked the sound of it.
What was the best and the worst advice you received when you began your journey?
People tend to have fixed tastes and ideas about what they enjoy reading. And not everyone takes kindly to the idea of someone suggesting what to read or specifically buying a book blindly. So when I was working on this project, there were apprehensions over how readers will perceive it. I knew this was not an idea that will appeal to all. But on the flipside I thought, the adventurous wouldn’t mind signing up for a blind date with a book. And I wouldn’t go for a book, which I didn’t personally like or think is not worth someone’s time.
The best advice is always the ones which encourage and push you to go for your dreams no matter what. I got plenty of that from those around me. Also, I am mostly an introvert and the prospect of interacting with so many people, coordinating and getting things done was no means an easy thing for me. But people have been kind and positive throughout and that have boosted my confidence a lot.
Would you describe your journey to be a successful and happy one? Kindly describe
It’s been just 3 months, and I’m happy with the way it is shaping up. There has been lot of positive feedback from my readers which encourages me to better myself and the product each time.
What are the further plans for Book-O-Box?
Currently what’s been offered is a single plan, which is World Fiction. Going forward I would want to introduce more plans/genres, so that readers will have more options to choose from.
Do you believe in dreams?
Yes, I do. I was more of a dreamer than doer most of my life, but now I have actually transformed one of my dreams into reality. It’s not an easy feat, you have to work at it daily, keep yourself motivated and most importantly not give up even at your lowest.
If someone was inspired by your journey and wanted to take the path you did, what would you tell them?
“Go for it. If I can do it, then you can too.”