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How Does Book of the Month Work?

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Melissa just hit her one-year anniversary with the Book of the Month Club, so it felt like the perfect time to write a review with the pros and cons of this popular book subscription box. She has paid for every book out of pocket and this is NOT sponsored.

So how does Book of the Month work? Below, we’ve answered each of the common questions that we see asked to help you decide if it’s right for you.

How Much Does Book of the Month Cost ?

Each month, your payment method will be automatically charged $14.99 plus applicable local taxes in exchange for 1 book credit. The price includes shipping, so you don’t have to worry about any hidden costs.

How Many Books Will I Get?

For the auto-billed $14.99 credit, you’ll get to choose one brand new release book each month. There are 5 options each month, and they always span a variety of interests from rom-com and literary fiction to thrillers and memoirs.

Optionally, you can select up to two additional books each month for $9.99 each. The add-on books can be extra picks from the current month or you can choose from hundreds of books from prior months, which is an amazing way to build your home library of hardbacks at a low price.

If you choose to add on the maximum of two books, you’ll be paying a total of $34.97 + tax for three hardcover books.

NOTE: To add on additional books, once you’ve selected your BOTM pick, click on All Books at the top menu before checking out. You can browse the options and then click Add to Box.

Are BOTM Books Good?

This is subjective of course, but many of the highly-rated books from the past several years have come from Book of the Month. Here’s a screenshot showing their Book of the Year finalist from the last three years. Each of these books have been part of the monthly selections, and we think you’ll recognize quite a few.

What if I Don’t Want Any of the 5 Monthly Selections?

Thankfully, BOTM lets you skip months and save your credit for the next month. So, if you skip June, in July you can choose 2 books instead of one without any additional charges.

That said, because the books are so well-curated, it’s a great way to expand your normal reading into new genres. Sometimes you won’t initially be drawn to any of the choices, but end up with gems if you take a risk.

3 rows of books on ledge shelving

So many of these books on Melissa’s shelves wouldn’t have found their way into her home without BOTM, and she’s really grateful that they’ve expanded her reading horizons!

When Does Book of the Month Release New Books?

By the first of each month, you’ll be able to log in and make your selections.

You’ll get an email notification to let you know the choices are available, but if you want to get a jump start, you can mark your calendar for the first and you can often finalize your order before the email has arrived.

Are There Any Other Benefits to this Book Box?

Yes! Once you reach your first anniversary, you become a BOTM BFF (Best Friend Forever). They’ll send you a tote bag to celebrate, but the real benefit comes in free books!

After your first anniversary, you’ll get one free add-on book credit in your birthday month. PLUS, you’ll get to choose one of their 5 Book of the Year finalist for free at the end of the year when they announce the contenders.

When you factor in the 2 free books your second year and beyond, it makes each month’s Book of the Month subscription cost equivalent to $11.25/book instead of $14.99/book.

Stacked red books

Are BOTM Books Good Quality?

Melissa occasionally sees people say that the BOTM books feel cheap, and she’s confused each time because that has never been her experience. Her husband has read quite a few of them as well, so she asked him and he said he always thought they were nice, too. The printing and binding is the same as other books they’ve purchased in stores recently.

Since one complaint has been that the paper is thin, Melissa found a BOTM book and non-BOTM book with a similar page count. The BOTM book was actually a tad thicker despite having slightly fewer pages.

For another check, she opened both books to a new chapter page to check how much the backside of each page was visible. They were very similar.

Two open books on pink background

The last test was a close up of the paper. It’s definitely not perfectly smooth paper, but it’s not in most other books on our shelves either.

Each book has a dust jacket and pretty embossed hard cover underneath, colored to coordinate with the dust jacket.

Diagnol book spine for The Vanishing Half - red spine with good lettering

Most of the dust covers do have the BOTM logo at the top of the spine, so that could be a downside, but Melissa finds that the benefit of having so many books the exact same cover size outweighs the negative of the small logo. They look so pretty all together on shelving.

The front of the hard cover will also have an embossed logo and the release month in the lower right corner.

Blue hard cover book with BOTM logo

All this said, we know that just because we haven’t experiences something, doesn’t meant that it’s not true.

Despite never having a problem with the printing, we know flukes could happen with any printer, even when books are purchased in-store. If you ever have an issue, just contact customer service for a replacement.

Is Book of the Month Worth It?

This answer depends on several different factors, for some it’s a great deal and for others, it’s definitely not worth it.

What’s your preferred reading style?
If you only listen to audiobooks or only have time to read after dark on your Kindle, this isn’t the best option since it’s all hardback books. Don’t get sucked into the hype if you realistically won’t read paper books each month.
PS: If you’re an ebook reader, check out our post about whether Kindle Unlimited is worth it.

Do you like to keep books long-term?
If you’re trying to build a home library, this is a great option. Melissa loves decorating with books and generally being surrounded by them, so it’s perfect. But if you’re a catch-and-release reader, sticking with the library may be better.

Books on wall behind leather chair

All the books on Melissa’s living room shelving above came from BOTM. Because they’re all the same size, they turn into uniform art on the wall.

How often do you purchase new releases?
While the back catalog of add-ons with BOTM is great, the biggest perk is getting new releases at more affordable prices. Usually, these books have long library waits, so if end up buying popular new releases regularly, this is a fabulous option to save money. Sometimes, you’ll even get them before the release day!

How does the price compare with normal sale prices?

For March 2021, Melissa choose 3 books. Let’s take a look at the cost breakdown compared to purchasing them online (as of 3/22/21).

BOTM CostNormal Price
What’s Mine and Yours14.9917.99
Final Revival of Opal & Nev9.9920.39
In a Book Club Far Away9.9912.89*
Total for all 3$34.97$51.27

In addition to saving $16, there are a couple of important things to note. In a Book Club Far Away is currently only listed in paperback for normal sale, so the $12.89 price is for paperback while the BOTM version is hardback.

Also, Melissa received her order on 3/8/21. Final Revival of Opal & Nev won’t be available to purchase in stores/online until 3/30/21 and In a Book Club Far Away won’t be available until 4/6/21. If you love getting to read new releases early, this is perfect.

Can I Save Even More?

Yes! While the monthly cost is $14.99 and allows you to cancel anytime, you can also opt to pre-pay for a year’s worth of credits at once. The annual cost is $149.99, which brings the cost of your first credit down to $12.50/credit, saving you an additional $29.88/year.

What if I Want More Than 3 Books Per Month?

If you’re trying to build your home library and find that you want more than three books each month, you can sign up for a different account with another email list. For awhile, Melissa had an account and so did her husband, so they could choose 6 books per month.

The second account operates just like the first, and you’ll still pay $14.99 for the first book, and $9.99 for the additional choices.

How to Cancel Book of the Month

So let’s say you try it out for a few months and don’t love it. Thankfully, there’s no long-term commitment. Canceling is easy and Melissa has tested it out. Once she built up her library, she canceled the second account in her husband’s name with no problem.

Just log in and click on Account, then Contact Us. In the dropdown under “How can we help?”, choose “Cancel My Membership” from the options.

Are there any deals for Book of the Month?

We didn’t intend to put any referral links in this post so you’d know it was genuine (as if you couldn’t tell from Melissa’s crazy collection). But, we realized that there is an extra discount on your first shipment if you order from an existing member’s link. Full disclosure, we will get one free book credit if you use the discount link.

As of today, using the link makes your first book $10 off, so you’ll pay $4.99. If you want to add on any additional choices before you complete your purchase, be sure to click on All Books at the top to add them. Angela just joined, and we expected it to clearly ask if she wanted to add anything to her box and it didn’t. She had to know it was an option to go back and select more.

We hope that was helpful if you’ve been curious about the best book subscription book. Let us know in the comments if we missed any questions you’ve had and we’ll add them to the post!

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Invisible Floating Bookshelf - Small Space Storage - Polished Habitat

Thursday 1st of April 2021

[…] PS: If you’re looking to add to your own home library, I shared my thoughts on the Book of the Month Club over on Book Girls Guide this week. You can also see more creative ways I decorate with books […]


Monday 29th of March 2021

You can actually skip the month and they won't charge you, so long as you skip during the 5 day window to choose a book. If you didn't choose a book or skip during the first 5 days of the month, they'll charge you for another credit. So I've been with BOTM for about 3 years now, but only taken 8 boxes, based on my finances/ lack of shelf space. So I think it's worth it even if you only occasionally want to get more books (although obviously it'll be a much better deal once I become a BFF!)

Melissa George

Monday 29th of March 2021

Oh, that's a great tip! Thanks for sharing!!!