I have been book blogging and been a part of the “bookstagram” community for just over five years now. I’ve seen all the drama and all the scandals as well as seen people come into their own both as maturing people and skilled product photographers. It’s a community where – despite the drama that accompanies any online culture these days – content creators are constantly promoting and uplifting one another whole sharing books that we love and adore. Not only that, but we are all supporting those who have made small businesses through the book community by making bookmarks and booksleeves, mugs and clothing, jewellery, art prints, and even subscription services.
Around this time last year, I was selected as a rep for the adult romance subscription box, BaeCrate – a sister company from the team behind the increasingly successful YA (young adult) subscription service, FaeCrate. Being gifted three months worth of boxes in exchange for promoting and sharing the items in those boxes was a dream come true as a small account on Instagram. It meant more followers, more engagement with my posts, but it also meant some new friends I might not have met were it not for the rep group chat. Having purchased several FaeCrates beforehand and then seeing the unboxings for BaeCrate, I knew the items would be fantastic and the types of books selected would be a wide range which is always exciting for a mood reader such as myself who is always on the lookout for new genres to explore.
Being the only male rep was far from strange as everyone was so kind and welcoming and I had fun altering one of the items that was geared towards women (adding the word “team” in a matching font to a had that read “Headstrong Obstinate Woman”). I even got a message from Meagan, one of the owners, to make sure it wouldn’t upset me, being trans. Even now, as we prepare to say goodbye to BaeCrate to put more focus onto bigger and better projects with FaeCrate, I am so happy to be a part of the farewell rep team while also now coming to the end of my term as a first-quarter rep for FaeCrate. There has been nothing but love and kindness and friendship from everyone involved.
Both boxes have a strong focus to always been inclusive regardless of race or gender or sexual orientation. There is always something for everyone and great care goes into selecting books that are not only incredibly diverse, but also might not be as actively noticed. Indie authors are frequently featured for the eBooks that are included in every box and rarely have I noticed much of a crossover between the FaeCrate choices and the choices of other, more “high demand” subscription services. Not to mention the “hangover kits” that include exclusive goodies around sequels that come out for major series such as Red Rising, Nevernight, The Cruel Prince, and more. I’ve discovered so many amazing series and fantastic authors through both of these subscription boxes that I wouldn’t have found otherwise.
But more important, I wouldn’t have found some of the most amazing people I now have in my life. I will be forever grateful to call Meagan and Brittney my friends. I will be forever grateful for Michelle and her wild enthusiam. I will be forever grateful for Stacy and Malia and Nikki and Kaine and McKenzie and Andy and so many other incredibly people who I joke with, vent to, commission, and adore in general. In a time where everyone feels so incredibly isolated I can’t believe I am lucky enough to have friends all over the world thanks to books and to a subscription service that supplies those books.
These people have become like family to me and have supported me on some of my lowest days during the most difficult year of most of our lives. They have listened to me vent about my gender dysphoria, they have watched me enjoy some rum and rant about Yu-Gi-Oh, they have laughed as I express my love for hamentaschen cookies despite my not being Jewish, they have sent me silly anime statues to cheer me up and autographed posters of my anime husbands for my birthday. They have all been there for me when I didn’t think I had anyone else and I can’t even begin to think of how I can repay them for such kindness.
And it all happened because I was asked to take pictures of the items in a romance novel subscription box.
You can support FaeCrate by visiting their website HERE and help us send off BaeCrate by visiting HERE. For the time being, using the code LUCIEN5 on either site at checkout will give you a discount on your first order.