Getting your book featured in a book box is a huge milestone, and it's actually easier to achieve than you might think! When you get your book in a book box, the book box company will pay for a number of books that will be shipped to their purchasers. So, not only is this a huge milestone but it also will increase your sales, which means there's more of a chance for reviews!
Do your research
First things first, you need to find book boxes you want to reach out to. It's helpful to make a list of these. Make sure the boxes you find accept books in your genre. There are also genre-specific book boxes which you should also research.
If you're a debut author and are only just starting to build a fanbase, a more established book box may be hesitant to feature your book. This is because these book boxes work with publishers directly, to feature traditionally published books. Many larger book box companies don't even feature books from indie authors, so make sure you're targeting smaller book boxes who are more likely to feature your book.
Make sure your social media looks professional
It's a good idea to reach out to the book box via social media first, as they're more likely to read your message and you can also see when they've read your message (on some platforms). In order to give the best impression, make sure your social media looks professional, up to date with regularly posts, and good engagement.
Reach out via social media first and ask for an email
There's a reason why it's best to do this, other than the points mentioned in the above paragraph. By reaching out via social media, which is more of a relaxed platform, you're able to message the company more freely than on email. This gives you an initial point of contact before your pitch email.
Your first message could say something along the lines of...
Hello! I'm a YA Fantasy author and I'd love to discuss possible opportunities to have my debut novel, Cloaked Shadows, placed in one of your boxes for the month. I'm keen to send you more information about the book, do you have a contact email you can send over?
Send a pitch to them via email
In your pitch email, you should include your blurb, any achievements and why you think they'll want to feature your book in their book box. You should also provide links to where your book can be purchased and attach any pictures of the book. A great way to persuade them to feature your book is to offer something in return as well, see the next point for more information.
Offer something in return
When online retailers purchase your book in bulk, they'll usually get a discount from the online provider (Ingramspark, Amazon KDP, etc). I offered the book box that same discount. They could either register with Ingramspark's retailer platform to receive the discount, or I could reimburse them the discount. As an added bonus, and because I had left over stock, I also offered to supply book merchandise, which I had used as part of my preorder campaign.
It's common for book boxes to have between half a year to a year's boxes planned out already, meaning it may take a while for them to get back to you. They may also have received lots of other submissions, so please don't be disheartened if they don't reply to your email straight away.
Send a follow up message
If you've sent an email and have received no reply, after two weeks send a follow up message to the company via social media, and ask if they had received your email. If they had replied, send a follow up message one to two months later to see if they've been able to look at your pitch email.
My debut novel, Cloaked Shadows, was featured in April's Books By Nature book box! Take a look at the photos below.