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This is not an ordinary book club! I was looking for a book club to get good quality educational and reading books for my children, as well as for some sort of work I could do from home. Guess what? I found both!
I answered an ad pointing out that one could receive 36 children's books for £36 in January 2003, with no pressure to buy anything after that. I could not resist an offer like that, so I sent for more details, and discovered that I could buy those 36 books, and also get a 24% discount on any future orders.
The postage charge for orders of less than £75 is £4.95, but by putting in larger orders the postage charge drops to £2.95. So I thought I would get a few friends to look and order with me.
(I have since decided to do this further afield, which has paid off well)
The educational books are absolutely top notch, they are really good quality, well researched and full of features (such as illustrations, diagrams, pictures, internet linking) which encourages children (well, mine anyway) to pull them off the shelf and dig into them.
The reading books are of good quality and do not follow every fad like some children's publishers (a personal gripe I have!). My only criticism of some of the reading books is that the 'classic series has some dark titles like 'Frankenstein', and 'Victorian Horror Stories' which I would not want an 8 yr old child reading! But hey! no-one is forcing me to buy those titles, and this small negative is outweighed by the other excellent reading books on desert, polar, Everest and escape adventures, various horse and pony tales, Tales of King Arthur, Adventures of Ulysses, and a whole host of others.
They do an excellent series of language books, (on various languages from French to Hebrew) and the science and history books and encyclopedias are outstanding.
We are home educating and this is such a timely find: I could probably find an Usborne title for almost everything we want to do.
The only negative really is that it is not a standard book club, so there is the £2 surcharge for small orders. Also, there is absolutely no obligation to buy a certain number of books during the year, but if you want to stay a member in the New Year one has to put in an order of £100 or more during the preceding autumn - but this is not a difficult task with the Christmas season coming up and friends, colleagues and neighbours looking for presents to buy. That is it - the only disadvantage I have found.
Actually, there is one more disadvantage - you will probably find you need to buy an extra bookcase or 6!!
I have been considering becomming an Usbourne organiser so I found your op very interesting. Natasha x
JJane 14.07.2003 21:16
I too am an Usborne Organiser and find that customers can't get enough of the books. I have adults ordering for themselves! I love the books and think they are really good value for money. The only thing I would say to anyone about becoming an Organiser is the work is self-employed and you have to be motivated. The £100 "catch" is a good way of staying in, although if you miss it, you can rejoin after 6 months. I'm one of the ones that is lacking in time at the moment and am too busy in other areas... the books are taking a bit of a backseat but I plan to start afresh in September. Good luck!
Fenko 04.04.2003 00:05
It can work both ways. I personally decided to make a home business out of it, and many do, but equally one can just join to get the discounted books to start with, keep them for personal use, and then get a 24% discount/commission on all your future personal, friends and family orders. And many do that as well!
So there is no obligation either way (but postage is cheaper for larger orders) and if you do not submit a £100 order in the autumn, you stop there: no unwanted books will be sent to you, and you owe them nothing. In fact - no books are ever sent to you unless you order them. But if you are planning on buying children's books it is a good way to do it - at a discount!
DK (separate from Usborne) also produce excellent children's books, and they also used to have a home division but that division closed a couple of years back, so they can only be bought from bookshops or usual channels now.
Feel free to contact me for more clarification!