Last week Bas Bleu reached 6,000 followers on Facebook! That may not seem like a big deal when you see how many companies boast hundreds of thousands of followers, but for our little catalog family—whose social-media presence is managed by a small team of editors, not some fancy marketing department—it’s a pretty exciting milestone.
In honor of this red-letter day, and in recognition of the fact that readers have a lot of options for buying books these days, we’ve compiled a list of six reasons why we think Bas Bleu is worthy of your consideration.
It’s personal: There are only three full-time editors at Bas Bleu, and we hand-pick every item that goes into the catalog. We read every book and write every review. We care that you’re satisfied with what we have to offer, so our editors work hard to choose products we think you’ll like. We even put our picture in the catalog and our initials on our reviews, so you know we’re real people making thoughtful, personal recommendations. Brick-and-mortar booksellers call this “handselling,” because they literally press recommended titles into your hand. That’s why we’re “a friendly neighborhood bookstore in your mailbox.” There are no algorithms choosing books at Bas Bleu, only people!
- We’re selective: Bas Bleu offers a carefully curated selection of books that you otherwise might never hear about. They aren’t on bestseller lists, they don’t garner big chunks of their publishers’ (ever-shrinking) marketing budgets, and their authors rarely make the rounds on talk shows. We love a midlist novel, because more often than not a literary jewel isn’t a big media sensation…especially since so many newspapers and magazines folded their book-review sections. And we love introducing readers to lesser-known authors whose talent and dedication enables them to craft wonderful stories that stay with us long after we read the final page.
- What’s old is new again: Many of Bas Bleu’s titles are from our publishers’ backlists, meaning the books aren’t newly published but they probably are new to you. Great stories are ageless, and publishers regularly tell us that we’re the only company buying a certain title or a certain author’s canon, helping to keep beloved authors and their books alive for future generations. We’ve even begun to work on reviving out-of-print titles we think are must-reads!
- Books have value: The influence, meaning, and knowledge that books bring to our lives are incredible valuable. As a result, we believe the people who work to create and bring these stories into being deserve to be paid for their efforts. We’re proud to support authors, as well as publishing houses both large and small. Nonetheless, we know most readers don’t have a bottomless book budget. That’s why we created the Bas Bleu Society, which provides members with free shipping, 15% off most books, and special members-only sales for just $30 a year. Unlike most retail membership programs, the Bas Bleu Society pays for itself in no time at all!
- We’re a family: Bas Bleu is conscientious about our employment practices. That’s because we believe in employing actual people, not robots. And we want our people to be happy with the work they do and the support they receive for it. We want them to succeed and have the chance to grow and advance in their careers. Plus, when our employees are happy, it’s that much easier for them to make our customers happy!
- Readers matter: Since Bas Bleu began more than twenty years ago, we’ve sought to foster a vibrant community of readers with our catalog and, more recently, this blog and our social-media outreach. Our customers are kindred spirits, fellow bluestockings whose love of reading and the wonderful world of books restores our faith when non-readers tell us “print books are dead,” “kids don’t read,” or “no one buys books anymore.” We work hard to develop exclusive products—like our reading-themed pajamas and our annual Book a Month program—because they’re what we, as readers, enjoy…so we think you might too!
As always, thank you, dear readers, for your support, your trust, and your book recommendations. Thank you for being gentle when we get it wrong, for cheering us on when we get it right, and for making it possible for Bas Bleu to keep the love of good old-fashioned books alive and well!