Scribbler Subscription Box Review – August 2018
Scribbler is a monthly subscription box for writers—specifically novelists and aspiring novelists—created by authors Victoria Scott and Lindsay Cummings. It’s filled with items to help facilitate improvement and reach publishing goals, as well as some fun writing-themed goodies.
This box was sent to us at no cost for review purposes. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes).
The Subscription Box: Scribbler
The Cost: $29.99 a month + shipping. Save with 3 and 6-month subscriptions.
The Products: A monthly writing theme, a new release fiction novel, a collectible “writing passport” from the featured author, curated writerly gifts, and an invitation to communicate with a publishing professional (for example, an exclusive YouTube chat).
Ships to: U.S. for $7.99, Canada for $23.99, and worldwide for $33.99 (shipping not available to Mexico and Peru)
Scribbler August 2018 Box Review
This month’s writing exercise is our first intro to the theme: tension. This is a tricky one! There are of course a number of routes you could go with this prompt—I think I’ll go for sibling tension just because I’ve never written about that before.
Starting last month, Scribbler began to print info about what’s included in the box on the back of the Publishing Process Inside Look booklet (formerly a stapled packet of papers). I’ll feature the PPIL properly later, I’m just giving you a snapshot of the back now so you know what to expect from the box.
This card announces the opening of the Scribbler online shop, found at lovescribber.com. Super exciting news: you can purchase previous months’ writing passports in there, as well as some of their other exclusive writerly items from previous months’ boxes. Huzzah!
Here’s a postcard with a quote from this month’s featured book. A little teaser to get you excited, if you will!
Confession: I’m not much of a sci-fi novel person, but the Amazon reviews were so exceedingly positive that I looked forward to digging in. There’s a lot of character intro at the beginning of the book, as well as some scene setting for both the novel ahead and the second one in the series (this is the first of two). I felt a little impatient for things to pick up, but once they did, I was super engaged in figuring out what went down on Achlys along with the characters.
Book Summary on Amazon:
Perfect for fans of Madeleine Roux, Jonathan Maberry, and horror films like 28 Days Later and Resident Evil, this pulse-pounding, hair-raising, utterly terrifying novel is the first in a duology from the critically acclaimed author of the Taken trilogy.
After receiving a distress call from a drill team on a distant planet, a skeleton crew is sent into deep space to perform a standard search-and-rescue mission.
When they arrive, they find the planet littered with the remains of the project—including its members’ dead bodies. As they try to piece together what could have possibly decimated an entire project, they discover that some things are best left buried—and some monsters are only too ready to awaken.
ADVANCE PRAISE FOR CONTAGION:
“Gripping, thrilling and terrifying in equal measures, Contagion is the perfect intersection of science fiction and horror—I couldn’t look away.”—Amie Kaufman, New York Times bestselling author of Illuminae and Unearthed
“Few understand the true horror that lies in the empty unknown of space, but Erin Bowman nails it in Contagion. Read this one with the lights on!”—Beth Revis, New York Times bestselling author of the Across the Universe series and Star Wars: Rebel Rising
“Erin Bowman’s Contagion is everything I want in my science fiction: a cast of smart characters on a desperate rescue mission forced to confront an elusive and unstoppable enemy. I absolutely loved this layered and thrilling adventure and can’t wait to dive back into this world again.”—Veronica Rossi, New York Times bestselling author of the Under the Never Sky series
Unpopular opinion: I would probably love this book as a movie. But as with every storyline, if it does end up on the big screen, I’ll have been glad to have read the book first!
Scribbler Writing Passport
Those who have been reading my Scribbler reviews for the past few months know that I think the writing passport they include is the absolute tops. In the passport, curators Victoria Scott and Lindsay Cummings explain why they chose the novel of the month and how it relates to the theme.
The passport is always made up of a few sections, including the aforementioned notes from Victoria and Lindsay, a quick bio of the author, and a section in which the featured author delves into the theme. There are always SO MANY gems hidden in these things.
Love the quote on the back!
Also included is a signed bookplate from the author. This is a regular bonus for Scribbler to include and I’m always so impressed that it appears to actually be hand-signed and not just printed!
Invitation to Author Conversation
This next monthly perk is an invitation to a private conversation with someone in the publishing industry. For September, it’s with HarperCollins editorial director Erica Sussman. I did catch my first live chat in July with Candlewick Press Executive Editor Hilary van Dusen. It was hosted by Victoria & Lindsay, lasted about 25 minutes, and involved them asking van Dusen their own list of questions, followed by questions asked by listeners in the live comments section. The chat was accessible for 7 days after its original launch so I was able to go back and listen in on what I had missed originally. Not surprisingly, van Dusen had all sorts of great insights. I missed August’s chat (they’re usually in the middle of the day when I’m at work), but I hope to tune in for September’s.
Every writer loves a good notebook, am I right? This one is a hardback offering with lined pages, an elasticized band to hold it closed, and a ribbon page marker. Up until recently, I was often too overwhelmed to put my pen or pencil to the first page in a brand new notebook—I think I was afraid I’d abandon it before filling all the pages. But in recent years, I have enjoyed the freedom of allowing myself to use notebooks for anything that comes to mind, whether it be pages and pages of journaling or jotting down a phrase that’s lingering in my mind or doing a more formal writing exercise.
Oh yes, this is awesome. I am definitely a patch person and always have an eye out for new good ones. This one is perfection, is it not? I think I’ll stitch it to my fanny pack, right next to my Official Tree Hugger patch. Yep…I’m that person, *wink.*
This retro style of keychains is so in right now. I’ve been eyeing them at my local flower shop, but couldn’t decide which one I wanted. Now I don’t have to!
Scribbler Branded Ear Buds
I love that these ear buds come in a Scribbler case! They also come with three sizes of rubber ear pieces. I have teeny-tiny ear holes (weird, I know), and this type of earbuds simply doesn’t stay in for me. My husband uses this kind, though, so I’m going to pass them to him to use on runs.
Scribbler Spotify Playlist
Oooh, a playlist, fun! I know I’m not alone in being super finicky about what I listen to while I write, so if I’m being honest, this playlist might not be used while I’m writing, but I always love exploring new music, so I’ll certainly give it a listen before and after writing sessions!
Publishing Process Inside Look (PPIL)
Okay, so here’s the front of and a peek inside the PPIL booklet I mentioned above. This one is a written conversation between Erin Bowman (this month’s featured author) and Erica Sussman (featured in September’s live chat). Erica has her feedback written in letter form, and Erin has left questions and comments annotated throughout to make sure they’re on the same page before she proceeds. As always, this PPIL is such a treat!
The Verdict: It’s another great month for Scribbler. Aside from the book itself pleasantly surprising me, I am also really digging the writerly items that were included. I will use each of them in one way or another, and I’m glad they aren’t items that will just sit around my house. This box costs $29.99 plus $7.99 shipping (so $37.99 total). This box is a little different than others in that most of its items don’t have a price tag attached to them. The only product that can be purchased is the featured novel itself, for $17.99 (or at the discounted rate of $14.39), but the other resources and bookish goodies are of awesome quality and undoubtedly a great value.
To Wrap Up:
Can you still get this box if you sign up today? No, you will receive the September or October box. The last day to order a box is the 10th of every month unless sold out prior to that date (there are limited quantities). If you order after the 10th, it will be for the following month.
Value Breakdown: This box costs $29.99 + $7.99 shipping, which means that each of the 8 items in the box (not including the playlist) has an average cost of $4.75. That is an incredible value!
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
What do you think of the August Scribbler box?