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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 06-04-2007, 08:46 PM
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Hello Book Reps,
I was just curious about how Barefoot Books compares to Usborne. Is Usborne considered more "educational" offerings vs Barefoot as more "artistic".

I've been loving being a rep for BabyCrazy (and my daughter is loving being my product tester) but we both love books, so I'm a little jealous of you book reps.

So, I would love to know the comparisons between the two as what's offered to the customers, as well as to the reps.

Thank you! It may help other book loving reps out there.

Wishing you all much success and happiness -- as well as good reads

Kathy T.
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 06-05-2007, 06:36 AM
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Hi Kathy!

I can totally relate. I'd be set up with Discovery Toys right next to the Usborne Books reps and eye the books. Finally, I joined. I love it.

I would have to say personal preference. Barefoot has some beautiful books.

What drew me to Usborne:

*Selection (over 1300 titles), plus all ages from baby touchy feely books to science books for older kids

*Kids Kits (books with fun activities to go with them. The Dinosaur excavation kit rocks!)

*Internet Linked books: The books keep on giving after they have been read with our Internet Linked line. Kids love to go an interact with their knowledge. Plus, each book is stand alone.

*Non-fiction subjects: As a mom to a science bud, all he wants is to soak in more info on Volcanoes, atoms, molecules, the body, etc, and it was hard to find books to cover these subjects that he can read.

*Literacy for Life Program: Libraries and schools can get 150% in books with a donation or grant, no shipping or tax either.

*Reach for the Stars: This is a great fundraising and bookraising program encouraging literacy

*Library bound books: I felt this opened up the doors to talking to schools and libraries

*Subject variety: from farms, animals, dragons, body, how to play chess, make friendship bracelets, cook, chicks... I could go on

*Great commission plan, trips, and fun incentives. Every month you can earn more free titles and great gifts

*Fast Start: I earned over $500 in free books during my first 3 months with this great program

Wow, I could go on and on about why I love Usborne. However, it comes down to the books.

Visit an Usborne site and compare the books. Both are great companies, so it's what you want.

Best of luck!

Debbie

edited for typoEdited by: littledb
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Old 06-05-2007, 07:22 AM
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Sigh. My long post just disappeared!

So... I'm biased because I chose both Barefoot Books and BabyCrazy and I think they are the perfect match. I was drawn the the smaller companies and more personal interaction with staff and management. I like having a voice in the direction of the companies, the ability to suggest products, and the opportunity to give feedback.

Barefoot Books is MUCH smaller than Usborne and Nancy Traversy, the CEO, has a personal stake in each book that is published. If you're looking to have thousands upon thousands of books, Usborne is a better match. Barefoot Books invests a lot of time and energy and love into each and every book. We aren't a mass publisher. That said, our books aren't traditionally educational as some of the Usborne books are. They tend to be more story oriented, with an educational component, like information on the animals you saw in the story at the end of the book. I like the approach because it gives each book a lot of dimension. We also have a focus on multi-cultural stories, such as princess stories from around the world. There is a large focus on the artwork and the idea that a wonderful story deserves just as wonderful artwork. I think Barefoot Books also closely matches the targeted age group of BabyCrazy.

You can sign on for $39.99 w/out a kit or add one at signup for an additional $79.99. PM me and I can send you some documents that explain the kit, compensation, etc. in detail. We receive commission (a discount actually) ranging from 20-33% as well as personal bonuses. Obviously we have a plan for sponsoring other Stallholders. We also get 20% of the retail value of each order we place in free product. There are monthly specials and discounts that we get over and above our commission. There is also a running start bonus for the order that puts you over your $300 sales mark (w/in 60 days) - 40% of that order in free product, so you have control on how much free stuff you get! =}

Anyway, I'm happy to send you more info or answer any questions you might have. If you check out your local library, you might be able to find some Barefoot Books so you can decide if you like their style. As Debbie said, it really comes down to which products appeal to you more and which company atmosphere works for your personality.

Christy

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Old 06-05-2007, 07:24 AM
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Oh, I should add in the name of disclosure that we are not allowed to specifically sell to libraries and schools because of other trade agreements. We can sell to librarians and teachers and a lot of folks work closely with schools to do fundraisers, but that is obviously a potential constraint.

Christy

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Old 06-05-2007, 07:33 AM
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Hi Christy--

We don't have thousands and thousands, just 1300 titles, many offered in hardbound, paperback, or library options. The company has been around for a while and has been able to build up the titles. It's hard to understand without seeing a catalog and how it is laid out to get the feel.

What impresses me with the books is the thought that does go into each of them. Our kids line is amazing. Many of our younger series all were done by the same illustrator, and each page has a little duck hidden in the pictures! My son loves this because it adds a fun new element, and comfort when we are reading the Farmyard Tales books.

All of our That's Not My series has a cute little mouse. I get comments all the time by teachers on how great these books are. Even the beginning reading stories are fun! Our Ted and Friends phonic book is a read over and over and over.

And you would love our 1001 Things to Spot series.

I have't met Peter Usborne, but I am told he is very, very involved in the process. Dawn would know more.

Another thing that impressed me with Usborne is how many consultants are selling over $1000, and even $5000 - $10,000 in a month.

But none of that should really matter. The most important thing is the books and stability of a company. And both have that.

Good luck!

Debbie
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Old 06-05-2007, 08:27 AM
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Debbie,

Sorry. That wasn't meant to be an insult. Some people want a LOT of variety and some people are ok with a smaller selection. I was just trying to say that if you want the huge variety, Usborne is just a bigger company and can offer it. =} I don't see Barefoot carrying that many titles for a long time to come as we retire a bunch each year as well.

A lot of the Barefoot Books have the hidden characters as well and I agree that it adds a lot to the value of the books. Usborne books are of very high quality and I don't have a bad word to say about the company. I've seen the catalog and the books (I always visit the Usborne book rep at fairs). I just love Barefoot and was very much inspired by Nancy talking about the company and showing off the mock-ups for new books. Her passion is infectious! =}

I think it's funny because Deb tried to get me to do Discovery Toys when I was first looking, but I went with BabyCrazy. Then Deb wanted books and I would have tried to sell her on Barefoot Books, but she went with Usborne. =} I think we are the perfect example of how there are lots of great DS companies, but it comes down to which products you love and which company culture fits you best.

Christy




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Old 06-05-2007, 08:48 AM
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I decided to join Usborne because of the variety. While we are known for our educational books- we also have amazing fiction, and "how to" books, as well as crafts, games, etc. I also liked being able to sell to the school/library market.

I have met, and talked with, both Peter Usborne(founder), and Randall White(CEO)- and it is amazing what goes into making each and every book they choose. From the cover to the layout, each book is designed to draw kids attention..and keep it.

I also liked being part ofan established company. Our stock is traded on the NASDQ, and Randall White has said that is the only retirement plan he has..his purchase of Usborne/EDC stock..so he has a personal interest in making sure the company does very well! lol However- we have the small-company feel- Randall reponds to emails personally, and will often pop up on our message board to answer questions and say hello There is a small office staff...so it really feels like family.

One last thing (okay..there is more that one) that I love is there are no sales quotas to maintain...so whether you are doing Usborne along side of another business, or it is your primary one..you don't feel like you need to pound the pavement drumming up sales to keep your consultant status. You work when/how you want.

I really like Barefoot books as well. I think they are beautifully illustrated. You would do well with either company

Best wishes,

Dawn

Edited because I just can't spell today!!!Edited by: ReadingCanBeFun
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Old 06-05-2007, 09:02 AM
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My preference is Barefoot, I really like Usborne also but I was very happy as an educator to see the diversity not only in race but in abilities that barefoot offers, I love the colors and they way that different cultures are represented, my feeling is that a lot of books are very ethnocentric to caucasian culture and barefoot really celebrates many different cultures which I think is awesome! ~ lisa
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Old 06-05-2007, 09:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dinosmile
Debbie,

I think it's funny because Deb tried to get me to do Discovery Toys when I was first looking, but I went with BabyCrazy. Then Deb wanted books and I would have tried to sell her on Barefoot Books, but she went with Usborne. =} I think we are the perfect example of how there are lots of great DS companies, but it comes down to which products you love and which company culture fits you best.

Christy

So true. It would be fun to meet you. I bet we are more alike then we think.

I have ordered from Babycrazy, they are stronger on the woodtoys, and have some other neat things. I think I ordered a huge water boat blowup toy from you last year. So there is definately a market for all areas.

Sorry I misread your post, it's been a crazy week and I'm trying to get a ton of things done in so little time. Have you seen an Usborne catalog, by any chance? Maybe we can do a swap to better understand each others companies.

Debbie
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Old 06-05-2007, 11:28 PM
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Wow, thanks everyone for your replies, information and insight. While, my current "baby" is BabyCrazy, I am considering adding a book one to work along with it. So, no sales quota is a definite need because I don't know how much time I would have to invest initially, but what I'm hoping to do is work it within my BabyCrazy clientelle.

For example, I met with a small daycare owner (non-homebased) whom I am going to do a BabyCrazy fundraiser for her daycare. I did show her a printed page of both companies and told her I was considering adding a book company to represent and if I did, if she would be interested. She would and her initial interest was for the Barefoot Books (her daycare is in the city and I thought she would appreciate the diversity that they offer) however, she also expressed that she would like books that could be incorporated into her weekly themes, like learning about bugs which I knew that Usborne carries as I recently had ordered some books from them and my daughter loves the Creepy Crawlies etc. So then she laughed and said that she would be interested in both companies and that I should do both. Yeah, easier said then done, as those who are not reps can't appreciate the effort that goes into repping for one.

And Debbie, the internet/book combo sounds really cool and I could see that being appealing to my daycare owner client, as she has a couple of computers in her daycare.

But daycares are not my only focus, I hope my moms groups and others would also be attracted to them as well.

And Christy, yes, I have checked out a Barefoot book from the library before I even knew that it's a direct sale company. (There is a Billy Goat in the Garden -- a delightful book). And as a fellow BabyCrazy gal, the appeal of a young passionate company certainly appeals to me, too. As well as the beautifully illustrated stories.

Well, I think I'm going to have a lot of comparing to do.
Thanks everyone again for your help, I greatly appreciate it!

Wishing you all much success!

Kathy T.
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