Join the Membership

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“Little by little, one travels far.” —J.R.R. Tolkien

When we launched the Rabbit Room back in 2006 (was it really that long ago?) we had no idea where it might lead. It began as an ugly little WordPress blog that was an invite-only affair. Almost no one seemed to care about it, not even those of us writing the content. But by tiny steps, it grew. In 2007 Andrew took a risk and had a much more fully featured blog designed. He invited a few more writers onboard and took it public. If you’ve perused the archives, you’ll see that that’s where their humble beginnings lie.

By small steps, the community grew, and so did the website. The store was born—initially just a few of us selling used books we found around the country, primarily to justify the amount of time we spent lurking in musty book stores. Then there were podcasts, then the Rabbit Room Press, then Hutchmoot, then a Rabbit Room office because running things in the basement was getting more and more difficult, then The Molehill and more Hutchmoots and well, here we are.

We’ve always wanted to keep the Rabbit Room simple and focused on things we love, so we’ve been against any sort of advertising on the site (banner ads and the like), but all those little steps have had huge costs attached, and thanks to the Amazon economy of zero margins and free shipping, it’s getting harder and harder to stay competitive and meet those costs.

People often ask how they can best support the Rabbit Room, the work we do, the content we create, and the people involved. The first and best answer is to support the authors and musicians that we feature. By purchasing their work through the Rabbit Room store, you can be sure that the artist is receiving the lion’s share of the profit, and the rest goes toward operating expenses of the Rabbit Room itself.

Many people, however, have asked how they can contribute in a larger way, and that brings me to the next small step along the way: Rabbit Room membership.

Let me tell you what Rabbit Room membership is not.

First, membership is not necessarily a way to save money and get free stuff (a la Amazon Prime). It’s our intent that membership provide a way for those who wish to help support the Rabbit Room to do so in a clear, simple, and direct way, and for us to be able to offer some material thanks in return.

Second, it’s not an effort to create exclusivity. Yes, there will be a few things (like t-shirts) that will only be available to card-carrying members, but we aren’t interested in creating exclusive content. We aren’t interested in leaving people out. That would run contrary to everything we’re about and, trust us, we aren’t moving in that direction.

So what is a Rabbit Room membership? What does it cost and what’s included?

Primarily, membership is a way for those interested in supporting the Rabbit Room to be able to help us continue doing the kinds of things we do, like Hutchmoots, and Molehills, and podcasts, and Wingfeather Sagas, and N.T. Wright concert/lectures, and more than a few other things we’ve got up our sleeves. It may also be a great gift for a friend, or a way to introduce a family member to the community. It’s a way to be involved and invest in the community.

So there you have it. That’s my pitch. We want to keep on taking these small steps. We want to see how far the road leads us. If you’d like to join the fellowship, we’d love to have you along.

Membership runs from the date of purchase until May 1st, 2014. The price is $80, and it includes the following benefits:

—A free t-shirt available only to members. The designer is still working on the shirt, but trust us, it’ll be cool.

—15% off all purchases in the Rabbit Room store.

—Two free used books (of our choice). We’ll grab a couple of good ones off the shelf and surprise you.

—A free copy of The Molehill Volume 2. We’re busy editing it together right now and it’ll debut at Hutchmoot 2013 (ships to members as soon as it arrives from the printer in late September or early October).

—Official Rabbit Room membership card (which bears your super-secret membership code for savings in the store).

—Free access to certain Rabbit Room events. This will not include Hutchmoot, but it will include some stuff that we have yet to announce. We’ll notify the membership whenever we’ve got something cooking.

If you’d like to become a certified Rabbit Room member, click here.


28 Comments

  1. EmmaJ

    So, kind of like being a member of PBS or NPR. I think I like the idea. Could there be different membership levels? Or maybe that’s too complicated. $80 all at once is probably out of my price range, but I’d be willing to do it if there could be a lower level. (A level with fewer benefits, maybe? Although I’d be loathe to choose which to omit because each and every one is awesome.)

  2. Pete Peterson

    @pete

    We considered that idea, Emma, but the fact is that the more complex the membership system is, the more administration it requires and the less well it serves its purpose of support. We’ve landed at this single membership level because it provides a good balance of value vs. administrative cost.

  3. Debra Henderson

    Very fun idea! Curious about couple membership…if we join as a couple and there is an event offered for members, can the spouse come too??

  4. Pete Peterson

    @pete

    If it’s an event open to the public (ticketed) then a membership would only gain one free admission. If it’s a closed event, i.e. members only, we’d consider allowing a +1 on an event-by-event basis.

  5. Jud

    This would be a great time to again say thanks to Pete and his pals for all their tremendous work here. I don’t comment a lot, but I do read, and it’s a big blessing.

    I’m in.

  6. EmmaJ

    What Jud said 🙂 Thanks for all you do to share great music, books, artistry and thoughtful thoughts on a variety of subjects.

    Indeed, I understand, Pete. Complications like to grow in proportion to complexities. No worries.

  7. Pete Peterson

    @pete

    Janna, we’re locked into the four sizes listed in the store. The colors have yet to be decided on, but I think you’ll be pleased 🙂

  8. Hannah

    Sounds awesome! I will be suggesting this as a birthday present to family members… =)

  9. Sarah

    This, along with Art House America, are two places I come for some inspiration and some sense of wonder and humor and insight. I’m a stay-at-home mom homeschooling 3 kiddos with a 2 year old hanging out in the midst.

    Plus two cats and a dog for good measure.

    Andrew has captured my boys’ imagination with his books. He along with Andy Gullahorn, Jill Phillips, Eric Peters and others have brought music into our home which speaks of a God who is vast and creative and intimate and aware…and near.

    I wish I had time to participate at Hutchmoot or even just discussions online, but it is wonderful to have a place where I know I can drop in while I have a few minutes and find something to speak to my soul. Love it. I’ll be happy to buy a membership and thrilled to invest in this community…even as a silent member!

    Oh, and I’d love nicknames!!!

  10. Glenn McCarty

    A logical next step for TRR, in my opinion, and the right opportunity to echo such articulate praise from all the earlier posters, especially Sarah – 2 hours ago, you know who you are 🙂 – For so many of us, Rabbit Room is a place of beauty, freedom, and wonder that we can’t imagine doing without. So, yeah, I’m in!

  11. Africa Schaumann

    With $80 I could get a year’s supply of guitar strings, and I really could use a year’s supply of guitar strings, but this better than guitar strings. So, so much better. I’m in!

  12. Terry K.

    Are you open to members from outside of the U.S.? I know you’ve had some issues with sending stuff through the mail to Canada. Are you ready to try again ’cause I really want one of those T-shirts, eh?

  13. JamaRowena

    Hmmm… Does my membership give me the power to influence y’all to begin work to create a ‘Hutchmoot of the North’? We New Englanders are feeling a bit envious of what you Southerners enjoy at Hutchmoot….
    I know, power corrupts…. but is it in the works to create an annual Hutchmoot a’way up here?

  14. Loren Warnemuende

    Very, very tempting to just pull out my credit card and ring this up… I’ll pray about this! What a great thing. I like EmmaJ’s parallel between this and something like a PBS membership. We support our local classical radio station for many of the same reasons I appreciate the Rabbit Room.

  15. Laura Peterson

    Pete, thanks for pointing out that this isn’t about leaving people out. I love the welcoming atmosphere here. I like Emma’s comparison to NPR, that membership isn’t a “special club” so much as a “hey, I support this place!” type agreement.

    Excited to see what used books I get in a couple days!

  16. Ginger

    So excited about this. I’ve yet to be able to attend a Hutchmoot, though it’s on my hopeful list for someday soon, so this is a great way to say thank you for all the amazing content, encouragement, and inspiration you provide here. A great excuse to drop a few other things into my cart I’ve always been eyeing as well! Bravo, Rabbits!

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