Usborne Books: 11 fascinating facts you should know before joining [Review]

usborneLove books?

Looking for some extra income while your kids are in school?

Usborne Books may be worth considering.

Usborne Books is a network marketing company that combines direct selling with picture books.

Amidst all the MLM shadiness of miracle weight loss pills, travel clubs that cost you more money than they save, and questionable financial tools, lies this gem of a company with the most innocent of products: children’s books.

It’s really the perfect side gig for a stay-at-home parent with a kid in gradeschool — selling children’s books in the school library while their kid is in class.


1. What does Usborne Books sell? Engaging, educational books that kids love to read. They’re filled with bright colorful illustrations and cover a wide range of subjects.

2. What are Usborne Books’ most popular products? Seriously, all of their books are popular. Their picture books can entrance young children. Their easy readers are fun for early readers. And their topical books are fascinating for all ages. Topics include math, science, history, adventure, literature, and hobbies.

3. How much does it cost to join Usborne Books? To join, you need to buy one of 2 kits: The New Consultant Mini Kit ($75) or the New Consultant Kit ($125). The Mini Kit gives you 10 titles from popular series. The full Kit gives you 20 titles. Both can be upgraded with the Add-On Business Supply set ($25) and 10 additional catalogs ($12).

4. Is Usborne Books a scam? No, they’re a division of Educational Development Corporation (EDC), a publicly traded company that’s been recognized by Forbes and Fortune.

5. What is Usborne Books’ BBB rating? Their parent company, EDC, has a score of B-.

6. How long has Usborne Books been in business? Since 1973

7. What is Usborne Books’ revenue? $111.9 million

8. How many Usborne Books distributors are there? 35,000

9. What lawsuits have been filed? In 2017, Truth in Advertising slapped them for misleading income claims. [1]

10. Comparable companies: Origami Owl

So should you get involved?

Product-wise this company might be legit, but if you’re just interested in the business opportunity, there are better options out there…

Click here for my #1 recommendation

Either way, here’s 11 fascinating characteristics of Usborne Books you should know before joining.

#11. Part of the “Books to the Rescue” program

One of Usborne Books’ distributors started a program in the United States that donates some of their books to police departments so first responders can give them to children in times of crisis.

“(Books to the Rescue) is a way to provide comfort. It’s a way to strengthen relations between first responders and the community, and the biggest part is to provide comfort and distraction to kids,” she said. [2]

They also do book donation and matching programs often. When a 5th grade boy set out to raise money to donate over 200 books for a local nonprofit that provides therapeutic services to children, he was able to achieve his goals because Usborne Books provided 50% matching for all the funds he raised. [3]

#10. Philanthropy is a huge priority

Aside from that, Peter Usborne, Usborne Books’ founder, is a patron for READ International, charity that delivers books to schools in Tanzania. [4]

He and his children set up the Usborne Books Foundation, which works to support literacy in early childhood.

They’ve also developed the Teach Your Monster to Read program, which is a series of award-winning, FREE, reading games. Their founder Peter has even been awarded a “services to the publishing industry” award.

Giving back is clearly a priority for Usborne, and not in a shallow, use-our-charity-only-for-marketing-purposes kind of way.

#9. $75-$125 sign-on kits

Usborne Books offers prospective distributors two different options for sign-on kits.

The “Big Kit,” $125, includes:

  • 20 best-selling Usborne books, worth over $200
  • Start-up supplies, including a business website, worth over $75
  • An Usborne Books branded box to hold everything
  • Access to the Sunshine Team training website

The “Mini Kit,” $75, includes:

  • 10 best-selling Usborne books, worth over $100
  • Start-up supplies, including a business website, worth over $75
  • An Usborne Books branded box to hold everything
  • Access to the Sunshine Team training website

#8. Based in the UK

Usborne Books is a UK-based MLM publishing company, where independent “Organizers” receive commission on the books they sell.

They’ve been around for several decades and are both a UK institution. In fact, they are the biggest and most successful book publisher in the UK.

In the United States, their presence isn’t quite so mammoth, but they have been around since 1989, which is a very long time for MLM. Folks can sign up to be independent “Consultants” for Usborne Books and More (their U.S. moniker) just like their UK counterparts.

#7. Children’s books and young adult novels

Usborne Books publishes books ranging from baby books to young adult novels.


They have around 2,000 different titles to choose from, with great variety. [5]

Books include Egyptian mummy sticker books, guides on how to code for kids, maze books, and farmyard tales. There’s a book for everyone (under a certain age).

They even sell ebooks and books with multimedia components. Their books are of extremely high quality, and kids love them.

#6. Lots of awards under their belt

Not only are they well-established in the UK market, but they’re also well-loved.

In 2015, they won the UK Private Business of the Year Awards, and in 2014 they were named both Independent Publisher of the Year and Independent Children’s Publisher of the Year in The Independent Publishers Guild awards. [67]

#5. Started by a team of writers, editors, and designers

While most network marketing companies are started by ex-MLMers who are more focused on the business structure than the product (often they have little to no experience with the product itself), Usborne Books was actually started by writers, editors, and designers with a love for books and publishing.

Sure, they have less experience when it comes to building a money-making machine, but they have a passion for and deep knowledge of their products, which is refreshing in this industry.

#4. Published in a variety of languages

In order to support efforts for global expansion, Usborne Books doesn’t just publish books in English.

Their books are translated to and published in Korean, French, Italian, Spanish, German, Dutch, and Portuguese as well. [8]

#3. Educational consultant program

If you purchase the additional Educational Consultant Kit, you can sell your books in local schools.

Usborne Books offers discounts on bulk purchases for schools and libraries, who contact the company to be connected with a local Educational Consultant. That Consultant will then earn commission on their sales to local schools and libraries.

These Educational Consultants also have the opportunity to help schools pick out the best books for their needs and even organize, curate, and host book fairs in the schools. [9]

This sounds a lot more fun and rewarding than going over to someone’s house and showing them how to burp a Tupperware bowl.

#2. 20%-30% commission on personal sales

Consultants receive 25%-30% on their personal sales to private individuals. If you sell over $85 at a home party, you get 25%. If you sell over $85 via direct sales, you get 30%, but below $85, your commission rate drops back down to 25%.

This rate is nothing special, but it is pretty in-line with industry standards in MLM (see: Powur).

However, if they’re selling to schools or libraries in the UK, they only receive 20% commission.

Book fairs in the U.S. require a minimum purchase of $500, and consultants receive only 17% commission. School and library sales net 17%-25%.

That being said, they’re selling to these entities in bulk, so the grand total of these larger orders usually makes up for the lower commission.

#1. Recruiting via book parties

Consultants can encourage people to join their network by recruiting party hosts, who then get 10% of total party sales in free books, a free gift, and 20%-50% occasional discounts.

The focus on recruiting isn’t so heavy, which is good and bad. While MLMs that focus too hard on recruiting can be deemed pyramid scams and even receive legal penalties, companies like Usborne Books that have a solid product don’t offer a lot of opportunity for exponential growth.

You can only make so much money off personal sales, and that figure is nothing impressive.

Is it possible to make money with Usborne? Sure, if you tap into the right markets. But selling to your friends and family will only last so long.

Look, I’ve been involved with network marketing for over ten years so I know what to look for when you consider a new opportunity.

After reviewing 200+ business opportunities and systems out there, here is the one I would recommend:

Click here for my #1 recommendation

Meet the Author


JP teaches network marketers how to build a real business. Far from a hater, he still LOLs at 3-way calls and building "downlines". If you like Monday morning conversations with your kids by the pool, you might like this.

0 comments… add one

Leave a Comment