What Is Barefoot Books? Is this Book Publishing MLM a scam?

is barefoot books a scam

Welcome to My Barefoot Books Review!  

We all have encountered books in our lifetime. It comes in a variety of sizes and genres and it’s a meaningful part of everyone’s life. In short, it’s essential but does this mean that book business always goes well?

Barefoot Books Review Summary

Name: Barefoot Books

Website: www.barefootbooks.com

Founders: Nancy Traversy And Tessa Strickland

Product Type: Multi-Level Marketing

Price: $159.95 For The Starter Kit

barefoot books logo

Quick Summary: Barefoot Books is an independent and award-winning children's book publishing company that offers books for infants, toddlers, kids, and teens. They also offer a variety of learning materials that would suit certain age groups.

It also has a YouTube channel and an app named Barefoot World Atlas. It also lets people make money by participating in their MLM opportunity. 

Overall Rating: 4/10

Recommended: Yes... And No

In this post, we will talk about a book publishing company that is known for selling books to children. It’s almost the same as Usborne Books as it also follows a multi-level marketing (MLM) structure. 

However, is it a legit networking company or a scam to watch out for? How does it work? Can you make money with Barefoot Books or not? 

Find out all the answers in this honest Barefoot Books review.

What Is Barefoot Books About?

Barefoot Books was founded by Nancy Traversy and Tessa Strickland in 1993. The company began with the idea of these women wanting to find a way to be close to their children.  

Both are moms, Tessa with 3 children, and Nancy with 4.  

When they started the company, they had three books namely, The Myth of Isis and Osiris, The Outlandish Adventures of Orpheus in the Underworld and, The Birds who Flew Beyond Time.  

Founded in England, Barefoot Books is now based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. 

barefoot books founders Nancy Traversy And Tessa Strickland

In 1996, the company had 2 million in sales. It went well and so they brought their business to Manhattan, New York from London in 1998. It wasn't economical for Nancy to travel back and forth with 4 children and so they closed the New York and London offices and reopened in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 2000. 

In 2003, they ventured into home-selling with 650 distributors. Ultimately, in 2004-2005, the company grew by about 70%.  

The company is different from other book publishers because of its network marketing platform.  

Running on an MLM business model, it offers an opportunity for you to join the company as an independent business owner or what they call as the “Barefoot Books Ambassador.”  

You can sell books, build your team, and at the same time earn commissions and bonuses along the way. This opportunity is available to anyone living in Canada or the mainland US except for those who are in Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and those who live at an APO address). 

Barefoot Books is also known to be ecological as it has lowered its impact on the environment by using papers that are made from sustainable forestry practices. They also uphold recycling paper within the organization and also minimize paper by using phones or the internet for communications. 

what is barefoot books about

They also buy office supplies from green manufacturers, use energy-efficient light bulbs, and encourage employees to "go green.”  

Apart from being a business that publishes and sells books, Barefoot Books also has a YouTube channel and an app called Barefoot World Atlas.  

Barefoot Books has been esteemed by Forbes magazine as one of the Best Small Companies in America.  

They were also featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and more.  

It's an award-winning company with some titles received from the Independent Publisher Book Awards, National Parent Products Awards, Parents' Choice Awards, and Tillywig Toy & Children's Product Awards. 

Barefoot Books Product Line 

Being a book publishing company, Barefoot Books offers a wide array of high-quality paperback and hardcover books.  

The motivation behind these books was to inspire children by introducing them to other cultures, improving their appreciation for high-quality art, and helping them to enjoy music as well, thus the singalong CDs, puzzles, puppets, stickers, singalong CDs, and games offered to its young readers.   

These can be purchased in their brick-and-mortar store or online.

barefoot books product line

Is Barefoot Books A Scam?

No, it’s not a scam.  

Barefoot Books is not only legit but a well-known MLM company, selling and distributing books for kids. 

You can make money from it, too by becoming their ambassador where you can sell books, build a team, and earn incentives. 

It’s been in the market for more than 2 decades and in such a long time like that who would say that it’s a scam?  

Though it’s not a Better Business Bureau (BBB) accredited company, It’s a real business with legit products. 

Is Barefoot Books A Pyramid Scheme/Ponzi Scheme?

Barefoot Books is a legit MLM opportunity. 

It’s not a Pyramid Scheme nor a Ponzi Scheme. 

It’s an award-winning independent book publishing company that comes with legit products that are of high-quality materials and are even beautifully illustrated. It may be mistaken as a pyramid scheme due to its MLM nature but recruitment is not solely the source of income here.

Barefoot Books is one of those legit MLMs that comes as a real business with real products that you can earn from. You can make money but not just by inviting people; instead building a team and encouraging your downline to make a sale so you can earn a commission.

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Barefoot Books Compensation Plan

Here are the ways you can earn in Barefoot Books: 

  • Kickstart Bonuses - Available for new ambassadors and this comes in 3 tiers:
    • Kickstart 1- You'll earn a bonus kit of Barefoot Books and gifts worth $150 when you sell $300 personal qualification volume (PQQV) within 30 days from registration.

    • Kickstart 2 - Receive a second bonus kit of books and gifts worth $150 from Barefoot Books when you sell a total of $600 PQV within your first 60 days as an ambassador. That’s a total of over $300 in free products if you earn both Kickstart Bonus 1 and 2!

    • Kickstart 3 - Achieve Kickstart 2 and sponsor a new Barefoot Books ambassador within your first 60 days to receive a complete business kit, which includes a set of tabletop display signage, a beautifully branded table runner, Barefoot Books apron, and promotional flyers.


  • Personal Sales Bonus - Receive a 10% personal sales bonus when you have at least $300 PQV every month. This personal sales bonus is based on the bonus volume of your personal qualifying sales. You'll earn a 12.5% bonus for every $600 to $999.99 sales, and another 15% bonus when you earn $1,000 or more within a given month.
  • Personal Team Bonus - Earn a 4% Personal Team Bonus when you sponsor new team members and mentor them to increase your team's sales. This bonus is computed after the month ends. You will receive the bonus 10 to 14 business days from the end of the month.
  • AFFILIATE RANKS - Being an MLM, it also comes in ranks. 
    • Ambassador
    • Ambassador Sales Leader
    • Turquoise Team Leader
    • Chartreuse Team Leader
    • Amber Team Leader
    • Saffron Team Leader
    • Crimson Team Leader
    • Amethyst Team Leader

How Much To Join Barefoot Books?

To join Barefoot Books’ opportunity, you have to register online. They say joining is free but basically it’s not since you have to pay $159.95 ($199.99 for Canada) for the Starter Kit to officially start your earning opportunity as a Barefoot Books Ambassador. 

The starter kit is inclusive of the bestselling titles, catalogs, and other marketing materials (contents subject to change).



High-Quality Books

Their books are of high quality, even intricately detailed and formed. They also have a variety of books and other learning materials that I believe are of great help in children’s learning.  

I also love the thought that they are eco-friendly, adhering to recycling, and even showing care for the Earth not only through their books but as well as to the materials they use in their products. 

Legit Established Company

Being around for more than 2 decades, Barefoot Books is a renowned and reliable company that has even garnered awards and has been esteemed by publications.  

It has been around since 1993 and has even survived a lot and is still thriving despite the rise of technology as with smartphones, Kindles, and eBooks surfacing in the scene.


Vast Competition In The Market

Books come in different arrays, from hardbound physical books to what is now easily accessible through Kindles, tablets, and mobile phones. 

That being said, there’s a lot of competition in the market. And though you love selling books or it’s your passion, you should hustle hard as a Barefoot Books Ambassador and find the right customers so you can earn more or hopefully be successful. 

Home Parties Hassle

Yes, they promote home parties and events as a sales strategy and I could say that it’s such a hassle as it would require effort and time. On top of this, you’ll have to spend money to host these home parties to promote the books that you sell.  

It’s also not desirable and not ideal, especially in today's pandemic situation.  

MLM Strategy

Though recruitment is not that imposed, you will still opt to recruit and build a team to gain bigger and better commissions. 


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Training Tools/Support

Joining in Barefoot Books and purchasing the starter kit enables access to the back office. Ambassadors are also provided with marketing materials, catalogs, and best-selling books, which are included in the starter kit plus it has everything you need to lay a strong foundation for business success as they claimed.

Final Opinion/Verdict

Barefoot Books is a long-running book publishing company that is indeed well-established.  

It comes with a legit business opportunity and high-quality products.  

Their books are commendable but as an earning opportunity, I suggest that you think twice before joining.  

It’s an MLM company, so here’s the MLM hassle again: though recruitment is not imposed, as an Ambassador you’ll still opt to recruit and build your own team as bigger bonuses and commissions come with it.  

And also the book business comes with a lot of competitors, so it’s gonna be a challenge. As Jon M. Taylor’s study concludes, only 1% of MLM participants make money from the opportunity. 

The chance of lucrative success is a bit hazy. Yes, you could probably earn but probably not a stable one that could help sustain your future. So, my verdict is, I’m not recommending you to this opportunity!

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I hope our Barefoot Book review has answered your questions. If you have other concerns or want to share your personal experience, feel free to write it in the comment box below.

Thank you!

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Caroline So

I'm a stay-at-home mom always on the lookout for ways on how to make LEGITIMATE money online. I also love to write; when not working as a content writer, I create blogs about skincare, makeup, motherhood, and digital marketing. I joined Vasiliy as a writer for Best Lifetime Income blog.

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