Which Authors Do Subscription Services Benefit?

This post by Dana Beth Weinberg originally appeared on Digital Book World (DBW) on 4/28/15.

Expert publishing blog opinions are solely those of the blogger and not necessarily endorsed by DBW.

Subscriptions services may yet turn out to be a next game-changer in publishing, but for the moment that market is in a state of flux and expansion.

Oyster recently added an ebookstore loaded with Big Five titles, a move that could in turn bolster the subscription model, potentially attracting new readers and making the brand more competitive with Amazon. Scribd is steadily bulking up on audiobooks. Two major publishers added ebooks to new the multimedia subscription platform Playster in recent weeks. Meanwhile, Amazon continues to grow Kindle Unlimited yet continues to pay participating indie authors at rates similar to those that spurred grumblings late last year.

What do these services mean for authors? Since, on the one hand, ebook subscription providers typically pay authors less than an individual book sale, they could ultimately undercut authors’ earnings in a market where so few are “making it.” But on the other, subscription services may encourage readers to take risks on new authors, aiding certain authors’ discoverability over the longer term.


Read the full post on DBW.