Wednesday, May 11, 2011

E-Book of the Month Club

I've heard people talking about this as a possible business model:

People subscribe to the club for a monthly fee.
Each month they receive a new e-book sent directly to their Kindle, Nook, email, or whatever.

It's an update of the old book-of-the-month club idea. I'm thinking that we could do something like this through Spencer Hill. We could have an online store where people could buy the stories individually, although subscribers would get them for a lower price.

Sooo.... what do YOU think?

How much would you pay per month for a novella (15,000-40,000 words, which would be about 60-160 pages in traditional book form) to be sent to you?
What genre(s) of stories would you want to read?
Writers, would you submit novellas for distribution this way? We'd pay fair royalties and writers would retain copyright, of course.

Personally, I think that the main selling point would have to be quality content. We'd need the stories to be AWESOME. And then we'd have to market in such a way that people heard about it and recognized the aforementioned awesomeness. The shorter format is a plus; people are reading more on their phones and e-readers and the novella length makes it easier to finish in one sitting.

The thing is, I KNOW how many really good writers there are in this online community. The awesome content is out there; it's simply a matter of getting the butts in the seats, metaphorically speaking.

Tell me what you think. If people are really into this, I'll explore it further.


Brenda said...

I like the idea, although with e-books, it's SO easy to just pop onto Amazon or B&N and download the book of your choice, and there are definitely a million to choose from. As an e-book reader (Ok, truthfully, a e-book LOVER -- I've read more books since getting my Kindle for Christmas than I have in the past two years), I don't know if I see the benefit of having a book downloaded directly to my device on a given day. What I DO like the idea of, as a reader, is that there are e-books available in a certain genre or genres, endorsed by a pub like Spencer Hill...sort of like that "Customers who bought this also bought that" feature on Amazon. So, then SH becomes my go-to site or my go-to search criteria for paranormal romance, for example, b/c I know the quality is consistent, etc.

As a writer, being affiliated with a pub like SH is great, and even though e-publishing supposedly isn't that hard, it's a learning curve. So having the experience of a publisher behind you would be helpful.

Of course, there are others that do this, I think, so it becomes a matter of being in a niche, maybe. Not that I really know, just my 2 cents. Will be interested what others think!

Disgruntled Bear (Kate Kaynak) said...

Thanks, Brenda! I'm with you on the ease and joy that is Kindle. I haven't seen a YA book-of-the-month out there yet, and I was thinking about how we could fill that niche.

I think the quality is the important aspect of branding, too. Most publishers don't have a consumer-known brand (the big exception is Harlequin), and that's something we could build on.

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