In our premiere episode, Glenn Fleishman and Jane Friedman talk over the concept of the "Netflix of ebooks": can one or more online services accumulate enough books of interest to allow subscription-based access that's interesting to readers, produces more revenue for publishers, and has a business case for survival? (See our About page for host bios.)
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How can we keep up with the constant change in publishing?
Existing subscription-based ebooks servcies
Can these services:
- Provide a value and service?
- Provide sufficient revenue for authors/publishers to invest?
Are libraries suffering from Blockbuster Syndrome?
Rights to books seems to be much more complicated than other media channels.
Is there a gatekeeper for the overwhelmed reader?
The biggest problem with subscription services:
- Gym membership phenomenon
- Books are not a mass media business
- Heavy readers may not be their audience
Safari Books by O’Reilly is a specialized market:
- Books are plentiful, but perishable
- Books are constantly revised
- Books in every category
- Books could be commissioned to fill in the gaps
- How are royalties calculated?
- Why are consumers interested?
- Good for authors besides a paycheck?
- The book club effect
- Print vs. e-book profits
- Beware the power of the Amazon empire
Where does an e-book go when it dies?
Other book-based models
Do publishers even know what is going on?
Glenn predicts a new dystopian future with algorithm created books based on demand.
Ultimately, e-book subscription services have a big struggle ahead of them.
LifeHacker article “Are E-book Subscription Services Worth It?”
“Books will be like Netflix, with Revenue as Cliffhanger” by Jonathan Blum
“Everybody Wants a Netflix for Books” by Joseph Esposito
“Subscription Models seem to be for Ebook Niches…” by Mike Shatzkin
“8 ways Oyster Books can Rule the Ebook Subscription Market” by Andrew Pantoja