By Edward Nawotka
Numerous companies are racing to develop cloud-based subscription models for e-books, such as 24Symbols — as discussed in today’s feature story. The topic has been discussed here several times, including by Javier Celaya, founder of Dosdoce, who offered a discussion of the topic from the writers/readers points of view, as well as that of publishers. Mike Shatzkin has recently offered up several ideas on the subject as well.
While numerous STM publishers have developed solid paid access/streaming subscription models, the trade has shied away from moving in this direction. In the US, Bookish has been streaming some books from its sponsoring publishers to Starbucks Digital Network customers. And some publishers have opted pre-paid purchases from a single publisher packaged as subscriptions, like Angry Robot or Baen’s model.
The available platforms focus on either a rent/subscription model or an advertising model. Which do you prefer and why? How much would you pay for monthly access to a basket of books? (Jason Kottke seems to think $100 per month would work). What usage parameters do you think are reasonable? And do you think publishers will ever go for it or will balk fearing even further erosion of their revenue?
Let us know what you think in the comments.