Independent Publisher Turns to Subscriptions to Boost Sales
As they try to evolve along with a dynamic marketplace, many book publishers are experimenting and adapting their business models to try to find new formulas for success. Cave Creek, Ariz.-based Unbridled Books is one of those book publishers, who in March launched a subscription book program. For an annual subscription, subscribers can choose to receive six titles for a cost of $100, or three titles for $60. Subscriber perks include one free Unbridled backlist of your choice, 25-percent off all Unbridled Books for the term of the subscription, and a subscribers-only e-newsletter, which is distributed twice a year.
Unbridled Books’ Co-publisher Greg Michalson spoke with Book Business Extra on why he feels a subscription-based business model can work for book publishers, as well as how direct subscription sales can help spur their retail counterpart.
Book Business Extra: Why does Unbridled Books believe a subscription model will work for its business?
Greg Michalson: It’s something we’ve long talked about doing. We’ve worked hard to create Unbridled Books as a brand that readers can trust that the books we publish will share a consistently high standard of literary values across the board. That isn’t to say everyone will love everything we publish, as we offer a wide range of reading experiences, but they can depend on a certain level of quality no matter which of our books they pick up.
We’ve long believed that readers of quality fiction are open to buying literature by subscription. I come from a literary magazine background, for which the subscriber base is the lifeblood. Those subscribers are a primary market for the books we publish at Unbridled. And from that experience, it was clear to us there are many more potential readers of high-quality fiction and nonfiction out there if you can reach them. The hardest job we have is putting the right book in front of the right reader at the right time.