The ebook subscription space has grown increasingly crowded over the past couple years, with the launch of Kindle Unlimited, Oyster, Scribd, Entitle, Storia -- the list goes on. One of the first ebook subscription services in the world, Spanish-based 24symbols, is striving to differentiate itself from the pack through global expansion and a unique social reading environment
Subscription ebook services have been a buzzworthy topic in recent years, but are they a good deal for authors and publishers? That was the topic of a standing room only panel, moderated by Smashwords founder Mark Coker who noted the promise of subscription models as well as the "legitimate challenges" they face-specifically, what he called the "Goldilocks principle," ensuring that readers are getting enough value to continue subscribing; publishers are making enough money to justify their involvement; and, of course, the subscription service itself is financially viable.
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You might not remember back that far, but ebook subscription services have been around for since the turn of the millennium. The Madrid-based company 24symbols was, arguably, there first-well before anyone else-and they launched in the midst of a terrifying financial recession that left nearly half of Spain's youth unemployed and the publishing industry in a free fall.
Now, four years later, they are still here, and co-founder Justo Hidalgo is busy hustling his small team around the globe to work on new partnerships and launches, trying to outpace Kindle Unlimited, Scribd, Oyster, Bookmate,