I love this idea of “subscription publishing”. Beyond the fantastic economic plusses (ie impact to cash, scaled print runs, etc.) it seems a great way to build buzz and get people looking forward to a body of work, not just once, but again and again. Small indie publisher Featherproof Books (publisher of local Birmingham author Susannah Felts) is trying such a model, with the launch of a new imprint Paper Egg Books.According to Publishers Weekly:
All print runs will be determined by the number of subscribers who sign up for the program; they will pay $20 per year to receive two books — either a novella, flash-fiction or short story collection — one in the fall, the other in the spring.
You don’t have to look far to find someone crying “print is dead”. But it’s not. It’s just going through a very long overdue (and stressful) evolution. Or maybe de-evolution? It seems that most of Charles Dickens work was serialized “back in the day” and it worked out well for him. Last year, Penguin released The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters in serial form first and built quite a following in Britain. Though it didn’t work out so well here in the States.So best of luck to the crew at Featherproof, we’re all watching!