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Offering our books online

Embracing the subscription model.

David Gane
David Gane
2 min read

Last week, my writing partner and I tried something new: we offered our books online.

You can still get them as a paperback or ebook, but now you can also read them on our Counios & Gane website through a subscription.

So, I thought this week I’d share six influences that shaped this decision.

  1. For a long time, I’ve wanted a sustainable way to sell and market our books. Newsletters and subscriptions seemed to offer that. As the Fix explains: “…emails and newsletters have almost always been in the top three things to focus on.”
  2. And I can’t stress enough how much the publishing platform Ghost influenced our decision. We had used them as our website early on—and absolutely loved them—but when they added paid subscriptions and newsletter publication, things really locked into place.
  3. I'd always been intrigued by online books like Getting Real by Basecamp or any of Derek Sivers' recent books (more on him shortly), as well as Pieter Level's intriguing approach to Make.
  4. When it came to pricing strategies, Derek Sivers' take on considerate booking pricing made a lot of sense: " seems fair that if you buy the contents of a book, it should include all formats of delivery...It has just one problem: Paper costs money."
  5. We also went with tier pricing, influenced by Elle Griffin’s interviews with the serial authors Shirtaloon and Zogarth. For them, higher tiers receive advanced chapters ahead of other readers.
  6. And finally, we knew we preferred bulk print runs of our books vs. print-on-demand because of lowered costs and quality. So it was Craig Mod's success with subscriptions + limited print runs of his Kissa by Kissa book that helped shape this path.

This is definitely an experiment—a test of whether there's even an interest.

Yet, the landscape of our business has changed so much over the past few years and we've struggled. Printing, shipping, and reaching a global audience has often been a challenge. And our safety net of one-on-one sales definitely took a hit with the pandemic.

But we had the books and saw an opportunity, so here we are on the edge of something new. It's nerve-wracking and exciting, and I can't wait to see what happens next.

Come see what we're up to at Counios & Gane.

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Co-writer of the Shepherd and Wolfe young adult mysteries, the internationally award-winning series, and teacher of storytelling and screenwriting.


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